In some cases, open heart surgery can repair an aneurysm (a bulging, weakened area) in the heart muscle or aorta.
- Heart muscle aneurysm. Heart attacks are the most frequent cause of heart muscle aneurysms. Such aneurysms can prevent the heart from pumping properly, and may cause pain, shortness of breath, or an irregular heartbeat. To repair a heart muscle aneurysm, the surgeon either patches the weakened area, or removes it and sews together the surrounding tissue.
- Aortic aneurysm. To repair a damaged aorta, the surgeon removes the enlarged section of the vessel and replaces it with a synthetic tube graft.