Having heart surgery
If you’re having a heart operation, the things you need to know about the lead-up to surgery and what happens during your recovery time are similar – no matter what type of surgery you’re having.The information here has been divided up so that you can click on the part that’s relevant to you, at the time when you need it.
1. Surgery options for your heart condition
Here you’ll find an overview of heart valve problems and coronary heart disease, and how they are treated with surgery.
2. Seeing your surgeon
When you’re deciding to have heart surgery, you’ll meet with your surgeon to talk about your options. You’ll discuss consent, the risks and benefits, and any questions you have.
3. Preparing for surgery
Once you know you’re going to have heart surgery, there are some things you can do to prepare for the operation ahead.
4. The day of your operation
Here we take you through each stage of the day of surgery, from arriving at the hospital to waking up after the operation.
5. The first three days after surgery
On this page, we talk through the first three days after surgery as you start your journey towards recovery.
6. Side-effects and complications
Having surgery comes with some risks. The information here explains the side-effects and complications that can sometimes happen.
7. Going home after surgery and continuing your recovery
Here we cover everything you need to know about going home including when you can go home, what the first few days and weeks are like, and your ongoing recovery.
8. Cardiac rehabilitation programme
This programme is designed to help your recovery. Nurses, dietitians and physiotherapists are there to provide support and advice that gets you on your feet again.
About our partnership
This health information was created using the expert knowledge and experience of the SCTS surgeons and nurses.
Society for Cardiothoracic Surgery in Great Britain and Ireland
This information has been created by the Society for Cardiothoracic Surgery and BUPA. It is designed to provide you, your family and carers with the information you need at each stage of heart surgery, from your initial appointment with your surgeon all the way through to recovery. Here you will find information and advice from SCTS’s nurses and surgeons, interviews with people who have been through surgery themselves, and practical tools and checklists to help support you through your operation.