January 4, 2021
Heart Surgery - Do’s and Don’ts
Preparing for a heart surgery: Do’s
Up to the previous day of surgery
- Research has shown that deep breathing exercises done every day from a month before the surgery can reduce the risk of pneumonia or other lung infections. To help you with this, the doctor will give you a device called an incentive spirometer (IS), which helps you take slow, deep breaths. Use it as much as possible till your surgery, as instructed by the doctor.
- Consult a dentist: Oral hygiene is important for a patient undergoing heart surgery. Dental issues like abscesses and infected teeth can trigger endocarditis, which is an infection of the heart’s lining, in patients undergoing surgery. You may be advised to get a descaling or full mouth cleaning done, along with treatment for any issues.
- Diet and exercise: A healthy and nutritious diet will ensure that your recuperation after surgery is quick and smooth. Regular exercise is known to boost immunity which again helps in quick recuperation.
- If you smoke regularly, avoid doing so in the month before the surgery. Smoking is a risk factor for the formation of blood clots which can interfere with the surgery and recuperation.
- Take all the prescribed medicines meticulously and keep your blood sugars and blood pressure under good control.
Preparing for a heart surgery: Don’ts
- If you consume alcoholic drinks or recreational drugs, you will be asked not to do so the previous day as they can interfere with the anaesthesia.
- Do not smoke or use tobacco in any form the previous day of the surgery to minimize the risk of blood clots.
- You will be instructed to not eat or drink anything after midnight on the previous night before surgery. This includes water, beverages, chewing gum or mints. If you are not able to follow this, the doctor may have to reschedule your surgery.
- You may be instructed not to take any blood-thinners like aspirin or coumarin, anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen, naproxyn or celebrex, or Vitamin supplements.
- Cosmetics: You will be instructed not to use makeup, perfume, deodorant, hairspray or any other cosmetics the previous day of surgery. This includes nail polish, nail tips, wraps, gels, etc. All such nail adornments should be removed before you head to surgery. This is because one or more of your fingers will be used to accurately monitor your oxygen levels during the procedure.