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Cardiac Surgery

Cardiology Patient Information

Before Your Surgery

It is important for you to stop smoking as soon as you know you are to have surgery. If you quit smoking, you will have less difficulty with breathing and clearing your secretions after surgery and it will decrease stress on your heart and incision. Speak with your PCP or Cardiologist for treatments that may be started to stop smoking.

Preadmission Testing

You will be scheduled for a preadmission testing day about 1- 2 weeks prior to your scheduled surgery. A letter will provide you with the appointment location, date and time, and map/parking information. Please remember to eat a regular breakfast on this day and take your medications as you normally would through the day. Please bring with you a list of your medications and dosages. Generally, it is a busy day for you and may take 4- 6 hours.

You will meet with your surgeon and a nurse practitioner to explain your surgical procedure. Your health history will be reviewed and a physical examination will be performed. During this appointment, you will have blood work, urinalysis, EKG (electrocardiogram), and chest x-ray. You will also have an appointment with an anesthesiologist to explain the anesthesia and procedures which are required prior to and during your operation. Additional testing may include:

  • Cardiac Echocardiogram
  • Cardiac Catheterization
  • Carotid Ultrasound
  • Vein Mapping Lower Extremities
  • Chest Angiogram/Chest CT scan
  • Pulmonary Function Test
  • Dental Clearance

If you are to have heart valve surgery, you will need a dental clearance letter stating you have no dental infections. If you need dental surgery, this should be discussed with your surgeon. Dental procedures need to be done with antibiotic coverage and time allowed for adequate healing prior to surgery.


  • You will be given instructions regarding medications you need to stop prior to surgery.
  • Nonsteriodal medications such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn, Anaprox) products are stopped one week prior to surgery.
  • Take Tylenol for pain control as needed.

Continue taking aspirin.

Also provided will be instructions on when to stop blood thinners, such as Coumadin, and antiplatelet drugs, such as Plavix.


  • Rest as much as possible while waiting for your scheduled surgical date.
  • Avoid strenuous activity prior to surgery.
  • Notify your cardiologist if your angina symptoms worsen.