Lateral Decubitus Position During Cardiac Surgery?
Hello doctor, sorry for bothering you. I want to ask the family will undergo heart surgery. and I read that the position given is lateral decubitus. at first I didn’t know but after finding out he was sideways position. I want to know whether this position is dangerous? because of the gravitational pull that can change the physiology of the heart itself? thank you
Hello Agung, thank you for asking.
First you need to confirm, is what you are reading is the position for a preoperative radiological examination, or for a position during postoperative care, or for a position during surgery? To the best of our knowledge, cardiac surgery is performed in a supine lying position so that the surgeon can see and reach all the anatomical structures of the heart and blood vessels.
The lateral decubitus position is a sideways sleep position, generally can be used for radiological examination, for example chest x-ray, MRI or CT-scan, or maybe echocardiography. Before a person undergoes cardiac surgery, the doctor must carry out a series of diagnostic tests to assess the condition of the heart and the type and degree of abnormality.
In addition, the lateral decubitus left position, in some international studies, can be used to position patients during postoperative bed rest in intensive care. Some studies say that position can improve heart oxygenation, because in the left tilted position, large blood vessels in the chest and abdomen, are not depressed by organs.
The thing you need to remember is, doctors will not choose any action that will be dangerous for their patients. Even if the surgeon plans to operate in a tilted position, then it is based on the competence and consideration of the doctor adjusted to the patient's condition. It is impossible for the doctor to deliberately choose a dangerous position because besides it will complicate the operation process, it will also threaten the patient's safety.
Regarding the physiology of the heart, what physiological process do you mean? Gravity always works on our bodies, in any position, whether someone is awake or sleeping. The key word is physiological. Gravitational force is a physiological one for our body. That is, the body will have a special mechanism to maintain optimal work of the heart and blood vessels in the force of gravity coming from any direction. So, even if someone lies on their side, it doesn't necessarily cause the physiological work of the heart to become disrupted and cause problems, that's why you don't suddenly get a heart condition just by lying on your side while sleeping.
That's the explanation that I can give. If you are still unclear, you can consult directly with the doctor who handles your family. Regards.