Right After Your Surgery
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Right After Your Surgery

Right after surgery, you’ll move from the operating room to a special intensive care unit for heart surgery patients.

After two to four hours, the medication your doctors gave you to sleep during surgery will wear off. When you wake up, you’ll have a breathing tube in place, so you won’t be able to talk.

About six hours after surgery, if you’re able to breathe on your own and your vital signs look good, your care team will remove the breathing tube. The other tubes used during surgery will come out after another day or two.

When you’re well enough to leave intensive care, you’ll move to the step-down unit. Your new care team will discuss your progress with you, review your plan of care, and help you prepare to leave the hospital when you’re ready.

Once you’re ready to go home, you may attend a discharge class if the hospital offers one. The class will tell you what to expect while you continue to get better and will give you information about how to take care of yourself at home.

It’s normal to have some questions and concerns during your stay at the hospital. If you’re not sure what you’re supposed to do or what’s going to happen, ask someone on your care team.