Online information hub offers peace of mind for people undergoing heart surgery

10 March 2016
  • Features expert advice from nurses, surgeons and people who have undergone heart surgery themselves
  • Developed in partnership by The Society for Cardiothoracic Surgery and Bupa UK 
  • Research from Bupa UK shows need for quality medical advice, with four in five UK adults turning to the internet for health advice*
  • Website breaks down heart surgery into eight steps, explaining the process from diagnosis to recovery

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Heart surgery can be a daunting prospect, but a new website launched by Bupa and The Society for Cardiothoracic Surgery (SCTS) is designed to give peace of mind, with interviews with experts and people who have been through surgery themselves.

The online hub has been developed for patients, families and carers and is relevant for all types of heart surgery, with videos of a surgeon, cardiothoracic nurse and patient following surgery all the way through from the first appointment to recovery. 

This tool gives people advice and reassurance from trusted SCTS experts, with information they know is reliable and medically-evidenced. 

Research from Bupa found that four in five UK adults turn to the internet for health advice, yet many admit finding conflicting health information, leading to confusion and frustration*. 

Dr Steve Iley, Bupa UK Medical Director, said:“Many clinicians understand the fear and apprehension their patients feel when faced with a procedure like heart surgery. This website will be a great resource for anyone wanting a human approach to what can be a difficult procedure to understand, with evidence-based information in one place, taking people from their first appointment through to surgery and recovery. We are proud to have partnered with SCTS to build this website, drawing upon decades of practical experience from their surgeons and nurses.” 

Graham Cooper, President Elect of The Society for Cardiothoracic Surgery, said:“We saw a clear need for an online resource that patients could rely on for information about heart surgery. This website is the product of years of hard work in partnership with Bupa. We know it will be a valuable tool for the thousands of patients in the UK who are faced with heart surgery each year. It’s also a great hub for surgeons, carers, and the wider healthcare industry, who can use the information to engage with patients and provide real-life examples of treatment and recovery.”

The website is free for anyone to access through the Bupa or SCTS websites:


Notes to editor

About the patient information hub: 

The patient information hub can be used by surgeons, carers, patients and their families, whether or not they have health insurance. All resources are available in printed PDF formats. Topics covered by the website include: 

  • the conditions that lead to heart surgery and the different treatment options 
  • the difference between mechanical and tissue valves for AVR 
  • what happens on the day of the operation what happens in the first three days after the operation
  • what a cardiac rehabilitation programme is 
  • side-effects and complications of heart surgery

About the research: 

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2,087 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 1 - 5 May 2015. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+). Research found:

  • 79% turn to the internet for health information and advice; an act which could put them at risk of making poor decisions.
  • 84% of adults in the UK who have searched online for health information admit finding conflicting healthcare information
  • This led to confusion (30%), frustration (20%), concern or anxiety (14%) when asked to select the best option that applies.

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