Heart surgery can be an intimidating procedure. Aside from the brain, there is no other organ as vital to the function of our bodies. Naturally, anybody undergoing heart surgery is likely to be nervous about what to expect. But heart surgery doesn’t need to be a scary experience. Being prepared and knowing what to expect can help calm any nerves you may have about the surgical process.
1. Ask Your Surgeon Questions
They say knowledge is power—take advantage of your time with the heart surgeon before your procedure. Their goal isn’t just to perform your surgery, it’s to make sure that you’re physically and mentally prepared for what’s to come. Your surgeon will be happy to address any concerns you have about your health, your surgery or your care following heart surgery.
2. Undergo Testing
An important part of your pre-surgery assessment will be testing to ensure that you’re healthy and fit for surgery. These tests may include blood draws or electrocardiograms. To make sure the procedure goes as smoothly as possible, your doctor may recommend you make several dietary and lifestyle adjustments before your procedure. These may include taking new medications, beginning (or ending) exercise routines and altering your nutrient intake. While these changes can be difficult, they’re made to help ensure that your surgery has a successful outcome.
3. Prepare with Your Anesthesiologist
Your anesthesiologist will play an important role in your procedure. Before surgery, you’ll meet to discuss your family history and medication use. This is an important step, as your surgical team will need to make sure you aren’t at risk for adverse effects from the anesthesia.