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Long-term Side Effects Of Open-heart Surgery

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What Are The Risks

WATCH Triple Bypass Open Heart Surgery

Most heart surgeries are major surgeries. Although often successful, they do entail risks. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute identifies some of these risks as:

  • Bleeding
  • Damage to tissues in the heart, kidneys, liver, and lungs
  • Stroke
  • Death, especially for someone who is already very sick before surgery

The risk is higher if you have other diseases or conditions, such as diabetes, peripheral artery disease, or kidney or lung disease.

What Is Recovery Like After Open

Recovery time varies depending on the surgery type, complications and your overall health before surgery. It can take 6 to 12 weeks to recover from an open-heart procedure.

Your surgeon will let you know when you can return to work and other activities. Typically, you shouldnt drive or lift anything heavy for the first six weeks.

Some people need to take blood thinners after heart surgery to prevent blood clots. Your healthcare provider may also recommend cardiac rehabilitation. This medically supervised program can help you regain strength and stamina and improve overall heart health.

Patients And Data Collection

We obtained patient and operative data from the custom-built ProCardio version 8 database running on FileMaker Pro version 8.5 , which contains data on all CHSs performed since 1953 in Finland. The database has been used in several of our previous studies.,, Operations were performed at 5 university hospitals but have been centralized to Helsinki since 1997. The cardiac surgery database was first retrospectively created by importing material from collected surgical logs, diagnosis cards, and computer files of the hospitals for all patients who underwent surgery before the database was created and was updated for all patients who underwent surgery thereafter. Surgical logs contained daily entries of all operations performed in the hospital diagnosis cards and computer files contained information on all patients of the hospital, listed by International Classification of Diseases diagnosis codes. If the information was incomplete, the medical records of the patients were manually reviewed. Later structural defect diagnoses were added prospectively into the database, with room for up to 4 diagnoses. We excluded all patients who only underwent isolated pacemaker implantation or who underwent patent ductus arteriosus ligation at the age of 30 days because of the high incidence of prematurity and thus comorbidities unrelated to their cardiac defects or surgeries. Only patients who survived their first operation were included. Patient data were obtained from 1953 to 2009.

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Q Is Open Heart Surgery Painful

  • During the recovery process, you will experience some discomfort and pain around the cur and in your muscles. Sensations like itching, tightness, and numbness are completely normal. The pain intensity wont be severe, and if you have has a bypass then you may feel some pain in the legs because the surgeon has used leg veins as grafts in your chest. Once you are ready to leave the hospital, the doctor will prescribe you some pain medications.
  • What Happens After Heart Bypass Surgery

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    Youâll wake up in an intensive care unit . The breathing tube will still be in your mouth. You wonât be able to talk, and you’ll feel uncomfortable. Nurses will be there to help you. Theyâll remove the tube after a few hours, when you can breathe on your own.

    During the procedure, the medical team will probably have put a thin tube called a catheter into your bladder to collect urine. When youâre able to get up and use the bathroom on your own, theyâll remove it.

    They also attached an IV line before the surgery to give you fluids and medications. Youâll get it removed once youâre able to eat and drink on your own and no longer need IV medications.

    Fluids will build up around your heart after the procedure, so your doctor will put tubes into your chest. Theyâll be there for 1 to 3 days after surgery to allow the fluid to drain.

    You may feel soreness in your chest. Youâll have the most discomfort in the first 2 to 3 days after the procedure. You will probably get pain medicines for that.

    Youâll also be hooked up to machines that monitor your vital signs — like your heart rate and blood pressure — around the clock.

    You should be able to start walking 1 to 2 days after surgery. Youâll stay in the ICU for a few days before you’re moved to a hospital room. Youâll stay there for 3 to 5 days before you go home.

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    Caring For Your Wound

    The metal wires holding your breastbone together are permanent.

    But the stitches closing your skin will gradually dissolve over the weeks following surgery as your skin heals.

    While you’re recovering in hospital, you’ll be told about how to care for your wounds at home.

    It’s important to keep the wounds clean and protect them from the sun while they’re healing.

    You’ll have a scar where the surgeon cut down your chest, as well as where the grafted blood vessel was taken from.

    These will be red at first, but will gradually fade over time.

    Mitral Valve Replacement Complications

    The mitral valve is located between the left atrium and left ventricle. Its replacement is performed in case of mitral valve stenosis or mitral valve regurgitation. It is also indicated in case of severe mitral valve prolapse.

    Minor complications after mitral valve replacement surgery are nausea and vomiting and potential infection, usually of the incision site or the tissues nearby IV lines, wires and tubes. Bleeding is another minor complication and some patients may complain about bruising which is transitory and resolves on its own. Allergic skin reactions in the form of rash are also possible.

