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A 34-year-old member asked:

What is open heart surgery like for an infant or a toddler?

3 doctor answers8 doctors weighed in
Dr. Louis Grenzer
Cardiology 57 years experience
Rough: Well surgery on a small child is technically challenging to the surgeon. It would ordinarily take several hours and the recovery several weeks or even months. That said, children and infants have a great ability to recuperate even from major surgery.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Dr. Johanna Fricke
Pediatrics - Developmental and Behavioral 52 years experience
If 9 mos or >: Parents can tour cardiac picu/ward pre-op & meet support staff, including play therapists. At 9 mos. Developmental age & up, a child has " affect matching, " becoming more upset during painful procedures if parents look upset. Also, having implicit memory means a child can develop ptsd. Modify behavioral regression by maintaining discipline & routine. Bring familiar hard, washable toys & books.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Dr. Sarosh Batlivala
Pediatric Cardiology 18 years experience
Depends: This depends on the heart lesion. Many forms of heart disease are now treated successfully with surgery. In those cases, the open heart surgery is very well tolerated with the child being home in 1-2 weeks and recovering well. If the heart lesion is very complicated, then the experience can be different. Please discuss this with your child's cardiologist to learn their specific issues.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.

Similar questions

A 31-year-old member asked:

What is recovery time like for open heart surgery?

2 doctor answers3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Brian Mott
Thoracic Surgery 31 years experience
8 weeks: You could expect to be in hospital 4-6 days. After that the usual restrictions are no driving or heavy lifting for 6-8 weeks. During that time you can walk, take showers, and relax.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.

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Last updated Sep 28, 2016
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