Coronary Artery Bypass Graft Surgery: How to Prepare - Topic Overview
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.
If you take blood thinners, such as warfarin (Coumadin), clopidogrel (Plavix), or aspirin, be sure to talk to your doctor. He or she will tell you if you should stop taking these medicines before your surgery. Make sure that you understand exactly what your doctor wants you to do.
On the day of your CABG operation, you should have only a
sip of water with any medicine so that you keep your stomach empty.
If you have diabetes, your
doctors may need to adjust your medicines to prepare for your CABG surgery.
Since CABG surgery requires you to stop eating several hours before your
procedure, your blood glucose level may drop so low that your regular
medicines (which lower your glucose level) may not be needed. Talk to your
doctors about the type and severity of your diabetes, as well as which
medicines you are taking.
- Arrange for transportation the day of your
surgery, for someone to help you at home during your first week out of the
hospital, and for someone to help with chores and errands for 1 to 2 months
after your surgery. You may be too physically tired and sore after your surgery
to do many things for yourself.
- Prepay any bills that will be due
soon after your surgery. You will probably want to concentrate on recovering,
not on everyday affairs.
- Arrange your personal matters, including a
will, living will, and nursing preferences. In rare cases, serious complications of
CABG surgery (including death) can happen. So you should plan for this
possibility and make sure that you have made your end-of-life wishes
should discuss complications of CABG surgery a few weeks beforehand with both
your surgeon and your family. In particular, you may wish to clarify your
desires about matters such as life support (such as a breathing tube or
medicines to keep you alive) and resuscitation measures (such as chest
compressions and electric shock) in case of an emergency.
Also, you may want to consider becoming an organ and tissue donor. If you
are an organ and tissue donor, your liver, lungs, kidneys, and other organs can
be donated to another person who needs them in case you die during your
surgery. Although only a very small percentage of all CABG surgeries done
result in death, it is important to prepare in case this happens.