Question: What kinds of things can be done to make the experience of a bypass surgery better for patients?
Answer: Well, one of the things that we're looking at overall is the entire patient experience when you go through heart surgery. People are always nervous about this. It's scary, in a sense. And so one of the things we want to do is to alleviate that anxiety, so there's a variety of programs available; talk to your surgeon about what they have available at that institution.
It might be a clinical psychologist that may have relaxation techniques. Some places employ tapes that you listen to on a DVD player and iPod to help relax you before surgery. Some places will have people that will help guide you through the process and give you relaxation techniques to employ once you've met them and scheduled the surgery, and you start working on them before the operation. So a lot of different centers now will have those type programs available.