“Should I Take Time Off Before Heart Valve Surgery?” Asks Taylor
Recently, I received an email from Taylor Browning. Taylor is going to be having an aortic valve replacement in March, 2007. He has selected an artificial valve and the surgery will be conducted by Dr. Craig Miller at Stanford.
Taylor’s questions was, “I’m having problems concentrating at work knowing that my surgery is in a few weeks. Should I take some time off work before the procedure?”
My opinion and response to this question is yes.
So you know, I took six days off before my Ross Procedure (aortic valve replacement).
Well, for one thing, I wanted to get mentally prepared for the operation. Specifically, I wanted to take care of any and all loose ends that existed in my life so that my recovery would not be impacted. I paid bills in advance. I purchased birthday presents in advance. And, so on…
The other reason I took time off is that I wanted to spend some extra time with my family and friends prior to the operation. As you can read in my book, I felt it was very important to connect with my support group and inform them of the upcoming surgery and the recovery. This was very critical. Going into the heart valve surgery, my family and friends were all on the same page.
While this is my opinion, I have spoke with many patients about their time prior to surgery. The majority of them — that still worked for a living — did take some time off before their surgery. And, for the few who did not take time off, in retrospect, most felt they should have.
If you have any questions, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Keep on tickin!
Adam Pick is a patient, author of The Patient's Guide To Heart Valve Surgery and the founder of HeartValveSurgery.com.