Coronary Artery Bypass Graft Surgery: How to Prepare - Topic Overview
How do I prepare for CABG surgery?
There are many things that you can and must do in the days and weeks
coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery. Your
surgeon will give you specific instructions on how to prepare for your CABG
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CABG surgery is an invasive procedure that has a fairly
long recovery time, so it is important that you prepare carefully for your
surgery as well as for the days and weeks following your surgery. Try to make
your life simpler during the recovery period by doing things such as paying
bills ahead of time and arranging for someone to assist you in the days
following your surgery. It is also important to plan for any complications that
could arise. A lot of the preparation that you do before your surgery will help
you afterward, while you are recovering.
In the 2 or 3 weeks prior to surgery, attend any
scheduled appointments with your surgeon. You will need to have several tests
done before your surgery. Most of these tests are done so that your doctors can
evaluate and compare your health before and after CABG surgery. The tests can
also help your doctors anticipate any special needs. To be ready by the day of
your surgery, the tests need to be done days or weeks before.
Tests done days or weeks before surgery
Blood count (hematocrit): This blood test can
reveal whether you are anemic (have a low red blood cell count). A very low
blood count may need to be increased before or during surgery with a blood
Prothrombin time (PT, also referred to as INR) and
thromboplastin time (PTT) values: These blood tests measure your blood's
ability to clot. Typically, you will have these tests if you have recently
stopped taking blood-thinning drugs, to make sure the drugs are no longer
affecting your blood's ability to clot.
Other blood tests: Other
tests may be done to assess your kidney and liver functions and provide
information on the health of these organs.
Chest X-ray: This test
provides a picture of the size and shape of your heart and aorta and whether
your lungs appear normal.
Cardiac catheterization: This test allows
your doctor to picture your coronary arteries and identify the location of
blockages to help plan your CABG surgery.
Medicine and CABG surgery
You may need to stop taking certain medicines a week or more before surgery, so talk to your doctor as soon as you can.
Tell your doctors all the medicines, vitamins, supplements, and herbal remedies you take. Some of these can increase the risk of bleeding or interact with anesthesia. Your doctor will tell you which medicines to take or stop before your surgery.