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Louis, @loumac, I want you to relax and focus on me and what I have to say for a few minutes. You clearly are a strong young man. You reached out to us in this Connect fellowship of Mayo Clinic, and that took some strength and commitment and determination. You’re looking for some crucial information and confidence in your dad’s doctors.

I have no access to information about your dad’s medical situation, so I can’t give you any diagnosis or prediction of what medical steps will unfold in the days ahead. But I can assure you that hundreds of open-heart surgery procedures are performed every day with almost perfect record of survival. Doctors and hospitals and their surgical support teams know what they are doing. And they also know about your concerns and those of your mother and sisters for good information about what is going on with your dad’s heart. If you can, you need to talk to them on a man-to-doctor basis about what they have found and how they will deal with it.

I will make some guesses, based on what you told us in your first message to us. You mentioned that your dad was being examined for treatment by insertion of a stent, which is a way of opening up a coronary artery that has become narrowed or blocked. A stent can keep the artery open so fresh blood has ready access to a heart muscle. Sometimes, however, arteries are blocked in a place where a stent isn’t enough, for example at a junction of two or three arteries or if doctors find a second artery blocked. In such cases, the solution might be a “coronary bypass” to replace the artery complex with a short piece of an artery from elsewhere in the body. It is not unusual for open-heart surgery to be necessary for doing a coronary bypass.

You might learn more about open-heart surgery from this website: http://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/coronary-bypass-surgery/home/ovc-20166007. I selected this reference based on my guesses about your dad’s situation, so you should use this information as the basis for your questions to be answered by your dad’s doctors — not as the gospel on his situation.

Can you arrange to meet with the doctors — not by yourself, but with your mom AND, preferably, a friend or other family member — someone who can help you keep track of what the doctors say and point up other questions arising from what the doctors tell you? The information they provide will lift your spirits and give you confidence in their expertise, their commitment, and their concern for your dad and for you and your mom and your sisters.

When you have time, give us an update and feel free to ask us anything that comes to your mind. We’re here for you, because we’ve been where you are and understand. Martin

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Replies to "Louis, @loumac, I want you to relax and focus on me and what I have to..."

You hit it dead on, on what happened. I don’t get why they just send him home with no appointments or anything. Just the bad news. So today he was suppose to find out where he wants it done. I’m hoping mayo. I just want the best of the best because he deserves that. He is healthy. Never smoked dissent drink. He was a col. in the air force and maybe that was stressful on him. He just retired not even a year ago.

@loumac, I think you’re right that your dad is not in dire straits right now, so they sent him home. They would have kept him in the hospital if he were under treatment, but since that hasn’t started, making plans for the next steps are better done in a home environment. Keep an eye on him, though, and take him back to the hospital if he has any significant symptoms.

My daughter’s fiancé` had a similar experience about three months ago — stent installed, then sent home to recover. Within 36 hours he was back in the hospital for open heart surgery. His heart was repaired, and he stayed five days. Within a few weeks, he was strong enough to go back to work. We had dinner with them last month, and he was his old self, ready to zoom off to the beach on his motorcycle.

On that web page I sent you the link for is a Mayo Clinic link to getting an appointment and information on how to do it. It’s on the upper right of the first page on coronary bypass surgery. Phone numbers and all. Mayo staff who answer the phone can answer all questions about their services, your family’s needs, where to go, and what to expect. Let me know if you need help with that.

Oh, one more thing. No better place to get your dad the world’s best medical treatment and care. I grew up 60 miles from Rochester, Minnesota, and always felt I could live forever, because if I got sick, Mayo Clinic would fix me and put me back on the street.

Louis, @loumac, I entirely agree with the encouraging posts I read, in particular I was moved by the post of @predictable.
my experience is that close relatives are more scared and/or nervous than the patient themselves.
I decided to have my cardiac surgery (mitral valve repair and surgical ablation) at an early stage.I did not want to wait for a deterioration of my heart function. my husband and my relatives understood my decision. a day before the sceduled operation I was told that they needed an additional information about the right side of my heart. maybe an open heart surgery was necessary in stead of a minimal-invasive operation. I had full confidence in their skills, so I was not nervous, but my husband was..I was the only one in the ward with a minimal-invasive operation, most of the other patients had bypass surgery and needed a partial sternotomy.an operation is an operation,, for sure! the time at the intensive care is “cloudy” (in my memory), but after the transfer to the normal ward improvement goes quickly, not only for me, but also for the bypass patients. they walked around quicker than I could do. they all were relieved.
I hope my words can reassure you a bit.

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