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Re: atrial septal defect

Re: atrial septal defect

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Posted by Janet on November 01, 2000 at 23:42:00:

In Reply to: atrial septal defect posted by Tricia on August 29, 2000 at 15:18:05:

: I am 28. I was diagnosed with an atrial septal defect earlier this year. I was told by a reliable cardiologist that the hole is too big to close by catheter, so i am planning open heart surgery. I plan to have it done sometime this year. I am anxious to hear from anyone else who's had this done or from anyone who's had open heart surgery in general. I would like to know what to expect after i wake up from this surgery and the possible recovery time from this. I am wondering if anyone has had any side effects after having this done, or even if there is anyone out there who feels much better after the surgery. Thanks for any responses. Not looking forward to this at all...Tricia

Hi Tricia...I was actually looking for some info on ASDs as my roommate was just diagnosed with an atrioseptal aneurism. I'm not sure what her treatment will be, but I'm thinking probably same as yours. I am, however an open-heart surgery nurse and would be glad to answer some of your questions. When you wake up from surgery, you will initially have a breathing tube in your throat until you are fully awake. You will be have wrist restraints on so you wont be tempted in a groggy state of mind to pull out your breathing tube. A nurse will be right at your bedside to encourage and give you pain medication if you need, although most people don't have a lot of pain (that i've seen) immediately after surgery. The breathing tube will be taken out as soon as you are fully awake and breathing on your own. Sometimes this is the scariest time, because it will make you feel like you have to cough. But the nurse will take it out as soon as it is safe. In the meantime, it is important to remain calm and relax your throat as much as possible. Try not to swallow, as this often triggers coughing on the tube. You will also have other lines and tubes...a big IV in your neck, a line in your wrist to monitor your blood pressure and a couple of tubes coming from your chest to drain surgical drainage. All these lines and tubes (as well as your bladder and stomach tube) will come out the morning after surgery and you should be assisted up to a chair very soon after this. Ask the nurse when you need pain meds, as these will enable you to cough and deep breathe, which will keep you from getting pneumonia. That is what to expect initially. It is not a fun surgery, but you are young and will recovery very quickly. It will take several weeks for you to get your energy level back. But hang tough. You will most likely feel much better after all this is over and hopefully the symptoms you were suffering from before the surgery will be better. Hope all goes well for you. My prayers are with you!

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