The First Day
Connected to Equipment
When you first wake up, the breathing tube that was put in during surgery will still be in your throat. Your lungs need help until all the anesthetic has worn off.
You will not be able to speak while the tube is in place. However, the nurses are experts at communicating with patients who cannot speak. They are very skilled at finding out what you need.
After the tube is taken out, you will be a little hoarse and you may have a sore throat for a short time. This is normal.
Heart Monitor, IV Lines and Tubes
- In the CVICU, you will be connected to a monitor that shows your heart rate and rhythm.
- The IV lines put in before your surgery will still be in place.
- A large IV line in your neck allows the nurses to give you medication and monitor your heart.
- A small tube in your wrist or groin allows nurses and doctors to monitor your blood pressure and take blood samples.
- Tubes in your chest help remove excess air and fluid from around your heart and lungs.
- The chest tubes are connected to a suction machine which will make a bubbling sound.
Removed a Few Days After Surgery
While you are connected to this equipment, you will not be able to move around much. The chest tubes, and most of the other equipment, usually are removed a few days after surgery.
Some patients need transfusions of blood products during or after surgery. If you have any questions about blood transfusions, please discuss them with your surgeon.