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Finding out you need to have open heart surgery for a heart valve repair or replacement can feel overwhelming. Rely on your family and friends for support and care, especially as you look ahead to your surgical procedure, hospital stay and ongoing recovery at home.
For Your Doctor Visit with a Treatment Conversation Checklist
Believe it or not, your family members and friends may be more anxious and concerned about your heart valve procedure than you are. At times, they may even become overprotective. Be clear about the type of help you need and how and when you need it.
As your caregivers, your family members may want to attend your doctor appointments with you; keep all of the informational materials you receive from your cardiologist or surgeon; handle appointment scheduling; provide transportation to the clinic and hospital; and make arrangements for your recovery at home. They can also help you by watching for signs of complications and helping to keep your spirits up.
Last Reviewed: January 19, 2010 2506