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A heart operation is needed to treat problems associated with heart disease, for fixing heart problems that you may have been born with, or for fixing damage done to the heart or vessels. It also includes heart transplantation.
You will have an appointment at the
Pre-Admission Clinic 1 to 3 weeks before your operation. This visit is very important to assess your health and help you prepare for your operation and recovery. Plan for your visit to take
2–5 hours. On the day of your pre-admission visit, take your medications and eat as usual, unless you were given other instructions.
Pre-Admission Clinic at
Toronto General HospitalEaton Building – Ground Floor, Room 400
What should I bring to my pre-admission appointment?
What happens during my pre-admission visit?
Depending on your needs, you may also meet:
WHAT SHOULD I DO THE DAY BEFORE MY OPERATION?
Stop smoking before your surgery: learn how smoking and tobacco can affect your recovery after surgery, and how
quitting can improve your health.
WHAT SHOULD I DO THE DAY OF MY SURGERY?
2 hours before your scheduled operation time.
Surgical Admission Unit (SAU) at
Toronto General HospitalPeter Munk Building – 2nd Floor
All hospital entrances are open by 6:00 am. However, Elizabeth St. and University Ave. are easiest to access.
After your surgery, will be taken to the
Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit (CVICU).
What can I expect to have on my body?
You will be attached to some or all of these machines and tubes:
Recovery from a heart operation is an individual experience. Everyone will recover at their own pace. Your daily routines may be changed for some time. After a heart operation, patients often experience physical sensations or feelings that decrease as they recover. We have listed common feelings and some ideas that will help.
In general, you may feel weakness and fatigue, nausea and lack of appetite and may experience poor concentration.
What to do:
You may feel a faster heartbeat than usual. Occasionally pounding or skipping a beat.
You may feel discomfort, soreness, and aching in and around your incisions or ribcage, between the shoulder blades, the back of your neck, or your legs or overall stiffness.What to do:
You may feel numbness and burning sensations caused by damage to nerves during your operation, slight redness, swelling, or bruising and discoloration along incision lines, swelling or a lump at the top of the chest incision and/or itching, numbness, and burning in and around incisions.
If you had a bypass, you may experience swelling of your legs, especially the foot and ankle area where the vein was removed. This will improve as the other veins in the leg build up to take over for the one that was removed.
You may experience a slight clicking in your breastbone (sternum) when you move or take a deep breath. This feeling will disappear in 4 weeks or so as your breastbone heals.
You may experience restless sleep including frequent wakening and stiffness. You may not feel rested.
You may experience constipation and abdominal bloating due to your pain medications and the effect of the anesthetic.
You may experience tingling or numbness in your ring or little fingers which is caused by stretching of the nerves in the arm when the chest is opened during the operation.
What to do:
First Appointment: Where and when
Within the first week after your operation, you will have a follow-up appointment with your family doctor.
Second Appointment: Where and when
Your second appointment will be at your cardiologist's office about 4 weeks after your operation.
Third Appointment: Where and when
About 6 to 8 weeks after your operation, you will have an appointment with your surgeon.
Who do I call with general post-operative questions?
Call your surgeon's office:
Dr. Jennifer ChungPhone: 416 340 4745
Dr. Robert James CusimanoPhone: 416 340 4928
Dr. Anthony Ralph-EdwardsPhone: 416 340 4309
Dr. Vivek RaoPhone: 416 340 3562
Dr. Tirone DavidPhone: 416 340 5062
Dr. Christopher FeindelPhone: 416 340 5909
Dr. Maral OuzounianPhone: 416 340 4218
Dr. Terrence YauPhone: 416 340 4074
Who do I call if I experience complications?
Call 911 to take you to the nearest Emergency Department if you:
Call your surgeon's office if you notice the following symptoms: