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Patient Preparation Banner

Mercy Cardiothoracic Surgical Associates

Patient Preparation


Welcome to Mercy Cardiothoracic Surgical Associates. We want to make sure that you are fully educated about and prepared for your scheduled surgery. In addition to the preoperative education class you will attend, we have compiled the following information to help you and your loved ones navigate the entire surgical process.  Please adhere to the following steps to make your experience as simple and problem-free as possible; if you have any questions please email or call our office at 419-251-3180.

Two to four weeks prior to surgery…
  • complete your online pre-registration
  • do not smoke. If you need help quitting, Mercy offers smoking cessation classes.
  • continue taking medication you are currently as prescribed taking unless otherwise directed by your physician
  • stop taking all over-the-counter herbal supplements
  • eat a healthy, well-balanced diet
  • do not try to lose weight and do not take weight-loss drugs
  • limit your alcoholic intake to one drink daily; if possible eliminate alcohol altogether
  • maintain your normal exercise routine
  • get plenty of rest, which will help you physically recover from surgery more quickly
  • gather and fax, email, or bring copies of required information to our offices. Possible information you need to provide may include:
    • Personal medical records (that are pertinent to your cardiothoracic surgical procedure)
    • Lab work
    • EKG, chest x-ray, CT scan (please provide on CD or DVD)
    • Echocardiogram results (please provide on CD or DVD)
    • Heart catheterization results (please provide on CD or DVD)
    • Stress test results
    • List of current medications including prescription drugs, over-the-counter medicines, and herbal supplements
    • Health care coverage information and/or cards
    • Prescription insurance coverage information and/or cards
  • if desired, create both a Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care document and a Living Will. (See our Advance Directives page for more information.) A Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare document allows you to designate someone to make all decisions regarding your medical care in the event that you are unable to make such decisions on your own. A Living Will allows you to detail the medical care you would want to receive if you were to become termainally ill or permanently unconscious and unable to communicate your wishes.
One week prior to surgery…
  • stop taking Coumadin or Plavix (if applicable) at least five days prior to surgery
  • stop taking Metformin (if applicable) two days prior to surgery
  • continue taking aspirin (81 mg or 325 mg daily) if advised by your doctor unless otherwise instructed by your physician
  • let family and loved ones know the day and time of your procedure and advise them that they can wait in the First Floor Waiting Room at the Mercy Health and Vascular Center
When packing for your stay please bring…
  • comfortable pajamas and socks or slippers
  • toiletries (including toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo, and soap)
  • your pillow (if you prefer)
  • a comfortable outfit to wear home including shoes
  • eyeglasses and/or contact lenses (and cleaning solution)
  • dentures (if applicable)
  • the Inspirometer (a breathing apparatus the nurse will give you in the preoperative class)
  • books, magazines, music or anything that would make you more comfortable during your stay
  • all prescribed medications with dosage instructions
  • phone charger (if you are planning to use your cell phone)
  • list of contact information for friends, family members
Do not bring any valuables including money and jewelry. We suggest you remove rings and leave them at home as swelling frequently occurs after surgery. 

The evening before your surgery…
  • do not eat or drink anything – including water, coffee, tea, juice, or alcoholic beverages - after midnight the night before surgery unless otherwise instructed
  • ask your physician about taking any prescribed medication prior to surgery
The day of your surgery…
  • please shower, but do not shave the surgical site; if necessary the medical team will take care of that prior to surgery
  • do not wear makeup
  • report to hospital reception area on the 1st floor of the Mercy Heart and Vascular Center (parking information) to complete any final paperwork
  • bring your insurance card(s), driver’s license or identification, and credit card or check for any required co-payment
  • arrive on time, which should be 90 minutes prior to your scheduled surgery time
After surgery…
  • you will be transported to a room on the first floor of the Mercy Heart & Vascular Center and be considered a Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (CICU) patient for 1 - 2 days; learn more about what to expect in the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (CICU)
  • as your condition improves you will be designated a cardiac step-down patient; learn more about to expect in the Cardiac Stepdown Unit
  • you will likely have a urinary catheter in place during recovery, which will be removed shortly after you can get out of bed
  • your bedside staff will help manage your pain as effectively as possible during recovery
  • you will be encouraged to walk as soon as it is safely possible
  • visitors will be allowed during visiting hours, however please encourage any ill friends or family members to stay home and wait to visit you after they are fever and symptom-free
  • generally, your doctor will approve you to be discharged once you are eating, walking on your own, and able to be off intravenous (IV) pain medication
Recovery Plan - Patient Pathway

Mercy has created a care pathway to help give you an idea of what you may be able to expect during an average inpatient 5-day recovery porcess. See what you can expect from your recover process on Post Operative Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, and Day 5.

Before you are discharged you should...
  • get at-home post-operative care paperwork and make sure you understand what you are being advised to do
  • schedule any follow-up appointments (if possible)
  • know who to contact if you have questions or concerns about your recovery
Until your physician advises otherwise, once you return home you...
  • should not drive a car or operate mechanical equipment
  • should not drink alcoholic beverages
  • should walk daily at a comfortable pace – no over-exercising!
  • should drink plenty of water and resume a healthy diet
Learn more about suggested Post-Discharge Follow-up, Home Care, and Activity Do's and Don'ts.
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