Memorial Health University Physicians -- CVT Surgery performs the following thoracic surgeries:
Thoracic aortic aneurysm and dissectionThoracic operations (chest surgery)
Implantation of Vagus Nerve Stimulator for epilepsySpinal exposure for orthopaedic and neurologic procedures
Initial ConsultWe will review your medical records from the referring physician and conduct a thorough examination. We will then discuss your upcoming 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 the use of certain medications before your admission to the hospital. Check with your doctor if you currently use any of the following:
It is also important to let us 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 SurgeryOn the morning of your surgery, a surgical technician will prepare you for surgery. Preparation involves shaving the area where the incision is going to be made and washing the area with antibacterial soap. During the surgery you may have chest tubes, intravenous catheters (IVs), urinary catheters, and breathing tubes inserted. Your heart will be monitored for rhythm, blood pressure, and oxygen levels. You will be given medication and fluids through the IVs while the surgeon performs the operation.
After Surgery An epidural is available for pain relief if you need it. The chest tubes and IVs will be removed within three to four days. The breathing tube will be removed once you no longer need it. A therapist will assist you on breathing exercises to reduce your chances of post-operative infections. 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 will probably need to spend at least one day in the Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit (CVICU). You will be on a liquid diet at first and then slowly progress back to a normal diet. You will start a walking program, which will help improve your lung function, muscle strength, appetite, nervous system, and blood circulation. A therapist or nurse will initially assist you to ensure your safety and evaluate your progress. The length of stay varies depending on the patient and what type of surgery is performed. The average length of stay is four to six days.
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.
Lung 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 lung surgery has a different outlook on life. Support from loved ones is key to recovery and ultimately a healthier life.