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What Every Patient Should Expect Having Open Heart Surgery

Updated on April 19, 2013

Role of Cardiac Surgeon in Quintuple Bypass Surgery

We all know that cardiac surgeons do a lot of operations involving our heart; they have studied this and have done a lot of practice before they perform any heart surgery. Surgeons make it sure that they are well-trained in doing heart surgeries such as quintuple bypass surgery because we are talking of our heart here. And we all know how delicate and vital our heart is, and we can’t afford any mistake to happen in the entire quintuple bypass surgery. Doing quintuple bypass surgery doesn’t use knowledge alone but skills as well.

Surgeons will invest about ten years of their life in education and training. They will undergo intensive training that will assist them in becoming better surgeons. They are in this field to save lives and they take knowledge and advancements in this field very seriously as they want to be the best cardiac surgeons they can be.

Before going through quintuple bypass surgery or Artery Bypass, the surgeon will have to diagnose his patient first. And diagnosing involves assessments and tests that will confirm the condition of the patient. There will be series of tests and some of the tests may be a little complicated. The testing part is very important and there is no room for mistake here because you just can’t give wrong diagnosis. Your test results have to be exact or accurate.

After diagnosing the patient, the surgeon must identify the best method of treatment. Now that the surgeon knows what the real problem is, he will now have an idea on what kind of treatment is needed and what type of treatment will cure the patient. This is where the surgeon decides to perform quintuple bypass surgery.

There are actually different types of heart surgery. There are less invasive surgeries and there are major surgeries as well. The surgeries can range from pacemakers to a heart transplant as the advances in heart surgeries continues even bypass surgery will become a less invasive surgery. The final decision for which type of treatment will not only be based on the surgeon’s choice but it will have to go through a lot of qualifying criteria. The surgeon considers a lot of things such as what treatment would be the best, what treatment will the patient be able to handle and which treatment will be favourable not only for the surgeon but for the patient as well.

You have to remember that quintuple bypass surgery is not an easy task for the surgeon. They too face a lot of pressure because their task is not only to perform quintuple bypass surgery but more importantly, it is done to save the life of the patient. This will be a very long surgery and the role of all those assisting the surgeon will be critical as well because the longer the surgery the more difficult it is on the patient. After the quintuple bypass, recovery will seem very difficult but remember you are not alone, others have also gone through this surgery and survived. You will need to follow the doctor’s orders and take the best care of yourself you can. You have been given a second chance at life, so make the most of it.

Having open heart surgery can be scary and frightening at times, yet in some cases there isn’t any other option. Heart surgery is one of the options that you can choose which can resolve numerous heart diseases that might be fatal. There are many ways to correct defective heart valves, unclog or bypass arteries, repair aneurysms, implant stents, and in some cases replace an entire heart. A lot of people have different views and opinions on which situations are worse psychologically; to have knowledge of the surgery beforehand or to be pushed into the situation without any chance to think it over.

Most heart patients encounter a time of deep introspection in the days prior to open heart surgery. Some may question the meaning of life, why all this happened to you, and no doubt, you would want to spend quality time with your loved ones. The evening prior to your surgery is the perfect time to be spent quietly and intimately with your family.

Before the Surgery

You will skip breakfast on the morning of your open heart surgery and will not eat anything. You will also shower using a special sanitizing soap given by your surgeon. The instant you arrive at the hospital, you will report to an administrative check-in for which you will be instructed to fill-out some documents. After that, your vitals will be taken, and you will be sent to the cardio-thoracic surgery unit. When your surgeon arrives, they will then brief your family on the details of the actual heart surgery.

The anesthesiologist will explain to you how things will go with putting you to sleep, and what to expect when you wake up after. Your surgeon, on the other hand, will give you the details of the surgery and give you time to ask any questions you might have. When they are done talking to you and your family, the anesthesiologist will put an IV in each arm while you are still awake. These are used to administer anesthesia along with other medicine once you’re on the operating table.

At the Operating Room

The nurse will then lead you to the operating room. It will be brilliantly lit, and the operating table is usually a slightly padded table on a pedestal that looks just the appropriate size to accommodate your whole body and nothing more. It has no railings, obstructions, or legs on the corners of the operating table. Beside it are the surgical tools laid out on an obsessively organized manner. At that moment, there are few doctors and nurses in the room that will have different responsibilities during the surgery. As you lay on the operating table, nurses will start connecting you with several wires, and you will be asked to sign a waiver so that a representative from a medical equipment company can observe the surgery. After the anesthesiologist administer your initial anesthesia, your surgeon, on the other hand, will give you a final acknowledgement as you start to feel drowsy and you will then be in deep sleep.

At that moment, the team will continue connecting wires, inserting tubes like your catheter, swans catheter and after your breathing tube and a lot more. You are going to be unconscious throughout the surgery and your family will be updated regarding how everything’s going. Once the surgery is finished, your surgeon will then brief your family, and shortly after, they will be permitted to see you in the recovery room.

After the Surgery (At the Recovery Room)

At the recovery room, you will most likely still be unconscious when your family sees you. You will still have your breathing tube, and it may be a little scary for them to see you this way. You will be heavily sedated, and the nurse will inform you that they are going pull out your breathing tube. As they will pull it out, you will cough for a few instances, and also your mouth will feel dry and hot. The nurse is onlyable to provide you a wet swab on your lips and tongue unless you are a bit more alert of which they may offer you ice chips. The level of pain differs from patient to patient, but usually a lot of heart surgery patients do not feel much pain because of the amount of drugs they take.

During the first days in your recovery, you will be on a lot of pain drugs. Hospital stays differ greatly after open heart surgery depending on what procedure you have. You will sleep quite a bit and be loopy for the next few days. At this time, you will probably notice your incision and some bumps underneath it. A lot of heart scars fade away faster than expected.

After a few days, you will be forced to get out of bed and start walking. You will be assisted by your physical therapist when you start to walk the halls of the unit. The fear of coughing, sneezing or even laughing, is normal, and you will likely be given a thing to hold towards your chest when you do like a stuffed animal. This will counteract the pressure caused and make it more comfortable. One more thing that you will fear is having your first bowel movement, yet they won’t allow you to go home until you do. Once you have done that, you will be quite close to going home if everything else is up to par.


Though the last thing on your mind is to go home and lay on the sofa every day, care must be taken to follow your transition plan and stay in a positive state of mind. There are a lot of things that could happen after heart surgery such as arrhythmias, low hemoglobin levels or blood issues, atrial flutter and many more that could warrant a return to the hospital. Having a positive attitude during any obstacles is the single most effective thing you can do to keep things moving along. Stay positive because as soon as you get home, your actual recovery work begins.

Share in Debbie Golightly’s journey as an open heart surgery survivor and follow her as she transforms unexpected challenges into triumphs. Allow her to walk with you as your advocate, encourager and friend. Visit and become brave enough to embrace this gift of life.


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      4 years ago

      In the operating room portion and the reflection portion, you use the word LAY. It is incorrect. It should be LIE.

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      4 years ago

      I went over this site and I conceive you have a lot of wonderful information, bookmarked . eadkbkgfecak


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