Senior Parent Hospitalization, Report #6: Learning About Cardiac Procedures and Surgeries

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My dad’s recent heart attack turned out to be treatable — still serious, but not as much as first surmised. In the process of various diagnostic physician visits, he (and we) discussed a number of procedures with his doctors including a possible cardiac catheterization. We watched  this slide show, A Visual Guide to Heart Disease, at WebMD, to learn more about the heart.

This was not the first time we needed a lot of information.  Two years ago, my father’s internist referred him to a cardiologist who diagnosed  an abdominal aneurysmDad underwent several cardiac procedures. Understanding an enormous amount of information about cardiovascular disease in a short time was difficult for everyone in our family, and especially for my parents. While the physicians’ explanations were clear and helpful, many questions arose after the office visit, and these were often answered by office staff whose responses often felt pre-packaged and rushed. We needed more information.

Below I’ve linked to medical information at several well-known research centers, but almost every hospital posts comprehensive medical information on its website. Rockingham Memorial Hospital (RMH), where my father was a patient, features heart disease and medical information (and much more) on its site (heart attack heart failure,  cardiac catheterization animation, health library main link), its references powered by Krames Staywell, a medical information company. Virginia Hospital Center (VHC), the community hospital near my home, posts a broad range medical reference materials to educate and support patients and their families. It’s easiest to check a hospital’s website to get started locating information and then continue searching from there.

You may also want to visit the American Heart Association where cardiac heart procedures and surgeries are clearly described and explained. Another link at the site leads to a page that describes diagnostic tests and procedures.

Other Sites Where an Adult Child can Learn More About Heart Procedures

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