The Operation

The night before surgery

Patients should not eat or drink past midnight the night before surgery.

Patients will need to shower with a special antibacterial soap (provided by the office) the night before surgery, and again the morning of surgery.

Patients should arrive with very few belongings. The hospital will provide a robe. Patients should pack a bag containing additional clothing (underwear, pajamas, socks, etc), toiletries, glasses, hearing aids, cell phone and charger, and other items. This bag should be left with a family member, because the bag will not be permitted in the sterile environment of the ICU. Family members will be able to give select items, such as glasses and hearing aids, to nurses while you are in the ICU, and you will be able to receive the rest of your belongings once you are in the step-down unit.

The day of surgery

On the day of surgery, you will check in on the third floor of the Milstein Hospital Building. After admission, you will be brought to the fourth floor, where the operating room is located. The anesthesiologist and surgeon will speak with you and explain the procedure in detail. A nurse will review the preoperative checklist and make sure everything is complete, and your surgeon will answer any questions you may have. Your family may stay with you through this time.

You will then be brought into the operating room, where you will be made comfortable. You will be given general anesthesia, and will have no awareness of the breathing tube being placed. The surgical team will perform standard preparation and draping for surgery, and the operation will proceed.

In addition to your surgeon, the operative team includes many assistants: the anesthesiologist, an anesthesia resident, two members of the perfusion team (to run the heart-lung machine), three nurses, and a cardiothoracic surgical resident.

After surgery, your surgeon will talk with your family on the fourth floor. They will be able to visit you within the hour, although you will be asleep at that point.

The operation may last between two and six hours, depending on the complexity of surgery.