Before Surgery Suggestions
Open Heart Surgery Handbook
More than likely, you will have several days (or even weeks) to prepare for your upcoming surgery. It is important to make the most of this time to assure that you are well rested and as healthy as possible for surgery.
Adhering to the following suggestions will best prepare your body for surgery:
Even if you are not particularly hungry, it is important that you try to eat a variety of foods each day. This will ensure that your body gets enough vitamins, proteins and other nutrients, which will help you significantly in your postoperative recovery. A patient in normal nutritional condition will do better in every aspect of the surgical procedure and postoperative recovery.
An important rule of thumb prior to surgery is to never let yourself get too tired during the days leading up to surgery. Again, the more rested you are, the stronger your body will be for surgery.
Exercise only under specific orders from your physician. It is important that you immediately stop any exercise if you notice signs of your heart problem.
Although much easier said than done, quitting smoking can make an important difference in your post-surgical condition and recovery. As you are aware, smoking is very harmful to the lungs and heart, raising your blood pressure, making your heart beat faster, narrowing your coronary arteries and smaller blood vessels, and producing more mucus in your lungs. Clearly, the period leading up to your open-heart surgery is one during which you can least afford to be in this condition.
As your surgery draws near, you will be contacted in order to arrange an individualized preoperative class to be attended by you and your family. If your family is unable to attend, a nurse will contact them by phone the night before surgery or meet with them after you have gone to surgery. This class will last approximately 30-40 minutes and cover the essential information you and your family will need to know about your surgery.