What is cardiac depression? Cardiac depression is a form of depression. It occurs after a heart event, such as heart valve surgery. People often feel alone, lost, and lack energy. After heart surgery, 20 to 40 percent of cardiac patients may begin to exhibit signs of depression.
Some doctors believe that depression after a cardiac event can lead to a poorer outcome for the patient, meaning the depression is a risk factor for heart disease and other outcomes following a heart event. So, depression can increase/create a vicious cycle of heart treatments/events and more depression.
The purpose of heart valve surgery is to give a patient a better quality of life. Certainly, life will not be better if the patient is depressed. Symptoms which usually appear if a person is clinically depressed after heart valve surgery include sadness, loss of sleep, too much sleep, loss of interest in activities the person once loved, increase in appetite, irritability, lack of focus, lack of concentration, feelings of guilt and worthlessness, and thoughts of suicide.
Depression can be treated through certain medications like SSRIs, also through therapy with a counselor. A patient’s family can also help him or her with depression by inviting him or her to more activities, planning more fun events, and being a support system to the patient. New activities, meeting friends, reading a book, going on a trip, calling a friend, watching a movie and going for a walk are also good ideas to help a person alleviate symptoms of depression.
Many times, the doctor may not spot a patient’s depression during a checkup, so it’s important for the patient or the patient’s family to identify the possibility of depression to the doctor. The doctor will work with the patient and the family to find the best course of action to manage the depression and alleviate symptoms.
Schedule Your Tampa Mitral Valve Surgery, TAVR
If you recently had heart valve surgery and are experiencing symptoms of depression, don’t hesitate to talk to your doctor to have them checked out. If you suffer from heart valve disease and need surgery to repair or replace a valve, it’s time to talk to a heart valve surgeon about your options. Dr. Peter Mikhail is a heart valve surgeon who performs mitral valve surgery, TAVR and mini-AVR. To book a consult, click our heart valve surgery contact page or call 727-312-4844. He is based in New Port Richey, Florida, and treats patients in the Tampa and Clearwater areas.