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Depression After Open Heart Surgery

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Perioperative Anxiety And Depression In Open

Depression after heart surgery not uncommon

Eighty patients completed state-anxiety and depression inventories on the day before, 7 days after, and 6 months after open-heart surgery. The patients with high, moderate, or low anticipatory anxiety still had relatively high, moderate, and low anxiety, respectively, in the postoperative period, supporting the linear relationship between preoperative and postoperative arousal. Omitting the items on somatic-vegetative complaints from the global depression score reveals that cardiac surgical patients do not experience significant postoperative changes in depression related to cognitive-affective symptoms. The preoperative assessment of emotional arousal significantly predicts the level of emotional distress after surgery.

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What To Do With The Emotional Side Effects Of Open

Emotional changes after heart surgery are not uncommon, and neither are periods of irritability and fatigue. Sometimes, changes in mood can be caused by medication for surgerys aftermath, and not the surgery itself. If mood changes persist, the first step is to speak to the doctor who performed the procedure. Those doctors will have seen these kinds of post-surgical problems before. Either they can advise what kind of treatment is needed, or they can refer you to someone who can provide more insight.

Open Heart Surgery And Depression

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Patients who undergo open heart surgery or are recovering from a myocardial infarction will frequently suffer from depression. This depression can start 3-5 days after the event or as late as several months later. There is some thought that depression might be a result of mourning a loss of potential, or loss of physical activity. In the case of open heart surgery and depression the event can also be a result of anesthesia, loss of activity or facing mortality.

Researchers have found that generally patients depression is transient and psychotherapy may be their best treatment. Physicians can also help pre-operatively by calming fears and dispelling myths about cardiac conditions. Talking before open heart surgery and depression can also help adaptive coping for both the patient and the family. Research has also found that good information prior to open heart surgery and depression will correct unrealistic expectations and reduce uncertainty. Prior to open heart surgery and depression therapy is used to help the patient to increase their sense of self control and begin more appropriate coping patterns and strategies.

It isnt only the patient who may suffer from depression following the surgical event. The family or significant other may need help dealing with the stress of the situation, the heightened responsibility and the care of a patient after a crisis situation.

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Life At Five Months After Open Heart Surgery

Blog Post from My Journey with Familial Hypercholesterolemia and Heart Disease

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Blog Post by A.W.About this Blog

In this blog I will follow my everyday journey of living with familial hypercholesterolemia . I am sharing my own experience with this inherited disorder, and how I manage it daily from what literature I read on the topic and what my doctors say to how I live my life . This is solely a personal account that might or might not offer some insight on what to expect when diagnosed with this condition. This blog does not offer advice, in any way, to anyone suffering from this disease.

Depression Can Be Deadly After Bypass

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More Depressed Patients Die After Bypass Surgery Than Non-Depressed

Aug. 21, 2003 Heart patients who suffer from depression immediately before or after coronary artery bypass surgery face an increased risk of early death, Duke University researchers report.

Depressed patients followed for an average of five years after the bypass surgery were twice as likely to die as patients who were not depressed in the largest and longest study of its kind.

Although researchers did not measure the impact of treating depression on outcomes, they suggest that screening for it before and after surgery could improve patient outcome. Their findings are published in the Aug. 23 issue of the journal The Lancet.

Despite our advances in surgical and medical management of patients after coronary artery bypass surgery, depression is an important independent predictor of death after surgery and should be carefully monitored and treated if necessary, researcher and clinical psychologist James Blumenthal, PhD, says in a news release. We believe that psychological assessment before and after surgery could be a low-cost and relatively easy way of potentially saving lives.

There were 122 deaths during a follow-up. Death occurred in about 10% of those who were not depressed before or after bypass surgery, compared with 19% for those who were persistently depressed.

