Many patients who come to Asian Heart Institute (AHI) are surprised to discover that AHI does NOT charge extra for arterial grafts. Time and again, patients relate how their physicians, or friends and family who are well-infomed or know someone who has had cardiac surgery, have mentioned that arterial grafts are superior solutions, and are charged extra by the “big” hospitals.
Take a close look at the pricing lists of the major cardiac hospitals and you will notice that this is true. Expect to pay an average of upto Rs 25,000 extra for arterial grafts in case of bypass surgery.
Of course, your question is: Why doesn’t AHI charge extra? To appreciate our answer, lets look at the very nature of the surgery.
A bypass surgery means that a ‘extra’, ‘new’ vein or artery must be harvested from another part of the body. Usually this is a vessel in the arm and/or a vessel in a leg, usually the saphenous vein. This means that it is not just the heart that is being operated on, a very large incision or incisions have to be made in the arm and the leg, the vessel required clamped off, removed, cleaned, and then ‘installed’ as one of the bypass vessels on the heart.
There is an alternative available : it is the mammary artery in the chest, present in men as well as in women. This artery can be redirected to the heart and is a superior option. Of course, this is dependant on more factors like how many bypasses are needed. but usually the mammary artery is perfectly deployable.
The price of such convenience is that this surgery is more complex and challenging. It is easier to take a vessel from a leg: cut, extract vessel, close. So much easier than: locate mammary artery in chest region, carefully redirect. It sounds illogical ( “After all the mammary artery is right in the chest, so what is so difficult” is the question we hear most often.)
Be that as it may, at AHI we prefer to first employ the mammary artery. Yes, it is difficult, yes, it is challenging, but the advantages to the patient are immense. And you come to a hospital trusting that the hospital will employ every possible avenue to make things easy for you, don’t you?
It is the difficulty and challenge of the arterial graft that many hospitals believe warrants extra charges.
At AHI, we do NOT charge extra.
This is our view: Our patients are entitled to the very best solutions . Our patients are entitled to the most efficient surgery. Our patients are entitled to the shortest possible recuperation. Our patients are entitled to the earliest discharge. And as important, our patients are entitled to the least possible expense.
NO PATIENT UNDERGOING CARDIAC SURGERY AT AHI HAS EVER BEEN CHARGED EXTRA FOR AN ARTERIAL GRAFT, OR WILL EVER BE CHARGED EXTRA.
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