Heart Surgery Day of Surgery

You will arrive in the pre-operative (pre-op) preparation area approximately two hours before the scheduled time of your operation. For patients coming from home, you will be given an arrival time when your surgery is scheduled in the office. For patients already in the hospital, you will be taken to the pre-op area by the hospital staff. Two family members can accompany you in the pre-op area. The pre-op area has limited space and cannot accommodate larger groups. In the pre-op area, a nurse will review with you the planned operation, your medications, and when you last ate or drank. Additionally, an IV will be started in a vein in your arm and your chest, abdomen, groins, and legs will be shaved.

You will have the opportunity to meet with your anesthesiologist and ask any questions you may have about the anesthetic plan. Almost always, the anesthesia will be general anesthesia. This involves going to sleep completely with a breathing tube placed into the trachea (windpipe) for control of the airway during the operation. If you or family members have had previous problems with anesthesia be sure to tell the anesthesiologist about these issues.

Please be patient while waiting in the pre-op area. We realize this is a time of great anxiety for you and your family. Please also recognize that only the first operation of the day starts exactly on time; all other “scheduled” times are estimates of when the next operation will begin. Scheduled surgery times are affected by many things such as emergent/urgent operations, unexpected difficulties during surgery, and unexpected surgical, anesthesia, and patient delays. Any of these factors can cause your “scheduled” time to be moved up sooner, delayed, or cancelled completely. If this happens, we apologize for the stress caused to you and your family. If changes occur to the scheduled time, please understand the change is necessary because we believe it is in your best interest, or necessary for another patient with a more urgent need for surgery.