Following the Operation
Immediately following surgery you will be moved to the Critical Care Area.
You may still be quite sleepy and will be on a breathing machine (ventilator). Once you are awake and are ready to come off the breathing machine, the nurses will take the breathing tube out and put an oxygen mask on you.
We aim to start your recovery from the day of your operation. The nurses will assess if you are able to get up to sit in the chair for a few hours on the day of your operation or the morning after your operation. This has proven to reduce the incidence of problems such as deep vein thrombosis (DVT), bedsores and chest infections. This helps you to start improving your chest and breathing after the operation.
The entire multi-disciplinary team will work together to ensure that your stay at the Golden Jubilee National Hospital is as comfortable and streamlined as possible.
The nurses will check your vital signs (e.g. BP, heart rate) frequently in the first 48 hours. The nurses will liaise with members of the multi-disciplinary team to ensure a safe, effective recovery and timely discharge home.
The physiotherapist will see you daily to carry out a plan of rehabilitation specific to your needs. You will be encouraged to carry out the exercises the therapists give you on your own once it is safe to do so and to walk on your own once it is safe to do so.
You will have some pain and this is normal, we will make you comfortable enough to work with your therapists to achieve your recovery goals.
The discharge planning process begins at the pre-operative clinic. We will ask about your home circumstances and transport arrangements at clinic and again when you come in for your operation. After you have been to the outpatient clinic this is a good time to start planning who will help at home and who will take you to and from the hospital.
When you have met the discharge criteria found in your patient booklet (page 63), for example, you have achieved your therapy goals and have adequate pain control, you will be discharged home. Patients normally go home four to six days after their operation or sooner.
All necessary medication will be given to you before you go home.
At home it is important that you continue with all the exercises and precautions given by the physiotherapists and doctors. This will help you get back to fitness and get the best recovery.
Your booklet is also a good resource to help you remember your exercises and breathing techniques. Your booklet has contact details for the ward and the cardiac rehabilitation nurses who can answer any questions or worries you have when you get home.
A routine follow-up is arranged six weeks after your operation. You will receive a letter after you are discharged home from the Golden Jubilee National Hospital confirming your follow-up appointment.