If you have recently been diagnosed with a condition requiring heart surgery, you may be anxious to find out what to expect from your treatment plan. An open heart surgical procedure is any type of surgery where the chest is cut open to allow surgeons to operate on the valves, arteries, and soft muscle tissue of the heart. Typically, this is called traditional heart surgery. However, many operations are performed today through a tiny incision rather than opening the entire chest cavity. Here are a few things to help you know what to expect.