This page is for patients who have been recommended by their cardiologist (heart doctor) to have heart surgery. Your cardiologist should have talked to you about the alternatives to surgery and why we believe this is the best option for you.
Your operation date
After your first appointment with the surgeon, you will be placed on a the waiting list. Your surgeon will tell you roughly how long you will have to wait and may give you a date in clinic. If not, the surgeon's secretary will contact you within a few days of coming to clinic, to discuss this. If there is a date or period of time that is inconvenient for you, please let the secretary know.
What to do if your symptoms change
If your condition worsens, please see your GP. If you have sudden problems, call 999.
This clinic aims to prepare you for your operation - both emotionally and physically. You will meet members of the surgical team and have some important tests. You may be in the clinic for 4-5 hours, or possibly longer if special tests are needed.
All patients will have:
an electrocardiogram (ECG), which records the electrical activity of the heart
a chest xray
swabs taken for methicillin resistant stapylococcus aureus (MRSA).
Some patients will also have an echocardiogram (an ultrasound scan that checks how your heart is pumping).
Members of the team will also talk to you about things to plan beforehand, such as how much time off work you will need, your recovery and how to get home after your surgery.
We will explain to you what will happen for your operation and your recovery on the ward. We will also talk you through the possible complications.
It is important you understand the treatment you are agreeing to, so please ask questions if you are unsure.
For more information, see our patient leaflets or ask a member of the team caring for you for the booklet called Having heart surgery. You will also be given information about what to do when you are leaving hospital.
Your follow-up appointment
We will give you an appointment about 6 - 8 weeks after your operation to see a doctor from your surgeon's team. The doctor will check that you are making a good recovery and will deal with any problems you are having.
Your long-term medical follow-up will be arranged closer to home for you, either by your consultant or GP.
Cardiac rehabilitation programme
You will be invited to attend a cardiac rehabilitation centre at your local centre. This aims to help you to return to normal life and health after your surgery.
Please contact our cardiac rehabilitation team on 020 7188 0946 if you haven't heard from your local team within a month of being discharged from our care.