Before and After Heart Surgery

Before Surgery
As part of your cardiac surgery experience at St. Vincent Healthcare, you will receive a copy of our "Guidebook for Hearts", which will answer many of the questions you may have about preparing for surgery. These include:

  • Your Pre-Op Passport
  • Insurance Instructions
  • Preparing Your Home for Your Return from the Hospital
  • What to Bring to the Hospital
  • Basic Pre-Operative Instructions

One of the best things you can do to prepare for your surgery, however, is to participate in our pre-operative orientation.

Held exclusively for patients who will be undergoing open-heart surgery and their support individual(s), this orientation allows you an opportunity to talk with the cardiovascular team, tour the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) in which you will stay after your surgery and receive valuable information about the surgical process. Knowing where to come and what to expect on the day of your surgery can reduce any stress you may be feeling.

After Surgery
Immediately after your surgery you will be transferred to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) for constant monitoring. Your wellness, safety and comfort are our top priority, so you will usually remain in the ICU for a minimum of 24 hours before being transferred to the Telemetry Unit. While there, you will continue to be carefully monitored as you begin to increase your activity and prepare to return home. Most patients who have undergone heart surgery and have no complications will be discharged from the hospital within 5-7 days with post-surgical instructions, which are likely to include cardiac rehabilitation.

The St. Vincent Healthcare Cardiovascular Care Coordinator will remain in contact with you after your discharge to ensure your care needs are being met. Whenever you have a question or concern about your procedure you may contact them to receive the information and attention you need.

To learn more about what to expect during your stay at. St. Vincent Healthcare, download "At the Hospital", which provides additional information for you and your family.