Facing open-heart surgery? Coping with the challenges of recovery?


  • Learn how to reduce fear and stress
    before the surgery date

  • Manage home recovery by
    planning ahead

  • Hear perspectives from sixty-five heart patients and caregivers interviewed

  • Five easy steps for maximizing
    home team support

  • Twelve tips to relieve intermittent depression


   Paperback        E-Book
      $20.00              $14.00

CLICK TO ORDER: The Open Heart Companion: Preparation and Guidance for Open-Heart Surgery Recovery
           Buy Book Now

"This passionate and personal guide will help you both survive and thrive after open-heart surgery."

Mehmet C. Oz, MD
Vice Chairman, Cardiovascular Services, Department of Surgery
Columbia University Medical Center, New York, NY


"The Open Heart Companion is a superb accomplishment and a very practical guide for patients requiring heart surgery.  It is extremely well organized and very informative."

Joseph A. Dearani, MD
Cardiothoracic Surgeon,
Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN


"This beautifully written, comprehensive and absolutely accurate account of how to go into, come out of, and recover from open heart surgery is a must for patients and physicians alike."

Marianne J. Legato, MD, author of The Female Heart

"Where this book excels — and many hospitals fail — is in sharing insight on . . . the transtition from hospital to home and how to best manage the four to eight-week period of home recovery. Highly recommended."

Library Journal, Howard Fuller, Stanford Health Library, Palo Alto, CA



1. Patient perspective: What are the most important challenges I may face once home? What does the hospital discharge staff not tell you?

2. Primary caregiver: What are the most important challenges I may face when I bring my loved one home?

3. Both patient and caregiver: How can we best arrange for family and friends to support us during the home recovery period?

4. We've heard that open-heart patients often encounter depression.  What can be done about that?

5. Why is a second opinion so important?

6. What are the major benefits of a cardiac rehabilitation program?


I'm Maggie Lichtenberg, a recent open-heart patient and Open Heart Coach.I decided the following FACTS had to change.

FACT: Every year in the US alone, more than 700,000 open-heart patients (current AHA figures) plod through an arduous convalescence.

FACT: Very seldom are heart patients told what to really expect during the stressful open-heart surgery recovery period of 8-12 weeks.

FACT: Far too many open-heart patients and primary caregivers don't proactively plan ahead for this very challenging time.


Maggie Lichtenberg

  Maggie Lichtenberg
  Open Heart Coach & 
  Publishing Consultant

After dozens of interviews with heart patients, their caregivers, and medical professionals, plus weaving in my own personal story, I wrote and published
The Open Heart Companion: Preparation and Guidance for Open-Heart Surgery Recovery
to reinforce the wisdom that knowledge is power, and that knowing what to expect during open-heart surgery recovery — whether bypass surgery or valve — makes the process so much easier.

So if you are facing a heart bypass or heart valve surgery operation, or post-op recuperation, chapters in The Open Heart Companion cover:

• Preparing for surgery and planning ahead
•Taking an active role with medical professionals and family
Organizing a post-surgery 4-week home team
Anticipating and managing your recovery at home
The breakthrough effect of a cardiac rehab program
A step-by-step support program to navigate the entire open-heart surgery hospital and home recovery time for optimal heart valve and heart bypass surgery recovery

                 Buy Book Now

Click here for more detailed surgeon and cardiologist Endorsements of the book

Click here for the Table of Contents

Click here to preview Chapter 4, "Organize a Home Team"

Click here to preview Chapter 5, "The Challenges You May Face"

Click here to read a portion of Chapter 10 for tips on handling mood swings.

Click here for information on our free monthly newsletter, Heart to Heart, and to receive useful tips and motivating topics from the book, as well as the schedule for Maggie's
free monthly phone support groups.

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