Harvard Heart Letter

Heart Beat: Tape of meeting eases jitters before bypass

When a doctor tells you that you need surgery, it's hard to hear the details that follow. The information floods into the brain, but the mind is often too busy with questions like "Will I be okay?" or "Who will take care of my family while I recover?" or "How will I pay for this?"

Having a family member along can help you keep track of important information like success rates, possible complications, recovery, and alternatives to the operation, but your companion may also have a hard time absorbing it. A tape recorder could be an excellent option.

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