The Post-Operative Unit
Recover From Surgery
Most patients leave the CVICU the day after surgery. The nurses in the CVICU will help you out of bed and into a special chair. A nurse will bring you to the postoperative unit in this chair.
Stay Until Discharged from Hospital
You will stay on the postoperative unit until you are discharged from the hospital. For most patients, this is three to five days after surgery. The nurses on the postoperative unit are specially trained to care for patients who have had cardiac surgery.
Getting Back on Your Feet
On the postoperative unit, you will recover from surgery and get back on your feet. Every day, you will be able to do a little more.
Many people are surprised to hear that they will be out of bed as early as the day after surgery. But starting to move around again is probably the most important part of your recovery. Most everyone also walks up a flight of stairs with a physical therapist before leaving the hospital.
In addition to nurses and doctors, you will see other healthcare providers on the postoperative unit. You may see some or all of these providers, depending on your needs.
Cardiac Surgical Fellows and Residents
Cardiac surgical fellows and residents are doctors who receive specialized training in caring for cardiac surgical patients. They work closely with your surgeon to provide the highest level of care during your admission.
Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants
Nurse practitioners and physician assistants are health providers with specialized training who work with your doctors to provide your care.
Rehabilitation Services Staff
Staff from the department of rehabilitation services, which includes physical therapy and occupational therapy, work with you and your family to make sure that, as you recover, you are as active and as healthy as you can possibly be.
Social Workers and Case Managers
Members of the social work and case management departments are available to help you and your family cope with the stress of having surgery, and also to help you plan for your needs after discharge.
Staff from respiratory therapy may be involved in your care postoperatively if needed.
If you have special dietary needs, you may want to see someone from nutrition services during or after your stay. Ask your nurse or doctor for more information.