Open Heart Surgery Handbook
Among the most important facts for patient and family alike to be aware of prior to surgery are:
- The patient is not to eat or drink anything after midnight. If your physician feels it is necessary for you to take oral medications on the morning of surgery, you will be directed as to what to take in your preoperative education class.
- Hospitalized patients may wish to take a sleeping pill prior to bedtime in order to assure that they are well rested for surgery.
Following are several other topics important to patients and their families: :
Scheduled surgery time and the time the family should arrive will be discussed during your preoperative education class.
The Waiting Room
During surgery, the family will be waiting in the First Floor Waiting Room . When surgery is completed, the physician will talk to your family while your nurse is settling you into your room.
During surgery, delays can occur. If a lengthy delay occurs, the family will be notified in the waiting room. Otherwise, the family will receive its first report when surgery is completed. At this time, the cardiovascular surgeon will provide a synopsis of the procedure.
Due to the amount of specialized equipment in use, there is limited space for personal belongings. Rings and all other personal belongings are to be sent home except for: eyeglasses, dentures, hearing aides and the Inspirometer, which is the breathing apparatus the nurse will give you in the preoperative teaching class. These items are to be kept with the family during the surgery and then given to the nurse when the family meets with the physician after surgery. It is advised that any rings you wear be taken home as fingers often swell following surgery and may subsequently become uncomfortably tight.
Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care and Living Will Information
The RN will discuss information regarding both the Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care and Living Will, if a patient so desires. The Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care is a document that allows you to designate an individual to make all decisions regarding your care should you be unable to participate in making such decisions. The Living Will is a document that allows you to direct the medical care you would receive if you were to become terminally ill and unable to make your wishes known, or become permanently unconscious.