My dad has to have open heart surgery. I'm so scared!

Posted by Loumac @loumac, Aug 25, 2017

Hi my name is Louis and I never thought that I would be on a site like this or even sharing my feelings. But many so scared and nervous and I have to be strong for my sisters and mom but don’t know how to be. Is my dad going to make it? One day he’s good and the next he has to have open heart. Just last night he was suppose to get a stint put on but after 8 hours they came to a conclusion that it won’t fix the problem. I never knew there was a problem a week ago. I don’t know how to think or what to do? Any advice and encouragement would be appreciated.

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@kanaazpereira

Hello @loumac,

I’d also like to extend a warm welcome; we’re so glad you’ve joined us. And even more so, as you’ve already connected with @downhillbob and @predictable who speak from experience.

There are quite a number of Connect members who can share their experiences with heart surgery and recovery. I’m tagging @jackj @uncbball @contender1 @jc2buds @callalily74 @yarrum @michael123 @callalily74 @broncomom @ronbee @thankful @cynaburst @lyndamm to please join this conversation.

@loumac, we sincerely appreciate that you’ve turned to the Connect community for support; asking for help doesn’t make you less strong! Instead, I believe it shows you care, and want to learn as much as you can to help your dad.
We look forward to getting to know you. When is he scheduled to have the surgery?

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Hi Louis, @loumac,

If you would like to make an appointment for him at Mayo Clinic, please call one of our appointment offices. You can also request an appointment online.
The contact information for Minnesota, Arizona and Florida can be found here: http://www.mayoclinic.org/appointments

How is your dad?

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My mother had two bypass surgeries. The first one was a quad, the second a quid,(one of the first arteries had to be repaired again). She had two angioplasties as well. She did fine on both. The last one was 20 yrs. ago. Im sure this surgery has been perfected so much by now. Recovery is long, but they have them sitting up the next day. No more laying around.
Its good to be scared, that shows your great concern for your dad. Im thinking he will be alright. Blessings.

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Well, my friend, you are in good company. I, also have had two CABGs. First, at age 49, three arteries. Second, at 61, five. Will your father be all right? probably. If not, do you love him? Have you told him so? If you have not, tell him now. If have had a passel of heart stuff, including 30 catheterizations. At one time I had 24 stents in my heart. A good young lady cardio in Las Vegas put in 17 one time. It saved my life. After a few years the surgeon took out several of them. Said they had done their job well.

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@predictable

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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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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I just had to add my best wishes to to you, your dad and your family. I’m 63 and I’ve had many friends and family members over the years who have had this surgery. It’s amazing how much more routine it has become since those early years and the doctors and their teams have become better and better at it. Your dad will undergo some rehab and you can be there to help and encourage him. You say this came from out of nowhere but I’ll bet once he’s recovered from surgery he’ll notice how much better, less tired less winded than he used to be.

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Louis, two years ago I was just fine according to my heart doctor, then six months later I was told I need a aortic valve replacement and maybe a bypass from BSA Amarillo. I went to KC, MO./ St. Lukes and got a second opinion. It came back the same conclusion. Was I worried you bet, to ease the worry I simply laid the problem in my Lords hands, ask him to help and heal me. I then laid my worries aside, really for got about the upcoming operation. I did make plans for my wife and family if I was to be called home. Those next few weeks I just moved on with my life. The day I went in January 20th my wife, and friends were there with her. Our Pastor came by and sit a bit with her. I was out of the operation in six hours with a new aortic PIG valve and a double bypass. Out of Heart ICU the next day, I was back to work on the ranch by March and been working full time + ever since. By the way I am headed for my 72nd birthday. If you are a Christian lay it at the Lords hands. You will find a calmness in the mind and soul, if not talk to a pastor of a King James 1611 Bible teaching church. Also that same month or landscaper at the ranch, and a brother in our church all had the same operation by the same doctor at BSA. We are all doing well.

