Posted on June 18th, 2008 under Patient Stories & Updates.
I recently received a unique question from Samantha, a caregiver. She writes, “My husband recently had a cardiac catheterization and appears to be depressed. Is it common for patients to become depressed following a catheter procedure?”
This is a phenomenal question. Unfortunately, I do not have a phenomenal answer.
However, I can share with you that your husband may be feeling common emotions of patients newly diagnosed with heart valve disease. Specifically, the biggest emotional challenges patients experience leading up to surgery, in my opinion, is fear, confusion, doubt and, most of all, loneliness.
Those emotions may or may not trigger your thoughts about a “depression” related to cardiac catheterization. It could be isolated to that one event. But, my gut tells me there is more to the story.
One thought for you… Patient cardiac depression following heart surgery can be a monster. In some studies, between 30% – 75% of patients experience some form of depression. Dr. Scott Mitchell recently stated, “I think there is a significant incidence of acute post-operative depression.” That said, if you feel your husband is having behavioral challenges pre-surgery, you may want to consider some form of counseling (therapy) for him to assist and support his recovery.
I hope that helps share a little bit about depression and cardiac catheterization / heart surgery.
Keep on tickin!