    Major complications of mitral valve replacement include serious forms of infection which require heavy doses of antibiotics and severe bleeding. Some patients develop a heart attack or even stroke after this type of surgery. Valve replacement failure may be another major complication after mitral valve replacement. And in some cases, even a lethal outcome is possible. Depending on the previous health condition of patients and comorbidities, there are several more potential complications including arrhythmia, pneumonia, and failure of many organs such as lungs, heart or kidneys. One of the rather serious and potentially life-threatening complications is rupture of the heart wall. And finally, there is also chance of damage of the surrounding nerves and organs.

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    Q What Are My Restrictions After Open

  • After heart surgery, it is for your betterment to follow the doctor’s guidelines strictly. Your breastbone after heart operation may take two or three months to heal, so you have to be much careful about your actions.The following are the restrictions for heart patients after cardiac surgery.
  • Do not drive without your surgeon’s permission
  • Avoid extreme stretching of arms
  • Don’t lift heavyweight
  • Don’t put pressure on your arms for supporting your upper body
  • Don’t bend, push, pull, and stretch
  • To decrease pressure while coughing or taking deep breaths, hold a pillow for a support
  • A Chest Pillow Is A Must

    Open Heart Surgery Side Effects, What Are Open Heart Surgery Side Effects

    Having a pillow to stabilize your chest is a must. Most hospitals will send you home with one, but if they dont, make sure to get one. Chest pillows can help you when you sleep, sneeze, and cough they have has many uses. I had a pillow with me for almost a year after my last surgery and I still usee one during long trips in the car.

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    Q How Do I Care For Someone Who Has Undergone Heart Surgery

  • It is important to ensure that the patient’s lifestyle changes are supported by those around them, and to care for patients of cardiac surgery, it is helpful to offer psychological support by aligning some of these changes, especially those that have to do with social habits such as smoking and alcohol consumption, as well as meals. It is also helpful to someone recovering from heart surgery to have a companion during exercise after open heart surgery since injuries resulting from a fall or dizziness at this time can be much more severe for them.
  • Late Patient And Graft Survivals

    Follow-up data on patients and grafts were complete through June 30, 2001. Graft loss was defined as transplant nephrectomy and/or induction of dialysis for kidney, and return to insulin dependence for pancreas. Late graft survival rate was calculated with or without patient death censored. Patient death with functioning graft was excluded for analysis of risk factors contributing to graft loss.

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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

    Prophylactic Use Of Antibiotics

    25 Best Long Term Side Effects Of Open Heart Surgery

    Before operation all but five patients who had ongoing infection were prophylactically given intravenous broad-spectrum antibiotics . Postoperatively 1 g of vancomycin was given once 12 h after the preoperative dose, and 1 g of cefazolin was given twice every 8 h. In five patients who had active infection other antibiotics that were effective for causative organisms were given pre- and postoperatively.

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    Q How Long Should I Stay In The Hospital After Heart Surgery

  • Depending on the procedure, patients of heart surgery can be asked to stay anywhere between 2 to 7 days under observation in a hospital. In case of post open heart surgery complications, the stay may go up to 3 weeks to ensure that all symptoms are closely monitored and any abnormalities are addressed with immediacy by hospital staff. Minimally invasive cardiac surgery usually has the lowest recovery and hospital stay durations.
  • What Are Some Types Of Heart Surgery

    There are many types of heart surgery. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, which is part of the National Institutes of Health, lists the following as among the most common coronary surgical procedures.

    In addition to these surgeries, a minimally invasive alternative to open-heart surgery that is becoming more common is transcatheter structural heart surgery. This involves guiding a long, thin, flexible tube called a catheter to your heart through blood vessels that can be accessed from the groin, thigh, abdomen, chest, neck, or collarbone. A small incision is necessary. This type of surgery includes transcatheter aortic valve implantation to replace a faulty aortic valve with a valve made from animal tissue, MitraClip® placement for mitral valve abnormalities, and WATCHMAN® placement for nonvalvular atrial fibrillation patients.

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    Q Will The Heart Operation Be Painful

  • Heart operation is performed on the patient while under anaesthesia, either general or local, and it is rare for pain to be felt during the procedure, although the numbing sensation is uncomfortable for some patients. A tightness may be felt in the chest as well. Pain medication is prescribed after the heart surgery that does not interfere with heart complications, but aids recovery by reducing stress and trauma borne by the body. If you feel any pain during the process, it is necessary to communicate it to the heart surgeon so that the requisite adjustments may be made by team performing cardiac surgery. It is, however, common to feel pain sometimes in postoperative conditions.
  • Brain May Suffer Long After Heart Bypass

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    Thought Impairment Lingers Post-Surgery

    July 15, 2002 — Having surgery to save your heart may put your brain at risk. Two studies add new evidence that heart bypass surgery may have lasting effects on the mind.

