Appointment

-How do I make an appointment to see Professor Yan?

Professor Tristan Yan is a Cardiovascular and Thoracic surgeon based in the Sydney and North Sydney localities. Once you have received a referral from either your general practitioner or treating specialist you can book in for an appointment. Professor Tristan Yan sees his patients at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital (RPAH) Medical Center. Telephone: +61 2 9550 1933; Fax: +61 2 9550 6669; Email: Tristan.yan@annalscts.com; Rooms: Suite 304, 100 Carillon Avenue, Newtown, NSW 2042, Australia; Mailing address: P.O. Box 170M, Missenden Road, Camperdown, NSW 2050, Australia

-I am a patient living far away from Sydney, how should I arrange an initial consultation?

First, please send your referral letter to tristan.yan@annalscts.com, if you meet the criteria of a remote or rural patient, a teleconsultation could be arranged for you. The initial consultation can be conducted over the Internet through Skype.

-Emergency contact?

Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Missenden Road, Camperdown NSW 2050. Phone: +61 2 9515 6111; Fax: +61 2 9515 6133; Website: http://www.sswahs.nsw.gov.au/rpa/

Preoperative Work-Up

-What preliminary investigations do I need before my heart operation?

To save your time, there are a few preliminary investigations that you need to prepare before seeing Professor Yan. Generally speaking for a cardiac operation, these would include coronary angiogram, echocardiography, ECG, lung function test and blood profile (FBC, EUC, LFT and COAG).

-What preliminary investigations do I need before my aortic operation?

To save your time, there are a few preliminary investigations that you need to prepare before seeing Professor Yan. Generally speaking for an aortic operation, these would include CT aorta or MR aorta, coronary CT or angiogram, echocardiography, lung function test and blood profile (FBC, EUC, LFT and COAG).

-What preliminary investigations do I need before my chest/lung operation?

To save your time, there are a few preliminary investigations that you need to prepare before seeing Professor Yan. Generally speaking for a chest/lung operation, these would include CT chest or PET-CT, lung function test, ECG and blood profile (FBC, EUC, LFT and COAG).

Operation

-How long would an average operation take?

A minimally invasive thoracic operation takes about 2-3 hours. A minimally invasive cardiac operation takes about 4-5 hours. An aortic operation may take anywhere between 4-12 hours, depending on the complexity of the procedure.

-How long would I stay in hospital after my operation?

On average one would stay 3-5 days in hospital after a minimally invasive procedure. However, some may stay a bit shorter or longer depending on the complexity of the operation. Numerous studies have shown that minimally invasive surgery is associated with less postoperative pain, faster recovery and shorter hospital stay compared with the traditional open surgical approach.

-When could I return to work?

Generally speaking you may return to work after about 4 to 6 weeks of recuperation at home. However, you may take on some light duty stuff earlier.

-How long before I could take a flight to Bali after my operation?

After your first postoperative check-up (generally 6 weeks after your operation), you may take a flight trip.

-What are the pros and cons of mechanical valve versus tissue valve?

What it boils down to are two main issues when considering a mechanical valve versus a tissue valve. When we talk about the durability of a valve, mostly we are referring to how long a valve would last before it develops structural or mechanical problems. Simply put, a mechanical valve will last your lifetime and a tissue valve will last for 7-15 years. If the valve fails to function properly, you may need to have a redo operation down the track, with higher operative risks due to surgical complexity and your older age. Well, does that mean having a mechanical valve is the perfect solution then? No, it doesn't. For you to have a mechanical valve, you need to be on a blood thinning medication, called Warfarin, otherwise your valve will clot off and cause stroke or death (sorry). You also need to be very disciplined with taking Warfarin tablets every night and have regular blood tests to check the Warfarin's therapeutic level (INR) at your GP's practice. This is to make sure that your blood is not too thick, causing clotting or too thin, causing bleeding, as both may lead to serious complications. So if you have a mechanical valve, you will need to take Warfarin and monitor its level carefully. In contrast, Warfarin is generally not indicated if you have a tissue valve, so there is no need to modify your life-style. We generally recommend a mechanical valve if you are younger than 65 and a tissue valve if you are older than 65. However, detailed discussions will have to be made between you and Professor Yan at the time of your consultation, so we can find the most appropriate valve for you.

Family

-Where can my family see me after my operation?

Shortly after your operation, you will be taken to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) or High Dependency Unit (HDU) for close monitoring. We fully funderstand that your family could be very concerned about you, so we will make sure that they can visit you in ICU or HDU for a set period of time shortly after the operation.

-Is there somewhere for my family to stay at RPAH?

If you live more than 100 kilometres from RPA, you are able to claim some reimbursement of travel and accommodation costs through a government assistance program (IPTAAS - Isolated Patient's Travel Assistance Scheme). For more information, call 02 9515 3000, your local IPTAAS office or the RPA Hospital Social Work Department on 02 9515 9902. For patients requiring daily medical and/or nursing assistance, accommodation can be arranged at numerous local hospitals including Jean Colvin, Strathfield Private and Metropolitan Rehabilitation. These accommodation options are offered on a short-term basis because of the enormous demand. Other accommodation can be found at the several hotels and motels within walking distance of RPA, including Quest Serviced Apartments (ph: 9557 6100), the Rydges Hotel (ph: 02 9516 1522), the Alfred Hotel (ph: 02 9557 2216), all on Missenden Road, and Quest Serviced Apartments (ph: 9028 7900) on Parramatta Road. Remember to check whether kitchen and laundry facilities are available if these are required.

-Is there somewhere for my family to stay at MUH?

Travelodge Macquarie is conveniently located across the road from the Macquarie University Hospital. Accommodation rates are available to patients and family. For more details please visit this website: http://www.muh.org.au/visitorinfo/nearbyaccomodation.aspx. To make a reservation please call Ph: +61 2 8874 5200; 81 Talavera Road, North Ryde, NSW 2113.