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How to Prepare for Heart Surgery

By Alexis Scotts Subscribe to RSS | May 9th 2012 | Views:
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Do you have a heart surgery coming up? Feeling a bit freaked out about your upcoming surgery? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Many people get worried about going to the doctor for simple checkups, so it’s no surprise that something as big as heart surgery can scare people straight. The good news? Doctor’s perform successful heart surgeries every single day. They know what they’re doing – but that being said, it’s completely normal to be a bit concerned once you’ve scheduled your operation. How can you ease your fears? By knowing how to prepare for your heart surgery. Knowing what lies ahead makes it a bit easy to combat the fear that’s rising up in your throat, keeping you awake at night and jolting you out of your daydreams during the daylight hours.

For starters, you should know that heart surgery, while it seems scary and impossible and easy to mess up, is a fairly simple procedure – it’s minimally invasive, especially when it’s done using robotic assistance. Robotic-assisted surgery allows for cardiac surgeons to complete the procedure through 1-2 fingertip sized incisions. There, you can rest easy – fingertip-sized incisions are quite small, aren’t they? Most patients opt for this approach, as its’ the most minimally invasive robotic approach out there, decreasing overall trauma to the body. These procedures eliminate the need for the surgeon in question to split the breast bone and spread the ribs to access the heart (something that was necessary before robotic-assisted surgery was invented). This procedure lessens both pain and blood loss, making for a shorter recovery time and an easier go at it overall.

Additional benefits include less pain and scarring, a decreased risk of infection, a shorter hospital stay after the surgery is completed, less blood loss and hence, fewer transfusions, and a quicker return to your normal activities. Many people worry that after they have heart surgery, they’ll have to spend a long time in recovery, unable to get back to their day to day life. Thanks to modern innovations, however, heart surgery is becoming less and less of a “big deal” – and more of a routine surgery that, will important, doesn’t have to slow you down.

So, let’s get into what you should do to prepare for your heart surgery operation. Here are some things to expect. It’s likely that you’ll be admitted to the hospital before your operation – likely on the afternoon proceeding the surgrey. The staff at the hospital will conduct a few tests, give you instructions and prepare you for surgery. These are just routine tests, conducted in order to ensure that you’re in tip-top shape to go into surgery. That same afternoon, your team of surgeons, cardiologists, nurses and any other medical folk you have in your corner will pay you a visit to discuss your operation. Should you have any questions about the operation itself, this is a good time to ask them. Routine tests conducted may include electrocardiogram and chest x-rays.

Another thing to know – your hair will be shaved off where the operation will be done. This makes it easier for the surgeon to clean the skin, and prevents pain when your adhesive bandages are removed following the surgery. Don’t worry, it’s just hair – it’ll grow back! After you are shaved, your skin will be washed with an antiseptic solution to reduce the risk of infection. Now, let’s move on to the day of the operation itself.

On the day of your surgery, you’ll need to give any personal items you’re wearing to a family member. This includes watches, glasses, jewelry, dentures and any clothing you’ve been wearing. This is all done for your protection – your body needs to be clean of any distractions before the surgery can begin. Once this part is complete, you’ll be given a few medications to help you relax. From there, you’ll be rolled into the operating room, where the surgery will begin. Once you’re in the operating room, you’ll be given anesthesia, which will put you to sleep, vacate any pain, and leave you with no memory of the operation itself. A few hours later, you’ll wake up from the surgery, renewed albeit a bit woozy. From there, you’ll be moved into a recovery room, so that you can wake up fully and begin your recovery and the next stages of your life.

Though heart surgery can seem scary, if you’re prepared and know what to expect, you can lessen your worries. From the preparation to the day before the surgery leading right up to the surgery itself, knowing what you’re in for does wonders for your nerves. If you know what to expect, nothing will come as a surprise for you, enabling you to have the most positive surgical experience possible, and recover quickly and easily.

The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for medical advice. All medical information presented should be discussed with your healthcare professional. Remember, the failure to seek timely medical advice can have serious ramifications. We urge you to discuss any current health related problems you are experiencing with a healthcare professional immediately.

Alexis Scotts - About Author:
Alexis Scotts is a freelance writer who writes about a variety of topics including health tips to prevent heart surgery.

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