Recovery from Cardiac Surgery at BIDMC

Learn what to expect after cardiac surgery, from the Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit to your home.

After your heart surgery, you will be taken to the Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit (CVICU). Here, your team of specially trained doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists, and others will provide constant care and monitoring.

Several hours after your surgery, you will begin to wake up, and may see several people around your bed. This is routine. Many patients feel confused and anxious when they first wake up, but try to remember that you are never left alone in the CVICU, and you are being watched very carefully.

Visiting Hours

Because of the special needs of patients who have had cardiac surgery, visiting hours must be restricted in the CVICU. In general:

  • One or two close family members may visit between 12 and 8 p.m.
  • Visits should last about five minutes.
  • CVICU nursing staff may alter visitor guidelines depending on your condition.

Designated Family Spokesperson

We understand how important it is for your family to receive information about your condition. We ask that families designate one person to be a main spokesperson. The staff will be in close contact with the spokesperson, who can relay information as needed to the rest of your family and friends.