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Okay to have laparoscopic surgery if I have atrial fibrillation & h...
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Okay to have laparoscopic surgery if I have atrial fibrillation & hypertrophic cardiomyopathy?

Greetings, Doctors,

   I'll be 76 in November and am in pretty good shape, working-out with free weights and the treadmill and stomach exercises, but I'll need surgery for inguinal hernia, and I have atrial fibrillation & hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. I take only .125mg digoxin and 81mg aspirin daily because my blood pressure is good, but my surgeon thinks it better to do the alternative surgery because of less anaesthesia. I'm not asking you to judge his decision--I'd just like to know if you know of people like me having laparoscopic surgery for inguinal hernias. I also have found over the years that many doctors and surgeons have become what I feel to be over-cautious. I know an 82-year-old man who's in good shape too (but who doesn't have heart problems) who had laparoscopic surgery for his hernia and was out of the hospital the same day.

   Thank you very much,
   Morty from Jackson Heights, Queens, N.Y.
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Laproscopic surgery is a very minimally invasive surgery, which not only has less risk of operative complications, but allows for surgeries to be on an outpatient basis. If you have underlying cardiac problems (atrial fibrillation, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy), your surgeon should have asked your primary care physician to evaluate you for pre-operative clearance. This would take into account your other medical problems as well as any ongoing symptoms. This "might" include an echocardiogram (if not recently done), ECG, CXR, and blood work. If you are on Coumadin for your atrial fibrillation, this would likely need to be stopped prior to your procedure.  If there are no outstanding issues, undergoing this type of surgery should not be a problem.
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