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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hello Louis I am sorry to hear the bad news about your father you and your family will be in my prayers. My mother had this surgery when i was 14 years old it saved her life, thank God! Now my dad who is 70 has to have this done, i am so afraid all i can do is cry, pray and trust in God to work his miracles, please keep me in your prayers because the closer the date comes the worse i become anxious, sad, angry, just a complete mess. Although my dad is a very strong person i just cant imagine life without him for he is the only person who loves me unconditionally 🙁

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I relate to you so much, 2 weeks ago we took my mom to the emergency because she had chest pain, the doctors told us her main artery was clogged about 80% if it reached 100% she was going to die they said they would try to put a stint too… but when they did the test through her vein they found out that was not going to work she needed an OPEN HEART SURGERY!!!! I almost passed out my mom is my life so 2 days ago they proceeded with the surgery and she did great … be strong and have faith… yes its hard but your family needs you and these doctors will take care of your dad…. and just know I know exactly what your feeling prayers your way ……….

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What is the best way to find a cardiologist who performs bypass surgery? What do you look for?

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@wisconsin2267 Ask you PcP he can recommend a Cardiologist

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Thank you lioness. I hope I don’t need bypass surgery but if I do, just wondered if I should have it done locally or go to a big place like Mayo?

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@wisconsin2267 I do think you need to go to a big hospital When I had my by pass it was in West Penn hospital in Pittsburgh If your close to Mayo then yes but if not a bigger hospital is fine

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I worried about the same issue in 2015 when I needed bypass surgery. I live in Tucson. First of all, when I was given a name of a cardiac surgeon, I checked with my PCP and any online info I could find, asking about and looking for specifics about the surgeon. He was highly rated here. I debated going to Stanford, Cleveland, or Mayo, and if the info here had not been favorable, I would have considered one of those, but that would have meant another round (several rounds) of research. Not living in those areas made that a little more difficult because I could only count on the reputation of those facilities, which is very good of course. We (my wife and I) scheduled an interview with the surgeon himself to ask him very pointed questions (e.g., his experience, how many surgeries, failure rate, exactly what he planned to do, etc). We felt, with all the good comments about him and the interview itself that it was an acceptable risk to stay here in Tucson, which does have a number of excellent hospitals. I also worried about possible post-operative complications, which would mean having to travel back to another facility rather than going to a local doctor or surgeon. And as a matter of fact, I did have post-surgery complications and had to reenter the hospital two separate times–nothing life threatening but scary given what I had just been thru. It's a tough decision, but I certainly recommend using every resource to narrow it down, after considering what's important to you (besides success of course), like easy follow-up care, doctor continuity for any/all follow up, etc.

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Thank you for your insight.

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@jackj

I worried about the same issue in 2015 when I needed bypass surgery. I live in Tucson. First of all, when I was given a name of a cardiac surgeon, I checked with my PCP and any online info I could find, asking about and looking for specifics about the surgeon. He was highly rated here. I debated going to Stanford, Cleveland, or Mayo, and if the info here had not been favorable, I would have considered one of those, but that would have meant another round (several rounds) of research. Not living in those areas made that a little more difficult because I could only count on the reputation of those facilities, which is very good of course. We (my wife and I) scheduled an interview with the surgeon himself to ask him very pointed questions (e.g., his experience, how many surgeries, failure rate, exactly what he planned to do, etc). We felt, with all the good comments about him and the interview itself that it was an acceptable risk to stay here in Tucson, which does have a number of excellent hospitals. I also worried about possible post-operative complications, which would mean having to travel back to another facility rather than going to a local doctor or surgeon. And as a matter of fact, I did have post-surgery complications and had to reenter the hospital two separate times–nothing life threatening but scary given what I had just been thru. It's a tough decision, but I certainly recommend using every resource to narrow it down, after considering what's important to you (besides success of course), like easy follow-up care, doctor continuity for any/all follow up, etc.

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I did end up at Mayo for my Transplant but the other concern is insurance. My insurance covered the transplant and 1 year of follow up but after a year Mayo became out of network so i do think Mayo is an excellent Hospital and would use them for routine stuff but it would be more exspesive out of pocket. Plus i live in Florence az and Mayo is 75 miles away so not exactly convenient.

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@danab

I did end up at Mayo for my Transplant but the other concern is insurance. My insurance covered the transplant and 1 year of follow up but after a year Mayo became out of network so i do think Mayo is an excellent Hospital and would use them for routine stuff but it would be more exspesive out of pocket. Plus i live in Florence az and Mayo is 75 miles away so not exactly convenient.

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@danab What kind of transplant did you have? There's a group on here about transplants that people talk about

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@wisconsin2267

What is the best way to find a cardiologist who performs bypass surgery? What do you look for?

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Hello @wisconsin2267,

You’ve asked a very pertinent question – open heart surgery is a major operation, and the most common type of open heart surgery is a coronary artery bypass graft or CABG. Your cardiologist would be a good resource to start with, as he/she can help you earn as much as you can about your condition and its severity.

When looking for a cardiovascular surgeon, some important factors to keep in mind are:
– Surgeon is board certified in thoracic, cardiothoracic, or cardiovascular surgery and performs heart bypass on a regular basis.
– Has experience treating patients with your specific condition. The more experience a surgeon has, the better prepared he/she is to anticipate and prevent complications.
– Practices at a hospital known to have high-quality outcomes in heart bypass surgery or cardiac surgery – heart surgeons require a team of very highly skilled and experienced healthcare professionals.
– You are comfortable talking with and who fully answers your questions. Does he/she respect your opinions and answer your questions in a way you understand?

For instance, Mayo Clinic cardiovascular and cardiothoracic surgeons perform more than 4,500 cardiac surgeries each year. They treat many conditions and perform many complex procedures. The surgeons are on the leading edge of treating cardiovascular and cardiothoracic conditions, including those that are rare and complex. They use the latest innovations in heart surgery, such as minimally invasive heart surgery with robot-assisted techniques.
Here’s some more information: https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/coronary-bypass-surgery/care-at-mayo-clinic/pcc-20384591

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