Emotional Changes After Open Heart Surgery

Open heart surgery is a big decision to make and the most common type of surgery performed on adults. During the surgery, a healthy vein or artery is attached to a blocked coronary artery. This allows the grafted artery to bypass the blocked artery and bring fresh blood to the heart. Before one undergoes heart surgery they will start preparing, who will pick up their medicine when recovering, who will handle household responsibilities, and who will pick up their slack at work. One thing people might not prepare for is emotional changes that come after open-heart surgery and how to stay positive during the recovery season. Cardiac Depression  Up to 25% of patients experience cardiac depression after surgery. Factors that can increase the risk of depression include reactions to anesthesia, effects of antibiotics, pain and discomfort while recovering, reactions to certain pain relievers, emotional stress resulting from the surgery, or concerns about the impact on the quality of life. We think of our mood as based on how we feel. But having a positive and uplifting outlook during recovery can improve your physical healing process. Emotional changes after heart surgery will occur but you have the power to captivate your thoughts into being positive and potentially help your recovery process. There are some strategies that can improve your odds of feeling good during recovery.  Reduce Emotional Changes  Knowing what to expect before, during, and after your surgery can help reduce depression symptoms. This shows the importance of asking your provider any and all questions you have. Your physician wants you to feel comfortable before, during, and after the surgery....

Heart Surgery for the Elderly

One of the scariest experiences a person can go through is being told that they have a serious heart issue that needs to be addressed with surgery. The risks for elderly heart surgery can be great, and not long ago, there wasn’t a wide variety of options available when it came to different procedures and techniques. When faced with such news, we begin to wonder if we may be facing the end of our lives. We may worry that, even with a successful procedure, the quality of our lives might still drop. But now, thanks to surgeons like Dr. Giovanni Ciuffo and his team of experts, there are minimally invasive, bloodless heart surgery alternatives to the conventional methods. How It All Began Dr. Ciuffo has dedicated his entire medical career to studying and developing new and precise techniques to minimize the risks, pain, recovery time, and intrusiveness of heart and cardiovascular procedures. He first began to employ his bloodless heart surgery techniques in the 90s, as a means of providing alternative options to the Jehovah Witness communities of Pittsburgh, and then later in New York. The results of his hard work and time invested are clear in the numerous medical studies and reviews which have confirmed the effectiveness of his bloodless heart surgery methods, as well as the countless patient testimonials praising his efforts and thanking him for saving their lives. What the Elderly Can Expect Before the Procedure Before any medical procedure such as this can be performed, a consultation followed by a thorough examination must take place first. This is necessary not only to make sure the...

Do You Have to Diet Before or After Heart Surgery?

Heart surgery is one of the most critical types of operations that can be done on the human body, and it is usually only pursued if other, less aggressive treatments have been exhausted. To provide the optimum conditions for a successful procedure, preoperative and postoperative guidelines must be observed. One of those guidelines pertains to the patient’s diet. What to Eat Leading up to Surgery? Simply put, one of the biggest problems complicating heart surgery is obesity. The more overweight a patient is, the more difficult the recovery will be. Diets designed to help prepare a person for heart surgery, then, are often focused on losing weight. Time is of the essence, and the more time before surgery the patient has to focus on this goal, the better. If the patient has at least two weeks before heart surgery, they might benefit from emphasizing fruits, vegetables, low-fat protein, whole grains, and low sodium in their diet to help lose weight and lower blood pressure as much as possible. The total number of calories per day, on average, to consume pre-heart surgery is fairly low, at 1,200 to 1,800. Diet recommendations include more servings of fruits and vegetables than whole grains, proteins, or healthy fats. Restrictions are suggested for sweets, alcohol, and artificial sweeteners. What to Eat After Surgery? As with the pre-surgery diet, what to eat after surgery often leads to a leaner, heart-healthy diet. Recommended is a diet with extra omega 3 fatty acids, folate, vitamin K, magnesium, and unsaturated fats. On the other hand, it is not recommended that saturated and trans fats, high sodium foods, processed...

The Emotional Side Effects of Open-Heart Surgery

Open heart surgery is one of the most invasive and stressful procedures doctors perform. To expose the heart for major repairs, a long incision in the chest is made, the breast bone is broken, and a heart-lung machine is used to pump blood in place of the heart. All of this places great stress on your body. Open heart surgery is not minimally invasive heart surgery. Living with, and through, the physical effects of open-heart surgery can be daunting. Included are pain at the incision site, muscle pain, or throat pain. If you have chest tubes for drainage, those can also be uncomfortable. Despite the discomfort, post-surgical pain usually disappears after 6 – 8 weeks. However, other kinds of problems can linger? The emotional side effects of open-heart surgery might surprise you.   Personality and Emotional Changes People who have had open heart surgery report mood changes, as do people close to them. Anxiety and depression are the most commonly experienced emotions after heart surgery. Anxiety can be caused, in part, by worries about possible physical aftereffects of the surgery. Keep in mind that full recovery from open heart surgery can take up to one year. Patients who experience depression for more than several weeks after open-heart surgery may have something more than a typical, post-surgical mood change. One way to tell is if a person has difficulty in doing simple, daily tasks, like making their bed, getting and staying properly dressed, or keeping a routine. If an individual was instructed to do certain tasks after the surgery such as exercise, are they doing them? Has the person withdrawn...

What Is a Pulse Deficit?

A pulse deficit is a condition which affects the relationship between the pulse and heart. It can be very dangerous if not treated properly, so understanding what a pulse deficit is important. This is especially true if heart conditions run in the family. There is no need to worry, however. Once you know the symptoms of pulse deficit, it’ll be much easier to treat it appropriately. And, fortunately, there are many treatments for pulse deficit that are easily available. What is a Pulse Deficit? When the heart beats blood through the body, it can be felt as a pulse. This pulse is caused by the vibrations of the blood moving through the arteries. Typically, the pulse rate is in synchronization with the heartbeat. This means that every time the heart beats, there is a pulse rate. However, there are times when the heart beats faster than the pulse rate. When there are fewer pulses than heartbeats, a pulse deficit develops. This sometimes referred to as “irregular heartbeat” or “atypical pulse rate”. Causes of a Pulse Deficit There are many reasons why a pulse deficit may develop including: Heightened states of anxiety Following a period of exercise or other physical activity Situations of extreme or chronic pain Heavy blood loss Bodily Injury Low blood pressure or hypotension Heart disease Heart failure Overactive thyroid gland It’s also important to consider which heart valve needs replacing. If the mitral valve (valve responsible for closing off the upper left chamber of the heart) requires a replacement, a mechanical heart valve is said to last until age 70. However, if it’s the aortic valve...