Valley Heart & Vascular Institute - Cardiac Surgery
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Discharge Planning

Best Discharge Plan

You will be working closely with our case manager to determine the best discharge plan. Many factors will influence the final discharge plan. Some of these factors are how long you have been in the hospital, your progress with physical therapy and what benefits are provided by your insurance plan.

  • Risk Factor Modification – Smoking cessation will be reinforced every day if applicable. We will have a nutritionist review appropriate diets with you and your family and you will be advised of the benefits of outpatient cardiac rehabilitation.
  • Signs and Symptoms of Congestive Heart Failure – If you develop symptoms of increased shortness of breath, lower leg swelling, or weight gain of more than 2 pounds overnight, you will need to call your primary cardiologist as soon as possible.
  • Follow Up – You will need to return to the cardiac surgery office approximately 6 weeks after your surgery and to see your referring doctor 1-2 weeks after discharge.

Frequently Asked Questions:

  • How long will I be in the hospital?
    • Most patients will go home in less than 1 week.
  • I live alone. What will I do when I get home?
    • Each patient is seen and evaluated by our case manager to determine the safest discharge plan.
  • How late can I go home the day of discharge?
    • There is no special discharge time. The time is dependent on when arrangements for your transportation home are made.
  • Can I go home in a car?
    • Absolutely! It is important to sit in the back seat. We advise that you place the safety belt across your chest, but over the heart pillow.
  • Can I attend a cardiac rehabilitation program once discharged as an outpatient?
    • Yes. Your cardiologist will discuss when it is safe for you to begin this phase of your recovery.
  • Does the hospital give me my medications at discharge?
    • No. Your physician or the nurse practitioner will provide you with prescriptions that you can bring to your local pharmacy to be filled.
  • When can I shower?
    • You may shower 5 days after your surgery using a mild, non-fragrant soap.
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