Cardiothoracic Surgeon Questions Heart Surgery

Caffeine and heart surgery?

My heart surgery is coming in a couple of months. As of now, I have 2 cups of coffee a day. Should I try to stop before my surgery or just leave it as is?

9 Answers

Caffeine is a stimulant, and it would be best to reduce to one cup per day. Stopping completely may increase some anxiety and may be counterproductive, but in general, minimizing caffeine before and after heart surgery for a couple of weeks is recommended.
It is okay to continue the coffee unless you have high blood pressure or if you feel your heart racing.
It’s better to cut down or quit
I do not know of any significant advantage in giving up coffee, so I would continue to enjoy it (in moderation).
Would be better to cut down if possible. Check your blood levels and supplement iron if lower. Gives less chance of needing a transfusion. Regular vitamin with iron is a good start.
Coffee is not recommended right before or immediately after any form of cardiac surgery, including heart valve surgery. I suggest to start reducing to one cup daily and none within days of operation. Within two weeks following operation you can resume coffee intake assuming the operation was successful without complication.
Although there are no serious side effects of coffee intake prior to cardiac surgery, it is advised not to take caffeine afterwards to prevent irregular heartbeat. If you regularly have coffee and abruptly stop after cardiac surgery, you may have caffeine withdraw symptoms. Based on this, I would recommend gradually decreasing your caffeine consumption prior to surgery to minimize withdraw symptoms.
I would just continue, or cut down a little. Getting off completely is not going to change any outcomes or comfort.
30-50 % of all cardiac surgery patients go into atrial fibrillation (which is an irregular heart rhythm) after surgery due to the swelling of the heart. Caffeine can predispose to this as well especially when the heart is very sensitive after surgery. You can continue to drink the coffee but I would recommend stopping it a couple of days before surgery. Hope this helps!