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Depression Among Patients Undergoing Cardiac Surgery

The term major depressive episode is used to refer to a psychiatric diagnosis of unipolar depression episode as distinct from bipolar depression, adjustment disorders, and other types of mood disorders. The cardinal symptoms of major depressive episode include depressed mood and/ or loss of interest or pleasure among other cognitive and somatic symptoms described subsequently. The prevalence of major depressive episode is 1520% among patients undergoing coronary artery bypass graft surgery. Comparatively, prevalence estimates among the general population is 59% for females and 23% among males . Collectively, research to date indicates that the number of patients affected by any depression approximates between 20% and 30% of patients undergoing CABG surgery depending on concurrent comorbidity rates, and a summary is provided in Table 1. A notable limitation of these studies, however, is the low sample size, highlighting a need for further research.

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How Is Depression Diagnosed

The biggest hurdle to diagnosing and treating depression is recognizing that someone is suffering from it. Unfortunately, approximately half of the people who experience depression are never diagnosed or treated for their illness. And not getting treatment can be life-threatening: up to 10 percent of people battling depression commit suicide.

Your health care provider can evaluate your condition by asking you to describe your symptoms. Since patients recovering from a medical illness, hospitalization or surgical procedure experience some common symptoms of depression including fatigue and insomnia,your health care provider will pay attention to these additional symptoms of depression:

  • Withdrawal from activities
  • Lack of reactivity from visits with family and friends Increased negative thoughts

Sometimes, symptoms of depression can be made worse by certain medications, a physical disorder, virus or illness. Your health care provider may perform a physical exam or laboratory tests to determine if there is a physical cause for your depressive symptoms.

Your health care provider will also evaluate your personal and family medical history, as well as any history of drug or alcohol use.

Although there are no specific blood tests used to diagnose depression, there are various screening tools and diagnostic criteria used to make the proper diagnosis.

  • Over the past 2 weeks, have you felt down, depressed, or hopeless?
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    The Importance Of Taking Care Of Yourself

    After a heart attack, your doctor might recommend a cardiac rehabilitation program to help you understand nutrition, develop sustainable healthy behavior changes, stick to safe levels of exercise and improve the quality of your everyday life.

    Dr. Pozuelo says that in addition to these activities, there are a number of ways to ensure you make your mental health a priority during your recovery.

    And both the physical changes and mental health changes you make will make a big difference in your heart health.

    Practicing self-care alongside your doctor-recommended lifestyle changes like eating well and exercising can improve your mood and protect your heart, Dr. Pozuelo says.

    Taking care of your mental health after a heart attack can mean:

    • Getting dressed every day.
    • Resuming hobbies and social activities you enjoy.
    • Sharing your feelings with your family, friend or another person you trust.
    • Joining support groups to find community.

    Depression can prevent you from leading a full life and can increase your risk of complications after a heart attack. If your depressed mood is severe and accompanied by other symptoms that persist every day for two weeks or more, its time to ask for help.

    Some reasons for concern include:

    • Difficulty getting up the energy to participate in your recovery.
    • Significant difficulty with your daily routine, social activities or work.
    • Social withdrawal and isolation.
    • Suicidal thoughts or feelings.

    Dont Feel Defeated If You Need Help

    Cardiac Depression: Before, During & After Heart Surgery

    Some people need help in order to bounce back emotionally. Thats not failure. Success involves caring for yourself and those you love enough to do whatever is needed to rebound.

    Print our pre-surgery checklist: Facing and Recovering from Major Surgery: English | Spanish

    Written by American Heart Association editorial staff and reviewed by science and medicine advisers. See our editorial policies and staff.

    Last Reviewed: May 12, 2020

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    Facing Up To Depression After A Bypass

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    For many people who have had coronary artery bypass surgery, regaining emotional strength is a tougher challenge than recuperating physically.

    Traditionally, rehabilitation specialists working with bypass patients have focused on rebuilding weakened muscles after surgery. But recently, a few teams of cardiac specialists — nurses, doctors and psychologists — have begun to concentrate on the mental fatigue and overwhelming sadness that strike many patients.

