Heart failure diagnosis doesn’t mean a quick trip to the operating room. “Patients do dramatically better if you can get them out of heart failure preoperatively than if you just rush them off to the operating room,” said Lee Health cardiothoracic surgeon Dr. Paul DiGiorgi, who works closely with patients before they have heart surgery.
“We make sure they are out of heart failure. We give the body time to recover. Essentially reduce the stress on the heart so that when people do undergo surgery, it’s not an added stress on what they are already suffering,” said Dr. DiGiorgi.
Doctors also evaluate the patient’s other organs, like the kidneys and lungs, to make sure they too are healthy enough for surgery. “Whenever you do any kind of surgery it’s stress on the whole body, especially when you’re sick with heart disease it really stresses the whole body,” said Dr. DiGiorgi.
If a patient has a problem with one organ, it could be a sign of trouble for other organs. “We check your kidney function preoperatively, and if we think there’s a problem with your kidney function we will have you see a nephrologist before to make sure your kidneys are as good as they can be,” said Dr. DiGiorgi.
Monitoring devices are in the operating and post-operating rooms to make sure other organs in question are ok. “A large majority of our patients have diabetes. A mass majority have hypertension. Many patients have smoked. There are a lot of risk factors going on there,” said Dr. DiGiorgi.
Finding those risks help surgeons determine if and when surgery is appropriate. “Our ability now to take care of patients in a more detailed way postoperatively has improved their outcomes,” said Dr. DiGiorgi.
Reducing the overall risk during heart surgery can dramatically improve the patient’s recovery after surgery.
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Lee Health in Fort Myers, FL is the largest network of health care facilities in Southwest Florida and is highly respected for its expertise, innovation and quality of care. For more than 100 years, we’ve been providing our community with personalized preventative health services and primary care to highly specialized care services and robotic assisted surgeries. Lee Health - Caring People. Inspiring Care.