07 5699 8258 [email protected]

Associated Risks – Heart 

Cardiac surgical outcomes are collected and analysed by Australian Governing bodies with the intent of continuously improving safety and performance.

Dr. Provenzano contributes to these databases.

To see Queensland results, please click here

To see Australian results, please click here

Associated Risks of Cardiac Surgery

Cardiac surgery is routinely performed all over the world. Australia ranks very well internationally, reflecting a high standard of care from both the operative setup and the hospital systems. As with any medical procedure, in a small number of cases, complications (adverse events) may occur. A large portion of the problems are consequences of previous medical conditions such as smoking, use of blood thinners, atherosclerosis, diabetes, previous diseases like stroke, heart, lung or renal failure, amongst others.

It is fair to say that there are risks associated with the procedure and to the individual patient. Hence, your specific situation should be discussed with your surgeon.

General complications are those related to any procedure, included but not limited to:

  • infection in wound or other organs
  • bleeding and blood transfusion, including return to theatres to stop the bleeding
  • clots in calves and lung
  • pain
  • need for other procedures (drain fluid or air from chest, or around heart)
  • kidney dysfunction (need for temporary or permanent dialysis)
  • lung and liver dysfunction (including need for tracheostomy)
  • abnormal heart rhythm and atrial fibrillation
  • nerve injury, stroke, even death.
  • symptoms may continue after surgery.

Specific complications are related to the type of surgery, included but not limited to:

  • heart attack
  • need for permanent pacemaker
  • tearing of major vessel or heart.

Coronary Artery Bypass Graft

In the case of Coronary Artery Bypass Graft, these also include blocking of a graft by clotting or kinking, numbness where grafts were harvested, swelling of legs.

Valve Surgery

Regarding Valve Surgery, these include leaking around the valve, valve malfunction, valve clotting, valve infection, red-cell breakage (haemolysis). Some of them could rarely require surgery to fix. Potential issues with mechanical prosthesis are maintenance of blood thinning and a ‘ticking’ noise that might be heard continuously.


Surgery of the Aorta

Depending of the segment of the aorta (ascending, descending or aortic arch) and the status of the surgery (emergency or elective), mortality and neurologic (e.g. stroke and paraplegia) complications vary quite a lot.Potential issues with mechanical prosthesis are maintenance of blood thinning and a ‘ticking’ noise that might be heard continuously.

Symptoms and signs of heart failure or angina may persist depending of the status of the heart and lungs.

Need for further major operations are rare, but might be required.

The risk of wound infection, chest infection, heart and lung problems and thrombosis increases with obesity and smoking. Re-operations also carry more risk of complications.

Please speak to Dr. Provenzano regarding your individual circumstances and any questions or doubts you may have.

For an appointment or seeking a second opinion with Dr Provenzano, please contact:

Gold Coast Private Specialist Suites 14 Hill Street, Southport

P: (07) 5699 8258   F: (07) 5676 6784

Dr Sylvio Provenzano


Dr Sylvio Provenzano is an exam-qualified Cardiothoracic Surgeon by the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS). He specialises in cardiac, thoracic and congenital cardiac surgery.

Opening Hours

Gold Coast Private Specialist Suites

14 Hill Street, Southport 4215
9:00 – 16:00
Phone: (07) 5699 8258
Fax: (07) 5676 6784
PO Box 809, Southport BC, Qld 4215