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Heart Surgery

Getting Ready for Surgery

You’ll likely have some tests done and meet with the cardiac care team before your surgery.

  • If you’re having heart valve surgery, try to have any dental work done before your surgery.
  • Don’t have dental work done for at least 6 months after surgery (this lowers the risk of infection).

Pre-Admission Clinic

Most people having heart surgery have to go to the Pre-Admission Clinic (PAC) before surgery.

You’ll get a call to arrange a date and time and give you more information about the appointment.

It’s a good idea to bring a support person if you can. When you come, be sure to bring:

If you don’t speak or understand English well, please bring someone with you who can help you understand what’s being said.

  • a list of all the medicine you take (include over-the-counter, vitamins, and herbal medicine)
  • government issued ID
  • your healthcare card
  • teaching handouts you’ve been given
The PAC appointment may take most of the day. It may include:
  • lab tests, x-ray, and an ECG (electrocardiogram)
  • an assessment by a nurse
  • an assessment by the cardiac anaesthesiologist
  • a discussion about your discharge with your health care team (They’ll talk to you about community resources such as medicine coverage, financial aid, a place for patients and families from out of town to stay, and caregiver support.)

If you have questions or concerns, please feel free to talk with the PAC nurse.

Your safety is important to us. We will check your identification more than once to make sure it matches your medical record.

Planning for Support

It’s a good idea to choose one person to be your main support person during your surgery and recovery. This person is usually the one who’ll care for you before, during, and after surgery. Please make sure your healthcare team knows the person’s name and how to contact them.

This person can update family and friends for you. Your support person can also co ordinate any help you’ll need, and help make sure you don’t get too many visitors at once.

Let your healthcare team know if you will need more community supports.

You’ll be expected to arrange for your own ride home. Please make sure to bring clothes that are right for the weather to go home in.

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