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The Day of Your Heart Surgery
On the day of your surgery, you will arrive at the hospital and check in with Surgery Registration (E25). Next, you will go to the pre-admission area to prepare for surgery.
As you wait, your family is welcome to stay with you, and will then be escorted to the family waiting area when you are taken back into the operating room.
Once the surgical team is ready, you will be brought back into the operating room.
Intensive care unit (ICU)
The surgeon updates your family once your surgery is complete. You will be taken to the intensive care unit or (ICU).
Our team will monitor you for the following:
- Stable vital signs
- Pain management
- Drains, lines, and catheters
- Your daily weight
- You will be on bed rest while you have the breathing tube.
- Your nurse and staff will turn you every two hours.
- If appropriate, we will have you sit up at the edge of the bed, five to six hours after you wake up.
When you wake up, you will be allowed ice chips and sips of water.
A breathing tube is inserted during surgery. This procedure involves placement of a tube in your airway when you are asleep. The breathing tube is then connected to a breathing machine to help you breathe.
One of the first goals as you recover is to remove the breathing tube within six hours of your arrival to the ICU.
You will have lab work completed daily after your surgery. Further testing may be required, as needed.
The surgical team manages your medication during and after your surgery. There are various types of pain medications that can be given such as pills, intravenous medication, and pumps.
After surgery, you may receive both intravenous and oral pain medications to manage your pain effectively.
You do not need to bring any medications from home to the hospital. We will provide you with any medications you may need during your stay with us.
Dressing stays on for 48 hours. If there is drainage from the sternal incision, your nurse will change it every 24 hours and as needed.
A case manager will assess your potential discharge needs.
We will go over the following instructions to help you in your post-recovery care:
- Sternal precautions
- Cough and deep breathing techniques
- Incentive spirometer use
- Pain management