Having open heart surgery can be frightening, but sometimes there is no other choice. Heart surgery can resolve various heart conditions that would otherwise be fatal. There are various solutions to correct defective heart valves, repair aneurysms, unclog or bypass arteries, implant stents, and in the most critical cases replace an entire heart. Some people are diagnosed with a heart condition and plan their open heart surgery on their terms while others are subjected to emergency surgery to save their lives. People have different opinions on which circumstances are worse psychologically; to have the foresight of surgery in advance or to be thrust into the situation with no time to contemplate it. Sometimes the patients who know about the surgery ahead of time can feel scared, restless, angry, or depressed in the days leading up to the surgery. These healthy individuals who are diagnosed by surprise with a heart ailment seem to have the hardest time coming to terms with eminent open heart surgery. It's harder for them to wrap their head around then for example a smoker who has not taken care of themselves. Age can also influence how a patient deals with a diagnosis. Young adults seem to have a harder time coping with it psychologically than elders. Also notable is that survivors of emergency open heart surgery can often have a harder time psychologically in recovery than those who had a planned operation.
Everyone is different, but below is generally what you can expect with open heart surgery. You'll want to get your affairs in order ahead of time and plan in advance to have a stress free recovery. Many heart patients experience a period of deep introspection in the days before open heart surgery. You may question the meaning of life, why this happened to you, and you will undoubtedly want to spend quality time with your family. The evening before your open heart surgery is an important time to be spent quietly and intimately with your family.