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Heart Surgery

Getting ready for surgery

You'll get a call telling you:

  • the date and time of your surger​y
  • how to get ready for surgery
  • where to go at the hospital

Make sure you leave a phone number where y​ou can be reached.

Surgery dates can change to accommodate emergency cases.

Support person

Choose 1 person to be your main support person during your surgery and recovery. Make sure your healthcare team knows the person's name and how to contact them.

If you need help with speaking or understanding English, tell a Pre-Admission Clinic team member when you are booking your appointment. They can arrange for an interpreter.​

Pre-Admission Clinic

Before your surgery, you will likely have an appointment at the Pre-Admission Clinic. This appointment may be in-person or virtual.

You can bring your sup​po​​rt person to you​r Pre-Admission Clinic appointment.

Also bring the following to your appointment:

  • any medicine you take (over-the-counter, vitamins, and herbal medicine) or photos of the medicine labels
  • government-issued ID (such as a passport or driver's licence)
  • your healthcare card
  • handouts you've been given about your surgery

You'll be at the Pre-Admission Clinic for most of the day. The appointment may include:

  • ​lab tests, x-ray, and an electrocardiogram
  • an assessment by a nurse
  • an assessment by the cardiac anesthesiologist
  • a discussion about what going home after surgery (discharge), medicine coverage, financial aid, and caregiver support​

If you have questions or concerns, talk with the Pre-Admission Clinic nurse.

It is important to have a family doctor after surgery. Tell the Pre-Admission Clinic nurse if you do not have a family doctor.

The night before surgery


Shower the night before and morning of your surgery. Use any special cleansing products as directed.

Take off all jewellery, make-up, and nail polish (fingers and toes), and take out piercings.


You'll be told what you can eat and drink before surgery and when you need to stop eating or drinking. If you eat or drink too close to your surgery time, your surgery may be postponed or cancelled.


Take your medicine as directed by your doctor or nurse. If you have trouble sleeping, talk with your doctor before your surgery.​

Day of surgery

Have someone drive you to the hospital, and arrange for someone to drive you home when you're discharged.

Check in at the place you were told to go (like Admitting) at the time you were given.

  • Alberta Health card and Alberta Blue Cross or other insurance card
  • photo identification
  • proof of medical coverage if you live out of Alberta
  • handouts you were given about your surgery
  • all your medicine (in original containers) including inhalers, aspirin, vitamins, herbals, and over-the-counter medicine
  • 1 small bag with your name on it for personal items, such as glasses, hearing aids, a housecoat, and slippers
Do not bring
  • ​valuable such as jewel​lery and credit cards
  • more than $20 cash
  • electrical appliances

Your support person can keep any items for you during surgery and bring you anything you need after surgery.​​​

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