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What can I expect?
Following your consultation with the surgeon, if surgery is indicated, you will be placed on a waiting list. All surgery will take place within a maximum of 12 weeks.
As your time for admission for surgery nears, usually three weeks in advance of your planned surgery, you will be invited to attend a preoperative clinic where you will be assessed by the doctors and nurses, have various investigations, including a physical examination and blood sample, to ensure you are fit to undergo surgery. After this appointment, the results are reviewed by the surgeon and the surgical team, following which you will be contacted by the Admissions Office and given a date for surgery. You will also receive detailed written information confirming the details.
Your admission would usually take place the afternoon before your planned surgery and you will be asked to call us on the morning of your admission to ensure that the bed is still available for you. This is necessary, as sometimes emergency and urgent patients are admitted overnight. If it is not possible for your surgery to go ahead due to these reasons, you will be given another date for your operation as soon as possible.
On your admission, you will be seen by the surgical team where consent will be taken for your operation (dependent on your time of admission). You will be prepared for surgery by the nursing team on your ward, later the same day or the following morning.
What medications should I stop taking?
Certain types of medications may need to be stopped up to one week before your admission for surgery. At the preoperative clinic, you will be asked for a list of your current medications. Once you are given a date for surgery, information on when to stop taking certain medications will also be provided to you in writing by the Admissions Office.
Additional information for Next of Kin
Following surgery, the nursing, surgical or medical team involved in your care will contact your next of kin to let them know how you are recovering following the procedure. In addition, prior to surgery, you will be given a contact number for your relatives to call to check on your progress during your hospital stay.
After surgery, you will be admitted to the Cardiac Recovery Unit or Cardiothoracic Intensive Care Unit, where you will be asleep or still anaesthetised. You will have a breathing tube, chest tubes and monitoring equipment attached to you. Depending on the type of operation you have had, you would normally be asleep for between two and 24 hours following your surgery. Your Intensive Care Unit stay is anticipated to be between one or two days and your overall hospital stay should be around five to ten days, depending on your operation.
Patient Services Accommodation
If your family or next of kin live a long distance from the hospital and wish to have accommodation, this can be provided for them at minimal cost.
Transport can be provided for the patient where mobility prevents their public travel to our centre.
Visiting your relative
Visiting hours are strictly 3pm – 8pm. Hand gel is available at the entrance to the centre and each clinical area to prevent the spread of infection among patients and visitors. Children under the age of 16 are welcome, but with supervision. A maximum number of visitors per bed is limited to two at any one time.
If you require extending the help you have at home, a team of dedicated nurses, social workers and occupational therapists will meet with you and your family to discuss available facilities and make recommendations.
A cardiac rehabilitation programme is recommended for most of our postoperative patients. These arrangements will be put in place once your discharge from the centre has been agreed and will usually take the form of weekly physiotherapy classes at your local hospital.
If you require any further information about your admission and your procedure, you can telephone your consultant’s office, or specialist nurse.