Heart Surgery

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Open heart surgery can be real painful on a family, just as it is to the person having it. My father had to undergo this procedure, and might have to undergo it again. This was a devasting time for my family and myself. This occurred almost two years ago.

The evening before my father’s surgery they had him take a shower or bedside bath. They told him to use a special soap on his chest and legs. This special soap kills the bacteria on your skin and helps to prevent infection after surgery. The day of his surgery, he will have his body hair removed using a special "clipper" made especially for this purpose.

After the hair is removed they told him to take another shower or bedside bath using a special soap. After he had cleaned with the special soap, the nurse then inserted an intravenous (IV), and gave him an antibiotic medication that will be given with fluid through the soft tube.

He was not able to eat or drink anything after midnight the evening before surgery. However, the doctor wanted him to take some of his medications the morning of his surgery. The doctor will tell you which medications to take with a sip of water. Since he was admitted to the hospital overnight the nurse had brought him these medications to take with a sip of water. They then asked him to go to the bathroom before you are taken to surgery

Open heart surgery is any surgery where the chest is opened and surgery is performed on the heart muscle, valves, arteries, or other heart structures (such as the aorta). The term "open" means that the chest is "cut" open.

A heart-lung machine (also called cardiopulmonary bypass) is usually used during open heart surgery. While the surgeon works on the heart, the machine helps provide oxygen-rich blood to the brain and other vital organs.

The definition of open heart surgery has become confusing with new procedures being performed on the heart through smaller incisions. There are some new surgical procedures being done with the heart...
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