You will be given a pre-medication before going to the operating theatre. The medication is to help you relax and will probably make you drowsy. Please stay in bed after you have been given this medication. You may also be given supplemental oxygen by a face mask.
On the day of your surgery your family may visit you prior to your going to the theatre. You will be taken to the operating theatre on a trolley or on your bed. Your family may walk with you up to the theatre doors and can wait in the waiting lounge or pray in the Multi Religious Room located on the 6th floor of the main building.
Once in the operating theatre you will be aware of the Anaesthetist inserting a ‘drip’ or intravenous line (IV) into your arm. You will then be given an injection into your IV, which will make you relax and go to sleep. A mask may also be placed over your face, which you will be asked to breathe through.
A heart/lung machine is used during open-heart surgery and valve surgery. A heart/lung machine does the work of the heart and lungs during the heart operation. If you are having coronary artery bypass surgery there are occasions where it may not be necessary for the heart/lung machine to be used. You will be informed, if this is the case with your operation.
Heart surgery generally requires that a person be in theatre for 3 – 6 hours. This includes preparation time. This time may be extended due to the technical aspects of the procedure and is not necessarily an indication of life threatening complications.