By Dr. Amar Nath Shaw, Cardiothoracic Vascular Surgery,
Open Heart Surgery is the best treatment option when it comes to treating coronary heart disease. During the operation a device that mimics the function of the heart and the lungs is used as a substitute of both these organs. When this machine pumps blood, the surgeon treats the defective arteries of the heart, and, once the procedure is completed the chest is sewed up. This treatment is called an open-heart surgery because the chest is opened before the procedure begins. Something as serious as this calls for preparations on part of the patient. Here are some preparatory measures that you must follow if you are going to undergo an open-heart surgery.
- Say goodbye to alcohol and cigarettes before surgery: Both tobacco and alcohol work hand in hand against your recovery post-surgery. If you want to get back to health soon enough after surgery, quit smoking and drinking at least two weeks prior to surgery. They also weaken the immune system and prevent blood coagulation.
- Concentrate on your breathing: Your doctor might give you a device called incentive spirometer for breathing, a few weeks before the surgery. This device allows you to breathe deeply. Use it as much as you can before the surgery so that you do not get the chance to develop pulmonary diseases after the procedure.
- It is better to get dental checkups before surgery: Many scientists and doctors are of the opinion that dental infections can lead to the development of endocarditis during the surgery, which is an infection of the lining of the heart. Though there exists no proven relationship between the two, isn’t it better to be safe than sorry?
- Maintain a healthy diet and exercise regularly: To render yourself stronger you must follow this routine regularly before surgery.
- Follow the doctor’s instructions properly: A few weeks before surgery your doctor might prescribe some medicines. Make note of them and take them on time without fail. You might have to follow certain guidelines on the day immediately before surgery. Get complete details from the doctor and follow the instructions thoroughly. Your doctor will also tell you what you can expect after surgery and talk to your doctor about the post-treatment care as well. It is advised that you take a family member with you, so that he/she can also note down the instructions and assist in executing those.