Ohio University Press · Swallow Press ·

A User’s Guide to Bypass Surgery

By Ted Klein
Foreword by Robert N. Butler and Thomas L. Petty

“This book is truly a story about the heart, told from the heart of one who experienced heart disease firsthand. A must reading for all who are considering the options related to bypass surgery.”

Bill Nelligan, executive director, American Society of Nuclear Cardiology

“Ted Klein's new book, A User's Guide to Bypass Surgery, is an excellent and useful resource that should be read by any individual or family member facing bypass surgery. Bypass surgery is never easy to endure, but this book will demystify the process, explain complex medical terms and procedures in personal and lay terms, and most important, reduce the fear that patients inevitably encounter. What makes this book compelling is the combination of Ted's personal story with considerable research that helps the reader understand, step-by-step, what to expect medically and personally. I wish this book had been available when my father underwent bypass surgery.”

Peter D. Jacobson, JD, MPH, senior behavioral scientist, Rand Corporation

“If I ever get within ten feet of bypass surgery, this book will never be more than six inches away. But even for those whose hearts are strong, this book is good medicine for those who feel disempowered in confronting medical edifice. Read, and take heart!”

Michael Pertschuk, co-director of the Advocacy Institute

“To read this book is like finding new friend—experienced, informed, brilliant, empathetic, kind, a superb communicator—who holds out his hand to help guide you through 'cabbage' (CABG) with a minimum of risk and fright.”

Barbara Seaman, author and co-founder of The National Women's Health Network

If you are on the 400,000 people who will undergo coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery this year, I hope you will find this personal account helpful. I have always believed that knowledge and understanding give us more control over what happens to us. Doing research for this book has reinforced this belief making me very conscious that if we have some control—any degree of control—it can make a major difference in the way we are treated in hospitals, even giving some of us an edge in coming through a potentially life-threatening invasive surgical procedure.

As a patient who as been told “You need a coronary bypass right away!” you need to know a lot that I did not know when this happened to me. Given what I know at present, would I have done anything differently? No doubt about it! And I would have asked a lot more questions than I did. To begin with, if I had had an opportunity to read a book of this kind, I would have possessed certain knowledge, asked for additional information, and insisted on different care. My family would also have found me a lot easier to live with during my recovery from surgery.

When I was confronted with the recommendation that I have CABG surgery, I was told that I was a perfect candidate: a man at low risk for bypass surgery. (That’s doctor language for “someone who has a good chance of coming through in good shape.”) I had no history of coronary disease. At the age of sixty two, I had never had a heart attack. Yet, despite my having chosen an expert cardiologist, a world-class surgeon working in a hospital with one of our country’s best records for successful CABGs, I almost didn‘t make it out of the hospital because of two ”unexpected incidents,” one of which was life-threatening. […]

I wrote A User’s Guide to Bypass Surgery to help people who may be facing this procedure learn something about what is happening and to let them gain some understanding and control over a crucial event in their lives—an operation which they may or may not need. The introduction tells you about my experience. […] I believe that there is a need for a patients’ rights organization, an affinity group of CABG patients to act as advocates for everyone who has had a CABG. The Bill of Rights that is on page xxi will give an indication of what I learned that could help you.
— Ted Klein, from the Preface to A User’s Guide to Bypass Surgery

Ted Klein is the owner of a pharmaceutical public relations firm based in New York and is the founding partner of MMD, Inc., a provider of contract sales personnel for the healthcare industry.   More info →

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Release date: June 1996
192 pages

Additional Praise for A User’s Guide to Bypass Surgery

“This book speaks from the heart, as it were, and not only fills the readers' information void but their emotional void as well. It is a book to be given to a friend.”

Joseph J. Jacobs, MD, MBA, first director, Office of Alternative Medicine, National Institutes of Health

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