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@raymiller

Louis, two years ago I was just fine according to my heart doctor, then six months later I was told I need a aortic valve replacement and maybe a bypass from BSA Amarillo. I went to KC, MO./ St. Lukes and got a second opinion. It came back the same conclusion. Was I worried you bet, to ease the worry I simply laid the problem in my Lords hands, ask him to help and heal me. I then laid my worries aside, really for got about the upcoming operation. I did make plans for my wife and family if I was to be called home. Those next few weeks I just moved on with my life. The day I went in January 20th my wife, and friends were there with her. Our Pastor came by and sit a bit with her. I was out of the operation in six hours with a new aortic PIG valve and a double bypass. Out of Heart ICU the next day, I was back to work on the ranch by March and been working full time + ever since. By the way I am headed for my 72nd birthday. If you are a Christian lay it at the Lords hands. You will find a calmness in the mind and soul, if not talk to a pastor of a King James 1611 Bible teaching church. Also that same month or landscaper at the ranch, and a brother in our church all had the same operation by the same doctor at BSA. We are all doing well.

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Hello and Welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect, @raymiller.

Thank you for sharing your kind words with @loumac. There is nothing more comforting that talking with someone who has “been there”.
Can you share with @loumac– what was the most helpful thing that someone did for you during your recovery? Maybe this will help @loumac with some ideas of what he can do for his Dad.

I hope you have a lovely 72nd birthday!

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After 7 bypasses in April ’14 I got back on the bike with friends and worked up to 81 miles by August 6. Nothing like friends and exercise.

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@downhillbob

After 7 bypasses in April ’14 I got back on the bike with friends and worked up to 81 miles by August 6. Nothing like friends and exercise.

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Good Lord you are an inspiration.

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Thanks for all you kind words. My dad had his surgery which was only a double by pass and he came out of it like a champ. It was diffenitly the hardest day and the happiest day of my life. Happy that he got through it that is. He was only in ICU for one day and had to stay at the hospital for a few days and just got home today. He is tough. Walked right out of the hospital. Lot of recovery yet but all you guys really help me get through this. It was a tough thing for me not knowing if I would see my dad again. Thank all of you and God bless!

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@loumac

Thanks for all you kind words. My dad had his surgery which was only a double by pass and he came out of it like a champ. It was diffenitly the hardest day and the happiest day of my life. Happy that he got through it that is. He was only in ICU for one day and had to stay at the hospital for a few days and just got home today. He is tough. Walked right out of the hospital. Lot of recovery yet but all you guys really help me get through this. It was a tough thing for me not knowing if I would see my dad again. Thank all of you and God bless!

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Great

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@raymiller

Louis, two years ago I was just fine according to my heart doctor, then six months later I was told I need a aortic valve replacement and maybe a bypass from BSA Amarillo. I went to KC, MO./ St. Lukes and got a second opinion. It came back the same conclusion. Was I worried you bet, to ease the worry I simply laid the problem in my Lords hands, ask him to help and heal me. I then laid my worries aside, really for got about the upcoming operation. I did make plans for my wife and family if I was to be called home. Those next few weeks I just moved on with my life. The day I went in January 20th my wife, and friends were there with her. Our Pastor came by and sit a bit with her. I was out of the operation in six hours with a new aortic PIG valve and a double bypass. Out of Heart ICU the next day, I was back to work on the ranch by March and been working full time + ever since. By the way I am headed for my 72nd birthday. If you are a Christian lay it at the Lords hands. You will find a calmness in the mind and soul, if not talk to a pastor of a King James 1611 Bible teaching church. Also that same month or landscaper at the ranch, and a brother in our church all had the same operation by the same doctor at BSA. We are all doing well.

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Every one checking on me and offering all kinds of help and kept an eye on me from trying to do to much. I guess what impressed me the most was the ranch owners with whom I work for even came to the hospital for visits. These are people who are very busy in their personal as well as business lives. They were also their to walk me out of the hospital the day I checked out. Not discounting all the other visitors who drove from as far away as 600 miles who are friends after the operation.. Just be their for his dad every day in the follow up and recovery. That means a lot.

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