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Sometimes heart surgery follows an ambulance trip to the emergency department for fast-tracked diagnostic testing and a quick transfer to the operating room. In these situations, the patient and their family members may have time to ask only a few critical questions before surgery.
But in other cases, the heart problem is identified over a longer period of time, through steps that likely include a routine physical and testing, such as an electrocardiogram (EKG). The problem may be less urgent, giving the patient some time to learn about their condition and treatment options.
If you’re this patient, you don’t want to be in bed the night before your procedure with questions spinning through your mind: Is this really my best treatment option? How will I feel after the operation? To help tame those butterflies, prepare your questions and discuss them with your cardiologist and heart surgeon as far in advance of your surgery as possible.
Here are sample questions to raise with your doctor that apply to just about any type of cardiac surgery, whether minimally invasive or open heart:
Questions before scheduling surgery:
After agreeing to surgery:
Learn more about cardiac services at Edward-Elmhurst Health.
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