How should I prepare for my heart valve surgery consultation?
What should I not eat? How much time will I need to take off?
There are two different things that we are talking about here, with the first being the consultation and the second being the surgery itself. Before you go to the initial consultation (that is, the first time that you meet your cardiologist or cardiothoracic surgeon), there is not much special preparation that needs to be made. If your appointment is made in the morning, there is a chance that your doctor will want to draw some lab work at that time, and it is often necessary for you to be fasting. You can check with your doctor's office before you go to see if that will be necessary. Otherwise, bring your records that you have, any imaging or the results of any medical tests, and your questions that you might have. Your surgeon will be able to cover the rest. He or she will then answer your other questions about recovery and what not to eat immediately before the surgery. Generally, there will be specific recommendations about which medications to discontinue prior to surgery, and there is often other testing that is needed before the day of the surgery as well. He or she will go over all of this at that time, and please ask other questions as needed.