    More than 500,000 heart bypass surgeries are performed each year in the U.S. to restore blood flow to the heart. And although previous studies have suggested that many of these patients suffer from some type of thought impairment or impaired brain function up to six months after surgery, those effects have been hard to measure.

    But by examining scans of patients’ brains before and after heart bypass surgery, researchers say these studies offer new evidence that the procedure can affect the brain in both the short and long term.

    In the first study, published in the July 2002 issue of The Archives of Neurology, a team of German researchers studied 35 patients under age 70 who had a heart bypass. Brain scans were taken before and after the surgery — along with a series of tests to measure concentration, attention, short-term memory, and hand-eye coordination.

    Researchers found new areas in the brain with reduced blood flow after the bypass in 26% of the patients. But having these lesions wasn’t associated with any particular type of impairment, according to the skills tests.

    In a second study, a research team from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, found that these negative effects on the brain can last weeks after surgery.

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    Preparing For The Surgery

    Preparation for open heart surgery starts the night before. A person should eat an evening meal as usual but must not consume any food or drink after midnight.

    It is a good idea to wear loose, comfortable clothing to assist with restricted movement following surgery, but wear whatever is comfortable.

    Be sure to have all personal medical information on hand. This might include a list of medications, recent illness, and insurance information.

    It is normal to feel anxious before an anesthetic, and people should not hesitate to seek reassurance from the healthcare team.

    The doctor may request that the person washes their upper body with antibacterial soap. A member of the healthcare team may need to shave the persons chest area before they can have the anesthetic.

    The doctors may also need to run tests before surgery, such as monitoring the heart or taking blood samples. A doctor or nurse might place a line into a vein to enable the delivery of fluids.

    After the medical team has completed the preliminary tasks, the anesthesiologist will administer general anesthesia.

    Prayer And The Health

    In the face of life-altering operations that frequently accompany advanced stages of cardiac disease, private prayer can be a unique coping resource for patients. Practicing prayer is common according to both national surveys and clinical research on coping with health crises . From a psychological perspective, one important definition of prayer dates back to James who did not view it simply as a quantifiable act. James asserted that the idiosyncratic event of prayer is a perceived inward communion or conversation with the power recognized as divine and is the very soul and essence of religion . As such, in using prayer, the practitioner could find comfort from a sacred interconnectedness in ones faith or a sense of meaning in the midst of distress . Such experiences may help improve health-related well-being or increase the likelihood of long-term adjustment in this case. It should be noted that this characterization of prayer encompasses not only JudeoChristian prayers but also prayers of other faith traditions.

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    How Long Do Heart Patients Stay In Icu

    Hospital stay associated with prolonged organ failure tended to last 20 days on average, and this was 25% quartile, 75% quartile. Intensive care unit stays averaged 2 .A total of 141 were recorded.In 3. 5% of these cases, patients stayed longer than 14 days in the ICU 57 of those died and 53 at some point.

    Mental Health Comorbidity In Open Heart Surgery Patients And Complex Effects Of Religious Factors

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    The review of psychosocial outcomes following cardiac surgery by Duits and colleagues and Pignay-Demaria and colleagues indicated that anxiety and depressive symptoms predict postoperative maladjustment, including new cardiac events and rehospitalization. For patients undergoing open heart surgery, the incidence of depression varies considerably among studies between 7.5%47% and 19%61% postoperatively , yet, depressive symptom levels remained stable before and after surgery . Even after 1 year postoperation , such symptoms have been found to predict postoperative cardiac events and death. Recent studies documented perioperative depressive symptoms in up to 25% of 963 CABG patients, which contributed to impaired function 1 year after surgery .

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    How To Prepare For Open

    Tell your doctor about any drugs you are taking, even over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and herbs. Inform them of any illnesses you have, including herpes outbreak, cold, flu, or fever.

    In the two weeks before the surgery, your doctor may ask you to quit smoking and stop taking blood-thinning medications, such as aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen.

    Its important to talk to your doctor about your alcohol consumption before you prepare for the surgery. If you typically have three or more drinks a day and stop right before you go into surgery, you may go into alcohol withdrawal. This may cause life-threatening complications after open-heart surgery, including seizures or tremors. Your doctor can help you with alcohol withdrawal to reduce the likelihood of these complications.

    The day before the surgery, you may be asked to wash yourself with a special soap. This soap is used to kill bacteria on your skin and will lessen the chance of an infection after surgery. You may also be asked not to eat or drink anything after midnight.

    Your healthcare provider will give you more detailed instructions when you arrive at the hospital for surgery.

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