Heart monitor - We use a machine to watch your heart rate. We put electrodes (small round sticky pads) on your chest. We attach wires to the electrodes and connect the wires to the heart monitor.
Breathing Tube- We put a breathing tube through your mouth and into your airway. The breathing tube is connected to a breathing machine called a ventilator. The ventilator breathes for you during surgery and part of the time that you are in the CVICU.
Oximeter - This is a machine that helps us check the oxygen in your blood. We put a probe on your finger. The probe is a piece of tape like a Band-Aid, with a light on it.
Chest drainage tubes- Your surgeon places 2 or more chest tubes near your chest incision (cut) to remove fluid, blood and air that build up in your chest after surgery. We take the tubes out of your chest once we see that you no longer need them. This usually happens the day after your surgery.
Arterial line- This line goes into an artery in your wrist during surgery. It looks like an IV but we use it to check your blood pressure and to get blood samples.
Intravenous lines (IV)- You have at least one IV in your arm and another one in the side of your neck. We usually remove these lines in your neck the day after your surgery. The IV in your arm stays in while you are in the hospital
Bladder catheter - We put a small tube into your bladder to collect and measure your urine (pee). You might feel the urge to urinate when the catheter is in. We usually remove this 2 days after your surgery.
Temporary pacemaker wires - At the end of your heart surgery, the surgeon attaches thin pacemaker wires to your heart. The other ends of these wires come out your chest just below your chest incision. We usually remove these a few days after your surgery.
Visiting the CVICU?
Read our guide.
You may be ready for discharge as soon as 4 to 7 days after your operation.
Sometimes there are medical reasons why your discharge home may be delayed. Most discharges are confirmed on the morning of your departure.
On the day you go home, we ask that you arrange to leave the hospital by 11 am. This time helps us prepare for new patients coming to us for their heart operation or from the CVICU.
Preparing to go home?
Read Homeward Bound.
Learn more about your stay
What will I take home with me?
How can I prepare for my return home?