4 Types of Open Heart Surgery Scars and Their Healing Time

To fix a problem related to the heart muscle, its arteries, or its valves, open heart surgery must be performed. These procedures fix congenital heart defects, cure various cardiac disorders or treat the consequences of heart disease. Open heart surgery is undoubtedly a substantial procedure that increases the risk of extensive scarring. It could feel overwhelming to have to recuperate from such a significant surgery while also worrying about the scars. Therefore, this article outlines everything you need to know about open heart surgery scars so that you may concentrate on a secure and successful recovery.

What Is Open Heart Surgery?

One of the approaches for doctors to treat heart issues is open heart surgery. To access the heart more easily during open-heart surgery, the chest wall must be opened. Surgeons split the ribs and cut through the sternum to gain access to the heart. This is sometimes referred to as chest cracking. 

If you are healthy enough to tolerate an open operation, your doctor might advise it. Many different types of heart surgery can be performed through smaller, less invasive incisions, such as tiny ones between the ribs on the right side of the chest.

What Are The Types Of Open Heart Surgery?

There are two types of open cardiac surgery:

  • On-pump: The heart and lungs are temporarily replaced by a heart-lung bypass machine connected to the heart. It moves blood away from the heart while also circulating it throughout the body. The surgeon then performs surgery on a heart that isn’t beating or pumping blood. The heart begins to beat again after the surgeon disconnects the device following surgery.
  • Off-pump: Off-pump bypass surgery is performed on a heart that is still beating normally. Only coronary artery bypass grafting surgery is suitable for this method. The phrase “beating-heart surgery” may be used by your doctor.

Types of Scars After Open Heart Surgery: (already in the article)

How To Take Care of Your Incisions?

Your incision will look better as you recover, and the soreness will disappear. Increased soreness may be brought on by weather changes, excessive or insufficient activity, and resting in one position for an extended period. Additionally, you can experience numbness, itching, or swelling, which will also go away with time. Below mentioned are some of the heart surgery scar remedies:

  • Take a daily shower and lather up lightly with a mild soap. Dry thoroughly using a towel. Do not rub the incision; pat it dry.
  • You must take off any small pieces of white tape covering your incision once you have been at home for seven days. You can omit the strips if they fall off on their own.
  • Call your surgeon if your incisions are swollen, have spots of redness, are seeping, or start to open slightly.
  • Bras should be worn by women. An excellent support bra will ease the strain on the incision. You can provide extra comfort by placing a little gauze under the bra if it bothers you.
  • You can use a heating pad for pain or discomfort. Apply it four or five times per day for around 20 minutes each time on the low setting. Take the painkillers your doctor has prescribed, if necessary.


Be prepared for a slow recovery from your open heart surgery scars. Before you start feeling better, it could take up to six weeks, and it could take up to six months to feel the full effects of the operation. The grafts can last many years, and the future is favourable for many patients.

Surgery does not, however, stop arterial blockage from occurring again. Your heart’s health can be enhanced by consuming a balanced diet, reducing the consumption of foods having extra fat, sugar, and salt, and adopting a healthier lifestyle.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Do I need to use any cream to heal the open heart surgery scar?

The first-line treatment for managing and minimising scarring is silicone gel and sheeting. On the market, many different silicone gel product companies provide a variety of silicone scar treatments.

Will open heart surgery scar go away permanently?

Your incision will look better as you recover, and the soreness will disappear. It won’t go out completely in all cases but will be healed to the maximum extent.

Are bypass and open heart surgery the same?

Yes, bypass surgery and open heart surgery are the same in the medical world.

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