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Anxiety after open heart surgery

  • 1.  Anxiety after open heart surgery

    Posted 03-16-2020 11:17
    Has anyone else noticed increased anxiety after open heart surgery? Here's the reason for my question: I went for an MRI on Saturday for a non-heart related issue. I've had several MRIs in the past and have never had an issue with claustrophobia. However, this weekend I had to have them take me out of the machine 5 minutes after they got started. When I got in the machine I suddenly started having a panic attack, which I've never had before, and couldn't finish the test. Now I'll have to reschedule the MRI after I've spoken to my doctor and gotten him to write a script for some Valium or Xanax that I can use to help me relax before I go back in the machine again.

    It occurred to me afterwards that since my open heart surgery last year I've been dealing with a lot more anxiety in general. I've always been a very upbeat and positive person and most things don't worry me too much but since the surgery I worry a lot more than I used to. Is it just me or have others noticed this after their surgery? Any suggestions on how to deal with this? Any input would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks, everyone!

    Brett in Sarasota, FL

    Brett Temple
    Project Manager
    Sarasota FL

  • 2.  RE: Anxiety after open heart surgery

    Posted 03-17-2020 13:13
    Hi Brett, 

    My anxiety came out of no where after my OHS.  I freaked out about so many things, I felt like a small child most times of the day or night.  

    Once I found this Mended Heart Forum, I found that the OHS had a lot to do with post surgical anxiety and every day it now gets better with continued posting and reading posts here at the Forum.  

    Some of us even consider that the OHS may have caused a PTSD type of anxiety that was not present before the surgery.  I am sure that other members will have info for you and will post soon

    Mary H

  • 3.  RE: Anxiety after open heart surgery

    Posted 03-17-2020 20:15
    Hi Brett,
    I wanted to let you know you're not alone. I too developed  anxieties, fears and mild depression after my surgery (I'm ten months out now). I've always been a pretty laid back, happy person so I couldn't really understand why I was feeling this way. I didn't want to talk with family or friends about how I was feeling. One of the nurses at rehab suggested I see a Cognitive Behavioral Therapist. I've already had about ten sessions with her and I can tell you it has helped me a lot!!! I hope this helps you.
    Best of luck to you on your continued recover, especially with this virus going around. (It has given me a whole new anxiety LOL!)
    Stay safe and healthy!

    michelle leverett
    Ridgecrest CA

  • 4.  RE: Anxiety after open heart surgery

    Posted 03-18-2020 00:46
    Wash your hands and face.

  • 5.  RE: Anxiety after open heart surgery

    Posted 03-18-2020 10:34
    PTSD and heart issues,

    There are 1.4 million patients discharged every year from hospitals after a heart attack or coronary event, the equivalent of every person in our fifth largest city Philadelphia. Of the 1.4 million, 168,000 will develop "clinically significant" symptoms of PTSD, or the equivalent of every person in Chattanooga, TN, or Sydney, Australia. This is 12%, or one in every 8 heart patients, which is 900% higher than the estimated 1.3% in the general population (Columbia University study).

    "Clinically significant" PTSD has been defined as "significant distress or impairment in social, occupational or other areas of functioning." In most cases the PTSD will last one to six months. In some cases professional assistance is required. I discuss specifics in my book "One Heart-Two Lives: Managing Your Rehabilitation Program WELL."

    Brent Zepke

  • 6.  RE: Anxiety after open heart surgery

    Posted 03-18-2020 11:11
    Wonderful into Brent...
     I had no idea the range was that
    high for symptoms of PTSD

    At 7 months post op I would have to say that my emotional
    life and health continues to improve everyday.

    I will look up your book.
    "One Heart-Two Lives: Managing Your Rehabilitation Program WELL."

    Thank you so much.  

    Mary H

  • 7.  RE: Anxiety after open heart surgery

    Posted 03-21-2020 17:48

    7 years ago i gad open heart surgery with complications  that hD ne in a coma for 10 days .  If anyone should have PTSD, it should br me. Fortunately the doctor had me on anti depressants and anti anxiety medicines for severL months afterwards. It doesnt help that the medical staff asks you "do you gave anxiety? Fo you want to hurt yourself? Etc"
    My husband suffered more than me as he  feared for my life,   MendedHearts  hearts meetings and friendships have been helpful to him especially even now years later.  

    If you are having issues, tell your doctors honestly. They will prescribe help for you 

    Marilyn Rosenhouse
    Dallas TX
    (214) 850-0219