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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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Depression after open heart surgery

How common is depression after open heart surgery. I had OHS Jan. 3rd I m only 39 years old and had to go with the tissue valve instead of mechanical, due to other health issues. This means I will have to face another OHS in approx. 10 years, but to be honest I just can t see myself doing this again. I feel guilty for feeling this way, but this surgery was HARD, VERY HARD. I m wondering if this depression is from the surgery or from knowing that I will need to do it again, per my surgeon. What causes the depression anyway? Thanks for any comments, suggestions. Thanks to all of you. I guess I thought I was going to handle it better than I have. I do feel guilty, because I have a 20 year old son whom I love dearly. He says I will do it again if he has to drag me in by the hair of my head kicking and screaming the whole way. That s why I feel guilty about the way I am feeling. I do appreciate the comments I have a follow up appt. with my surgeon on Wed. I will bring up this issue with him. I am also hoping 10 years down the road it will be much less invasive. I had my aortic valve replaced. Thanks again. To Mike P: I found it interesting what you said about getting rid of friends. I actually called someone who I called my best friend for many years, and she was, but she let me down big time. Didn t show up at the hospital or call until my 4th day in CICU. I asked her where she had been, but got no answer. She is in an abusive relationship and has been for many years. She has had many chances to get out of this relationship, so when I called her up of course she blamed her husband for not being there for me, but at this point I told her it is her fault for what she is living through. I would have been there for her and she knew it, so I told her to just stay in her little world until he kills her and I ll fight to live in mine. We haven t spoken since, she never even attempted to call me back. I agree it was time to let her go; you just can t help someone who refuses to help themselves. Sorry for the rant; it just hit a spot with me.
Thu, 17 Dec 2009
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It is quite common to have such depression after major surgeries. In fact I passed through that stage twice. One at 47 years old in 1990 and again at 58 in 2002, when I have CABG heart surgeries twice. It used to be very horrible and I used to get agitated due to healing of micro fractures occurred when opening the chest and palpitation normalization after surgery. But all should subside in 4 to 6 weeks time and you should be able to resume your normal duty with prescribed medication, etc. Patients who are depressed one month after undergoing bypass surgery are more likely to have chest pain and other cardiac problems five years after the surgery. So it is very essential you should try to get to relaxation technics and be active and cheerful. Your doctor and the hospital could have advised you in this regards. Just do not brood over the happening or the expenses etc. and spend time in the manner you like and you will be alright very soon. Best of luck.
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