Before surgery, patients meet with our patient care coordinator, who will discuss all plans for surgery. The coordinator will provide detailed instructions about when and where to arrive for preoperative testing and, if needed, catheterization. Patients will meet the surgical team and will receive a full packet of information about their upcoming hospital stay.
Preoperative cardiac catheterization (also called an angiogram) is done on all patients over 45 years old and if needed, on some younger patients, during the afternoon prior to surgery. Patients then remain in the hospital overnight. Catheterization is done in order to provide a minimally invasive way of assessing any blockages and pressure on the aortic valve during surgery.
Preoperative testing is performed within two weeks of surgery and includes bloodwork, urine testing, EKG, and chest x-rays.
Patients will also receive instructions about what medications they must stop taking 5-7 days prior to surgery (such as aspirin, coumadin, and plavix). They will be advised to avoid strenuous physical activity prior to surgery.
The coordinator will give you detailed instructions about what you may bring to the hospital, and about parking, accommodations for family, and other questions.