    There are no conclusive statistics about the incidence of depression after bypass surgery. Estimates vary widely from fewer than a third of patients to more than three-quarters. Some experts believe that the rate of depression after bypass surgery is much higher than that of other types of surgery, but not everyone agrees.

    Fortunately, a vast majority of patients who do suffer emotionally recover within six months. Still, for those who have to deal with overwhelming gloom, the postoperative weeks can seem intolerable.

    In traditional bypass operations, the patient’s blood is circulated through this machine, which does the work of the heart and lungs while the heart is repaired.

    Six men and women shared their stories with The New York Times.

    Dr. Barry Wohl, 48

    Havre de Grace, Md.

    Ronald Swidler, 72

    Palo Alto, Calif.

    When To Get Help

    The symptoms that are common with surgery, such as fatigue and feeling low on energy, typically improve as the recovery progresses. Symptoms caused by depression are typically not improved with the surgery recovery. Two weeks is more than long enough to determine if the symptoms are improving with the passage of time or if they are more likely to be lingering.

    If you or a loved one experience depression symptoms for two weeks or longer, seek a professional assessment immediately.

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    Conclusions And Future Research Directions

    How can prognostic studies using a once off assessment of psychiatric disorders and psychological distress show an increase in the risk for morbidity and mortality months and years after CABG surgery? The behavioral and physiological mechanisms, such as smoking, alcohol use, diet, compliance to medication and exercise regimes, along with inflammatory processes, are possible explanations warranting further research in CABG surgery cohorts. Unfortunately, contemporary understandings of the risks of depression and anxiety in CAD are constrained by a predominantly biomedical model. Further consideration for the interaction between these disorders and social factors, such as socio-economic status, ethnicity, living alone, social isolation, may improve our understandings and uncover fruitful avenues for intervention. Moreover, research to date appears too focused on depression, whereas the limited studies addressing depression and anxiety, simultaneously, warrants further research to acquire and extrapolate cumulative knowledge with respect to psychosocial risk. Collaboration between psychologists and psychiatric specialists with cardiac surgeons, cardiologists and cardiac nurses will enhance the research base and may lead to improved patient outcomes.

    Depression After Heart Bypass Surgery Isnt Just About Feeling Depressed Over Clogged Arteries But The Depression Can Have Other Related Causes


    How expected or common is depression after coronary bypass surgery?

    The University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine study showed that coronary bypass patients who had depression after surgery, fared a lot better with a phone-based, nurse-led care team, than did people who did not receive this added care to their heart surgeons standard rehab care protocols.

    Study findings appear in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

    However, 20 to 25 percent of patients experienced depression following coronary bypass surgery, says this outdated study that was published in 2009.

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    You May Experience Collarbone And Sternum Pain After Open

    Sometimes you can have prolonged collarbone and sternum pain. Collarbone pain and sternum pain can be caused by the trauma of the surgery on your body or sternal wires. This pain can be sometimes helped with cardiac rehab or a resternotomy. However, make sure to communicate with your doctor about your pain to make sure its normal. After this past open heart surgery, Ive had a lot of pain and clicking in my shoulders and chest. Its caused a lot of chronic pain but working with physical therapy has helped me regain strength.

    Anxiety And Depression In Thoracic Aortic Surgery

    Instead of recent improvement of the surgical treatment of cardiovascular diseases, the hospital mortality rate for thoracic aortic surgery is still high compared to coronary artery bypass grafting surgery . Some adverse complications of TAS can be extremely serious . TAS is included in the same surgical repertoire as CABG in terms of open heart surgery, but it has a worse postoperative outcome. A few studies on psychological outcome have been conducted in TAS patients .

