Prior to Surgery
Before surgery, patients meet with our patient care coordinator to discuss all plans for your procedure. 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 (e.g. 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, parking, and accommodations for your family. All other questions you have will be addressed.
Stop smoking at least two weeks prior to your procedure. Patients who smoke get more infections. Ask your doctor if you need help.
Eat healthy foods and control your blood sugar; research has shown better results if blood sugar is controlled.
The night before surgery
Patients should not eat or drink past midnight the night before surgery.
Patients will need to use a special antibacterial soap (provided by our office) to take one shower the night before surgery and another shower again the morning of surgery.
Shaving with a razor can irritate your skin and make you more susceptible to infection. Do not shave near the surgical site for at least 24 hours prior to your surgical procedure.
Get a good night's sleep before your surgery.