Advanced Cardiac Surgery Resources
Thank you for choosing Orlando Health Heart & Vascular Institute for your cardiac (heart) surgery.
Your First Appointment
Please arrive on time for your appointment to discuss surgery options. Remember to bring the following items to your appointment:
- A copy of any imaging tests, such as X-rays, CT scan, heart catheterization images or echocardiogram (ECG)
- Insurance cards
- List of medications
- Valid picture ID, such as driver’s license or state ID
If you are a new patient, please download our new patient form. Fill it out before you arrive and bring it with you to your appointment.
It is important you take time to rest and heal after surgery.
- Do not lift, push or pull anything over 5 lbs. for four weeks after surgery. Then, you can increase to 10 lbs. in the second month.
- Unless specified when you leave the hospital or surgery center, do not drive until after your first follow-up visit. In the first 2-3 weeks, you may take short car trips as long as you do not drive.
- Take daily showers, using a liquid antibacterial soap such as Dial™
- Check incisions daily. If you see any signs of infection, such as redness, swelling, tenderness or oozing, please call our office at 321.841.7700.
- Take your temperature once a day at 4:00 p.m. for two weeks after leaving the facility. If you have a temperature greater than 100.5, please call our office at 321.841.7700
- Continue your coughing and deep breathing exercises at home. Walking is encouraged and not limited! If you feel tired, stop and rest. We may send you home with a low blood count, which could cause you to feel tired. It will take a few weeks to get your energy level back up. Rest throughout the day, and do not overdo it.
- Female patients are encouraged to wear a front closure bra. This will decrease rubbing on the incision. Keep a pad between the elastic and your incision.
- When you get home, make an appointment with your cardiologist or family physician right away, unless you already have one scheduled.
- We will discuss when you can return to work during your first follow-up appointment.
Common Side Effects of Surgery
You may experience the following normal symptoms after surgery. For any concerns, please call your surgeon’s office.
- Swelling at the top of your incision is normal for approximately 1-3 months. If it becomes red or starts oozing, please call the office.
- Numbness or tingling in the ring and little finger of either hand. This temporary symptom is due to the nerves being impacted during the separation of the breast bone during surgery.
- Trouble sleeping for the first weeks at home.
- Trouble eating or poor appetite. Food may not have any taste.
- Arm, neck, shoulder and chest sore¬ness. You may also feel tingling in your chest where your nerves are healing. Take your pain medicine regularly to help minimize discomfort.
- Popping or clicking sounds near your chest incision. Minor movement of the breastbone may cause this.
- Fluctuation in weight.
- Swelling in the leg from which your surgeon removed the vein. Keep your legs elevated while sitting. Wear support hose daily until your first follow-up visit. Remove the support hose at bedtime.
Patient Education Resources
- Society of Thoracic Surgeons – a non-profit organization representing surgeons, researchers and healthcare professionals dedicated to quality surgery for heart, lungs and esophagus.
- Edwards TAVR – explaining the transcatheter heart valve system.
- Atricure-stand-alone atrial fibrillation surgery – patient education resource for treatments for atrial fibrillation (AFib).
- Atricure Left Atrial Appendage Management – patient education resource for treatments for Left Atrial Appendage Management (LAA).
- Medtronic Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) – patient education resource for TAVR procedure.
- Medtronic off-pump coronary artery bypass (OPCAB) – patient education resource for OPCAB procedure.
- StopAfib.org – patient education resource for people with atrial fibrillation.