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Hospital Stay

Understanding what to expect after your operation can help a great deal to facilitate your recovery.


You will be admitted to hospital on the day prior to surgery or on the day of your surgery (Day of surgery admission). Most hospitals are moving towards day of surgery admission to facilitate bed usage and help limit infections being picked up from the hospital prior to your operation (nosocomial infections)

You will have the opportunity to discuss the proposed surgery with your surgeon and the rest of the team including anaesthetists and other specialised staff including intensive care nurses and physiotherapists.

Ensure that you bring:

  • A list of your current medication
  • Next of kin contact details
  • Toiletries
  • Spare pyjamas and slippers
  • Reading glasses – if required
  • Minimal valuables including money


You may or may not be prescribed a premedication relaxant prior to transfer to the operating suite.

Patients are normally received and anaesthetised in the anaesthetic room adjacent to the operating theatre.

All theatre staff will perform routine WHO checks to ensure that everyone is aware of what procedure is being performed.


Intensive Care

After most open heart procedures you will normally recover in intensive care for the first 24 hrs after your operation. Patients are usually kept sedated for a few hours after the operation and the woken when the intensive care team are confident that you are stable and progressing well - this is usually with 2-4 hours after your procedure.

You may be transferred to a step down high dependency unit (HDU) adjacent to the CICU where you will be awake but still closely monitored

Once the intensive care team are satisfied that you do not need intensive monitoring or therapy, you will be transferred to the ward for further care until you are fit for discharge which is usually 5-6 daysafter your surgery.