For people with coronary artery disease, heart valve disease or other cardiac problems, the best remedy is often open-heart surgery. Open-heart surgery involves the use of a heart-lung machine that maintains blood flow for the heart and adds oxygen to the lungs allowing the heart to rest during the operation.
In 2004, we were the first hospital in Canada to introduce a new state-of-the-art heart-lung bypass machine, designed to produce far better patient outcomes and reduced stays in hospital. Using this machine reduces the need for transfusions during and after surgery. Fewer transfusions reduces the stress on a patient's immune and other systems, cuts the risk of infection, and the risk of post-operative complications.
Trillium Health Partners performs almost 1,300 cardiac surgeries annually. We perform the following major surgeries:
Coronary Bypass Surgery
A coronary bypass is needed when an artery in your heart is narrowed or blocked. A section of healthy artery or vein from another part of your body is removed. One end of the artery is then attached to your heart and the other end is attached to an area of your coronary artery below the blockage To do this your heart must be stopped and a heart-lung machine is used to take over the functions of the heart and lungs. Coronary bypass surgery is often used when the patient has several blockages and is not considered a candidate for angioplasty. Coronary artery bypass is one of the most common cardiac surgical procedures.
Beating Heart Surgery
Beating Heart Surgery is when of coronary bypass is performed without stopping your heart. This is possible because of a device the surgeon uses to hold a small area of your heart still so that he can perform the surgery on it. During this time, the rest of your heart continues to beat normally, so you don’t need to go on a heart lung-machine. Patients that have undergone beating heart surgery experience less serious complications, recuperate faster, and are less likely to suffer an adverse event such as a stroke.
Heart Valve Surgery
During heart valve surgery, damaged or scarred heart valves are replaced or repaired allowing the blood to more easily flow in and out of your heart chambers every time your heart beats. Heart valve repair and replacement is one of the most common cardiac surgical procedures.
100 Queensway West
Visiting Hours are 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Resources for Patients & Their Families
How to Prepare for Your Procedure
- You will need to have someone at home to stay/support you for one week after surgery. Please notify the surgeon’s office or triage coordinator if you do not have support for your recovery at home.
- Arrange for help getting to your doctor’s appointments as you will not drive for at least six weeks after your surgery.
- By the time you go home you will be able to care for yourself. You will need help with everyday activities like grocery shopping, cleaning, laundry and yard work for about six to eight weeks
- Stock up on food and household items
- Plan to be off work (for about two to three moths) and look into your sick leave benefits or employment insurance.
- Contact the Integrated Care Coordinator with any medical/physical/ social or home situation that may affect your recovery or discharge home.
Before your surgery the nurse or doctor in the clinic will instruct you to:
- Not eat or drink anything after midnight
- Take your pills with a sip of water as directed
- Apply antibiotic cream to your nose
- Take your suppository as a laxative
- Shower using an antiseptic soap.
Your Appointment at the Pre-Operative Clinic
If you are waiting at home for your surgery, you will have an appointment at the Pre-Operative Clinic one to two weeks before your surgery. Your clinic appointment will take a few hours. The surgeon’s office will tell you the date of your appointment is when they give you your surgery date. You may eat and drink before your appointment.
During your Pre-Operative Visit:
- You will be seen by a doctor, nurse and pharmacist
- You will learn about your surgery and your recovery
- You will have blood tests, an electrocardiogram (ECG) and chest x-ray (you do not have to fast for any of these tests).
Please bring to the Pre-Operative Clinic:
- The large “Surgical Package” envelope given by your surgeon
- Completed Patient Questionnaire found in your envelope
- All your pills, including vitamins and supplements.
The Day of Your Surgery
If you are waiting at home for surgery you will be admitted to the hospital the morning of your surgery. You will be told what time to arrive.
Checklist for the day of your surgery
- Do NOT wear any make-up, nail polish, or perfumed skin products.
- DO NOT wear jewelry of any kind; i.e. rings, watch, necklace. If you cannot remove your rings yourself, please have a jeweller cut them off before surgery.
- Religious and cultural items must be removed before surgery.
- Bring your health card and other health insurance information.
- Bring the large surgical package envelope and all its contents.
- Bring a family member or loved one who can help interpret for you if you do not speak English well.
- Bring containers for dentures, glasses or hearing aid. Please label the containers with your name.
- Arrange a ride to the hospital. REMEMBER: Have your family or a friend bring your overnight bag to the hospital the day after your surgery.
Things you will need in hospital:
- a front opening robe
- non-slip slippers or easy to slip on running shoes
- toothbrush and tooth paste
- electrical shaver if you wish to shave
- other personal items such as deodorant
- loose comfortable clothes you can wear when you go home
- for women please bring an old soft brassiere for comfort
- 5 -7 pieces of underwear
Please leave all your valuables at home! Valuables such as jewelry, credit cards and large sums of money should be left at home or with your family. After you have checked into Day Surgery, one family member or friend can stay with you until you go to the operating room. If you are waiting in the hospital for your surgery your nurse will start getting you ready hours before your surgery time.
Preparing to Go Home
Each day the Multidisciplinary team and the Nurse Practitioner or Surgeon will assess how you are recovering from surgery.
You are ready for discharge when:
- On Day 4 after your surgery you have not had any complications that have slowed down or affected your recovery. You should have had a bowel movement and your pain is well controlled. Your incisions should be healing. Your may require dressings for drainage.
- You and your family have home supports in place. Please notify a member of the Health Care Team if you do not have a plan in place, live alone, have special needs, do not have friends or family to assist you for a few days on your return home. You may need to be seen by a Social Worker.
- You are tolerating your medications.
- You are able to walk short distances independently get out of bed and climb a flight of stairs, (assuming you were able to do these activities before surgery).
After You Go Home
Depending on your age, your condition before surgery and whether or not you had any problems, it may take three to six months for you to recover from your surgery.
You will be required to make follow-up appointments with:
- your cardiologist in one to three months
- your surgeon in three months from date of surgery.
Bathing and Wound Care
- Take showers (avoid baths for at least one month)
- Use a bath seat to sit on while you shower
- Use warm water and let the water dribble down the incision
- Use liquid soap. If using a bar soap, non-gritty, non-perfumed, gentle soap is recommended. Do not let the bar soap sit in liquid. Drain your bar soap.
- Wash your incision with soap and water but do not scrub the incision
- Do not use a wash cloth
- Pat your incision dry
- Do not use powders or lotions near your incisions for at least one month.