Your heart surgeon will explain the results of your tests and why surgery is being recommended. He will also explain the surgical procedure and the results you can expect. He will tell you about the risks of having or not having the surgery, the benefits of having the surgery and any options you have in place of surgery. You must consider the balance of the risks you will be taking and the benefits you will receive. Don’t be afraid of offending the surgeon or embarrassing yourself by asking questions about anything you don’t understand. Remember, the more you know, the more you will become confident about your decision. The following is a list of questions to help you get started.
Questions to ask
These are basic questions to ask your surgeon. If you think of others, write them down and bring them with you to your visit. Go over the list with your spouse and family. Ask if they have other questions they would like to have answered. Before you leave the surgeon???s office, try to get all your questions answered. Be sure you understand everything clearly. If you think of questions after you leave, write them down and call your surgeon back.
- How will the surgery improve my condition?
- Tell me again what will happen during the surgery?
- Will I need blood transfusions?
- How long will the surgery last?
- How long will I be in the intensive care unit (ICU or CCU)?
- How much pain should I expect and how will it be controlled?
- What will the scar look like?
- What are the possible complications of surgery, and how likely are they to happen?
- Can I recover completely from this surgery? If so, how long will it take?
- How long will I be in the hospital?
- How long will my recovery take after I am home?
- What will I be able to do and not do during recovery?
- Will I need special equipment when I get home?
- When can I return to work?
- If I choose not to have surgery, will I get worse or remain the same?
- Is there an alternative treatment that does not involve surgery?
- How long do I have to decide?
- If I decide to have the surgery, how soon should I have it?
Making your decision
Once you have the information you need to consider all your options, you may be surprised that the best decision for you is becoming pretty clear. That doesn’t mean that it’s an easy decision to make, but at least it will be one you will feel good about and will know what to expect as a result of your decision.Tags: surgeon, Surgery, open heart surgery, heart surgeon, Evaluation methods, Nursing
A Patient and Family Guide
The thought of having heart surgery can be pretty scary. You may be most afraid of what you don’t know about it. Like -
- How should you prepare?
- What exactly will happen during surgery?
- How long will it take?
- What will your recovery from surgery be like?
- How long will it be before you fully recover?
- Will you ever be the same again?
- When can I return to work?
- When can I return to sex after heart surgery?
This information will answer many questions for you and your family and hopefully put some of your fears to rest. But it can’t answer all of the questions that you might have about your own heart problem and the treatment of it. Always rely on your doctor and your healthcare team for that.
If your heart problem was discovered by your primary care doctor, he has probably referred you to a heart specialist, called a cardiologist. Following an exam and many tests, the cardiologist has recommended surgery to treat your heart problem. The cardiologist then referred you to a heart surgeon. This booklet will let you know what to expect during your visit with the surgeon. And it will explain what will take place before, during, and after your heart surgery. If you have already met with the surgeon, review the first part of this booklet to make sure you understand everything you need and want to know before making a final decision about having the surgery. Remember, peace of mind is very important to your good health. Your doctors want you to have all of the facts so you can make the decision which is best for you.
- Your visit with a heart surgeon.
- Types of Open Heart Surgery.
- Getting Ready for Open Heart Surgery.
- Your Hospital Admission for Open Heart Surgery.
- On the Road to Recovery After Open Heart Surgery.
- Possible Problems After Open Heart Surgery – when to call the doctor.