Prendre une douche avec mon LVAD

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Vivre avec le DAVG implique de nombreuses précautions, comme la sécurité à la maison, le fait de rester actif et d'être plus strict en matière d'hygiène (se laver souvent les mains, se brosser les dents, se doucher ou changer régulièrement de pansement, là où le câble sort du ventre).

Zone de pansement du LVAD où le câble sort de l'estomac.

What I get the most questions about is how I shower with my HeartMate3 LVAD system. The electronic components of the LVAD pump may stop working if submerged in water. So, bathing is not allowed. However, one can take a shower after some preparation.

In general, a person’s breastbone should be healed within four to six weeks following open-heart surgery, and sternal precautions should be lifted at that time. I was allowed to shower about a month after my procedure. It started out as a very tedious and tiring process lasting two hours or so. Then, with time, I gained enough energy that I went from taking a shower every 3 to 4 days to every other day and now, I have enough energy to shower daily.

Showers are definitely doable. It is just a little bit of extra work. Obviously, I can’t just jump right in. So, prior to taking showers, I have to ensure I protect the LVAD driveline. But I have adapted rapidly to the new norm and I have accepted it all. I can be taped up and my equipment in my shower bag within about 5 to 10 minutes.

De plus, je ne prends pas de douche directe au sens habituel du terme. Je l'utilise comme un appareil à main et cela m'aide car je risque moins de mouiller le pansement ou une partie du câble. Mais j'ai hâte de prendre une douche quand je veux, en utilisant les procédures correctes. Et nous essayons également de planifier les changements de pansement juste après la douche.

Films ON: Ready to shower with the LVAD.

In the beginning, I have had a few incidents where my water leaked into self-adhesive film protection. But fortunately, my dressing remained clean as I caught it early enough. I also tried a few systems until I began using two 8×12’ films, which I overlap horizontally in the middle of my stomach. And before that, I place two paper towels between the dressing and the self-adhesive films. These soak in the moisture or any water that would pass through.

Merci de votre lecture !

p.s.: If you are a fellow LVAD patient, please feel free to share your notes and experience. I would love to trade notes and learn new tips and suggestions.

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