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Heart Surgery

When to Call you Family Doctor

Call your family doctor right away if you have new symptoms or your symptoms get worse before your surgery:

  • pain in your chest that’s new
  • a cold with a wet cough
  • a fever
  • feel dizzy or faint
  • more short of breath than usual
  • more trouble breathing when you lay down (use more pillows)
  • heart rate is faster than usual or isn’t regular
  • swelling in your feet, hands, or belly

If you have angina call your family doctor right away if it:

  • happens more often, comes on more easily
  • happens during the night
  • needs more nitroglycerin to control it

Make sure you tell your doctor if there are any changes in your health.

Emotions, Stress, and Heart Surgery

It’s normal for people with a health issue to worry, feel anxious, or feel like they have no control. You may go through many emotions before, during, and after surgery. Remember, this is normal.

Before surgery you may:

  • feel frustrated having to wait for the surgery
  • feel frustrated with the change in your lifestyle you may be facing
  • be afraid of the unknown
  • feel unsure and anxious about the surgery

While you’re in the hospital, and even after you’re home you may:

  • feel anxious
  • feel depressed (sometimes called feeling down or “blue”)
  • find that your mood changes a lot

People cope better with these feelings when they know what to expect. It’s important for you and your family to talk about what you’re all feeling while going through this experience.

A social worker can help you and your family deal with any emotional concerns you or your family may be having. You can also ask to talk to a spiritual care advisor. A visit from the clergy of your denomination can be arranged. You and your family are welcome to use the hospital chapel.

Your Surgery Date

You’ll get a call from your heart surgeon’s office or the hospital telling you the date and time of your surgery. They’ll tell you how to get ready for surgery and where to go when you arrive at the hospital. Make sure you leave a number you can be reached at.

If you’re going on holiday or out of town, let your surgeon’s office know where you’ll be and how to reach you. It’s also a good idea to give your surgeon’s office the name and number of someone who knows how to get in touch with you.

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