cardiologist with patient and family

Mountain States Cardiology
Heart Surgery Instructions


Your physician will order various tests prior to your surgery. These may include blood tests, urinalysis, chest x-ray, and EKG. You may be asked to have these tests done in the pre-admission testing area as an outpatient a few days before the surgery. You will be given specific directions from your physician.


NPO (nothing by mouth). Do not eat or drink anything after midnight the night before your surgery. You may have a sip of water with any medications that are ordered.


Your physician will explain your surgery including the risks and benefits. You must sign a written consent form prior to the surgery. You will be able to ask any questions about the surgery before signing this form.

Skin Preparation

You will need to scrub your chest and legs with a special soap to remove bacteria from the skin.  On the morning of your surgery, you will need a second shower using the special soap, Hibiclens.  Skin preparation, including shaving of body hair will be done in the holding area of the surgery.

Personal Belongings

All personal belongings will need to be removed from your room after you go to surgery. You will be given a gown to wear. You will need to remove any dentures, removable partials, jewelry and wigs prior to surgery.

Length of Stay

This will vary depending on the type of cardiac surgery. Your physician will discuss this with you and your family prior to surgery. A discharge
planning nurse will visit with you to help you begin to plan for your recovery.


Your family will need to go the second level ICU waiting area as soon as you are moved to the operating room. The surgeon will meet with your family after the procedure and update them on your progress.

Visiting in the ICU

Your family will be allowed to visit with you immediately after surgery for a brief time.

Transfer to Telemetry Floor

When ready, you will be moved from the intensive care unit to a regular room to allow you to be more active. You will be monitored with a wireless heart monitor. Your family will be allowed to assist with your care and walking as you continue to recover.