    We surveyed 190 patients who underwent TAS or CABG at intervals of 15 years after the procedure, and then analyzed 128 patients with TAS or CABG as the primary surgery. Psychological outcomes were assessed using the hospital anxiety and depression scale . The incidence of mild anxiety in TAS and CABG patients was five vs. six , respectively, and depression was present in nine and seven , respectively. The incidence of severe anxiety in TAS and CABG patients was four vs. seven , respectively, and depression was present in four and seven , respectively. Psychological outcomes scores for the two groups did not differ significantly .

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    Anxiety Among Cabg Surgery Patients

    Self-reporting estimates of anxiety are also variable. Anxiety is particularly high for CABG patients while on the waiting list with an unknown surgery date. Fear of dying before, rather than during surgery, has been highlighted as a pervasive and anxious preoccupation., Anxiety also manifests as an autonomic symptom that can exacerbate CAD symptoms. After surgery, while anxiety may decrease to below pre-operative levels, the severity of anxiety does not necessarily remit to below sub-clinical levels and may warrant intervention. Like depression, complicating and accurate identification of anxious patients over the course of surgery recovery is the finding that autonomic-arousal symptoms significantly increase after CABG. This is hardly surprising given the overlap and seemingly indistinguishable nature of CAD and somatic anxiety symptoms . A caveat of research to date is the use of non-specific self-reporting measurements that do not reflect the characteristics of any particular anxiety disorder, but rather a nebulous, often ill-defined, construct, similar to âstressâ.

    Anxiety And Depression In Ventricular Device Surgery

    Open Heart Surgery: What to Expect (English CC)

    Left ventricular assist devices have been developing dramatically, and patient with end-stage heart failure can be treated it as a destination therapy or as a bridge to transplant. Continuous-flow LVADs have reduced incidence of morbidity and mortality . The number of psychological research has been increasing gradually.

    Brouwers et al. reviewed systematically 16 quantitative studies with a sample size 10 that examined the impact of LVAD therapy, including both pulsatile devices and continuous-flow devices, on patients health status and anxiety/depression . They suggested that patients had improved their health status, anxiety, and depression in the first few months after LVAD implantation and that those scores of patients receiving LVAD therapy were still below for physical, social, and emotional functioning compared with transplant recipients. After Brouwers study, some studies found decreasing of anxiety/depression after introducing LVADs, but two studies , whose sample size were about 10, did not found the significant improvement in anxiety and depression. Higher scores on anxiety/depression over time were associated with poor health status and rehospitalization . Family of patients with LVAD was also increasing anxiety or depression level after implantation .

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    The Emotions Of Recovery

    Often people who are getting ready for major surgery have a whirlwind of details to juggle. Who will handle my work responsibilities? Who can check on post-surgery prescriptions? How will the house chores get done?

    Most people dont stop to think about how they can help themselves feel good emotionally during their recovery. Isnt a positive outlook normal when things are going how they are supposed to go? For some people, yes. However,depression after a cardiac surgery is not uncommon.

    Wearing Certain Types Of Clothing Might Be Hard During Surgery Recovery

    Usually in discharge, they tell you to wear button-down clothing for a while, but what they dont tell you is that your skin is super sensitive and wearing tight clothing even a couple of months after might be hard. For women, wearing bras might be tough. Try to find comfortable sports bras you can unclasp or undershirts. I tend to wear bras now that dont have underwires and have a t-shirt cotton feel.

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    You May Feel Like Youre On An Emotional Roller Coaster

    Recovering from open-heart surgery involves physical and emotional healing. The recovery process uses emotional and physical energy.

    If you feel upset or emotional in the weeks after your operation, dont worry this is a normal reaction. Many patients report these feelings up to three months after the operation:

    • Mood swings that may include depression, fear, anxiety, loneliness, helplessness and anger

    • Crying easily for no apparent reason

    • Lack of energy or motivation

    • Getting easily frustrated

    • Having good days and bad days

    • Feeling more emotional or sentimental than normal

    Even though you may feel drained physically and emotionally, its important to follow guidelines for good self-care:

    • Get dressed every day

    • Walk daily within your limits

    • Get plenty of rest

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