Intensive Care Unit (ICU)
The duration of the stay in ICU will differ from patient to patient. Most patients will be in ICU for approximately 2 nights however each person is different and will have different requirements pertaining to their condition.
Pain relieving medication is initially administered through a morphine infusion for the first 2 days. After that, regular pain relief will be administered to you to ensure that you are kept comfortable and are able to perform your physiotherapy exercises.
Physiotherapy and breathing exercises are an important step in your recovery. Your physiotherapists will begin exercises with you in ICU to help prevent post-operative lung complications and accelerate your recovery.
Level 1 Cardiothoracic Ward
Following your stay in ICU you will be transferred to the Level 1 Cardiothoracic Ward. Here your heart rate and rhythm will be monitored for 24 hours a day at the central nurses’ station through a pocket size portable monitor known as telemetry.
As your morphine infusion has ceased it is important that you take your regular pain relief medication (administered by the nursing staff) especially in the early stages of your recovery. If you are experiencing increasing pain or discomfort, it is extremely important to tell the nursing staff.
When you first arrive from ICU you will require assistance from the nursing staff with your daily activities. Within 2-3 days of your operation you should be walking independently then shortly after that you will progress to the stairs. Once you have accomplished the stairs, are confident to return home and have approval from your surgeon and the team, (usually by day 7) you should be fit to return home.
**** REMEMBER EVERYONE'S RECOVERY IS DIFFERENT, YOUR PROGRESS WITH PHYSIOTHERAPY WILL BE DONE AT A PACE APPROPRIATE TO YOUR RECOVERY AS ASSESSED BY YOUR PHYSIOTHERAPIST ***
Should you feel that you require further accommodation for your rehabilitation, our team of specialised discharge planners can be involved in pre-surgical assessments to establish the level of care you may require after your operation. They will monitor your progress from the very beginning of your recovery to ensure a safe and easy transition back to into your home.
Post-Operative Considerations/Preparation for Discharge
Approximately five days after your surgery, you will be invited by one of the nursing staff members to attend a discussion group held in the Level 1 Cardiothoracic Ward. The information given to you here is to prepare you for discharge and your ongoing recovery at home.
Through North Shore Cardiovascular Education Centre, North Shore Private Hospital in liaison with your surgeon and cardiologist recommends all patients attend a cardiac rehabilitation program for your on-going management.
Before you are discharge from level 1 you will be referred for cardiac rehabilitation This will ensure that you have access to rehabilitation activities that are of importance to you and relevant to your own particular needs following discharge from hospital.
For further information contact Cardiac rehabilitation on 9926 6560