Memorial Health University Physicians -- CVT Surgery offers the following heart surgeries:
Cardiac surgery, including:
Valvular surgery, including
Cardiac-related adult congenital surgeryPermanent pacemaker implantation
Preparing for Heart SurgeryOur physicians will discuss your upcoming surgery with you. They will talk about the surgical procedure, when you will need to have it, your expected length of stay in the hospital, and the risks, benefits, and options for surgery.
Preparation at HomeYou may be asked to discontinue certain medications before your admission to the hospital. Check with your doctor if you are currently using any of the following:
It is also important to let your doctor know if you have any sores, cuts, colds, or urine or bladder infections at the time of the operation.
The Night Before SurgeryYou should eat a normal meal for dinner the night before your surgery, but do not eat or drink anything (including water) after midnight. You might be asked to shower with a special antibacterial soap before going to bed the night before your operation. This will reduce the risk of infection.
The Day of SurgeryOn the morning of your surgery, a surgical technician will prepare you for surgery. Preparation involves shaving the area where the incisions are going to be made and washing the area with antibacterial soap.
The SurgeryDuring the surgery, chest tubes, intravenous catheters (IVs), urinary catheters, and breathing tubes may be inserted. Your heart will be monitored for rhythm, blood pressure, and oxygen levels. You will be given medication and fluids through the IVs. A surgeon will begin to prepare you for the incision in your chest, while a secondary surgeon begins to "harvest" the vein for the bypass. They will then complete the surgery.
After Surgery After surgery, you will be taken to the Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit (CVICU). Your family will be allowed to visit for short periods. Your diet will be minimal after the operation and gradually increased. Your appetite and energy level will also increase in the days to follow. You should note that your diet and activity level will be under careful instruction and will vary from patient to patient. Your cardiac rehab will consist of arm and leg exercises to promote circulation and normal lung function. The length of stay in the hospital is different for each patient and surgery. However, the length of stay is approximately four to six days, depending on how well you respond after surgery.
Walking is probably the single most important thing you can do to speed your recovery. It will help improve your lung function, muscle strength, appetite, nervous system, and blood circulation. A physical therapist or nurse will initially assist you to ensure your safety and to evaluate your progress. Because your breastbone won't be healed for about eight weeks, you shouldn't use your arms to try and get out of bed or lift anything heavy -- you will be instructed on the proper technique.
Breathing ExercisesFollowing heart surgery, there is some degree of collapse in the small air sacs of your lungs. To re-expand these air sacs, you will be instructed to take slow, long, and deep breaths. In addition, you will be instructed on how to cough effectively.
Don't Worry If…
General Instructions Upon DischargeYou will be instructed on activities you should and should not do after surgery, but here is a list to assist you.
Heart surgery impacts not only the patient, but significant others as well. It is helpful to have your family's support during this time. Everyone involved needs to understand that changes are taking place, whether it is smoking cessation, diet, exercise, or emotional swings. A patient who has undergone heart surgery has a different outlook on life. This will be a challenging time for the patient and the family, and support is vital to recovery and a healthier life.