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Medication Risk With Open Heart Surgery

(Technically speaking, an open heart surgery is any procedure where the chest is opened, which certainly includes procedures beyond a heart bypass (a valve replacement, for example). However, because a heart bypass is the most common type of open heart surgery, for the purposes of this article, we will be using the terms "bypass" and "open heart surgery" interchangeably.)
 
Most medicines are safe, but there is always the risk of having an adverse or allergic reaction. This is true for all types of medicine, including anesthesia. Some examples of minor allergic reactions are itchy eyes, runny nose, or skin rashes. Other people may have a serious reaction called "anaphylaxis," which can be fatal.
 
There is no way for your doctor to know if you will be allergic to medicines that you have never tried. However, your healthcare team will try to find out as much information as they can to help prevent an allergic reaction. They will ask questions about medicines you are taking, about your health in the past, and whether you have any allergies. Please be sure to tell your healthcare providers about all of your allergies. This information will help your doctor and other healthcare providers pick the medicines that are best for you.
 
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