Sociopsychological Factors in Cardiac Surgery
Surgical management for some of the cardiac conditions including heart transplantation has gained a momentum in the world during the past 25 years. But in India such facilities are seen mainly in medical teaching institutions. Since the surgical procedure with the heart has morbidity and mortality risk, it has an impact on the emotional life of the individuals undergoing it. Hence it had become rather customary to assess pre- and postoperatively the psychiatric and psychological consequences [1, 2, 4–9, 12, 15, 16] most probably in an effort to prove the efficacy of a given technique. As against the vast literature outside India on the psychiatric and psychological aspects of cardiovascular surgery, the authors are aware of only two studies [13, 14] in India which elicited psychiatric and psychological aspects of surgery for mitral stenosis. None of these studies demonstrated postoperative personality changes in patients. The behavioral concomitants and consequences of cardiac surgery have not been explored in India either by cardiac surgeons or by behavioral scientists. To explore these aspects a study was initiated jointly with the Department of Cardio-thoracic Surgery . The study aims to assess the personality and behavioral changes following open-heart surgery and does not consider the neuropsychological deficits since it has already been suggested [6, 9, 15] that successful cardiac surgery restores severely reduced cerebral blood flow and cerebral hypoxia and brings about subsequent improvement in the cognitive status of individuals so affected.
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