North Shore Private Hospital
Part of Ramsay Health Care

Other important information

When packing your hospital bag it is important to remember the following items:

  • All medications that you are currently taking
  • Any X-rays or Scans relevant to your procedure
  • Toiletries
  • Pyjamas & slippers
  • Light reading material

Please do not bring any valuables along with you to hospital and if possible keep your luggage at a minimum.

You will be admitted to North Shore Private Hospital the day before your operation is scheduled. When you arrive you will meet several people who will be involved in your care during your stay and you will also have a series of routine pre-operative tests.

Firstly, a member of the nursing staff will go through all the admission paper work and familiarise you to the ward. They will ask a series of questions relating to your family and personal medical history, current medications, any allergies and other lifestyle factors. Following this you will have;

  1. A chest x-ray, blood tests and an electrocardiograph (ECG)
  2. Your surgeon and anaesthetist will visit and assess you once you have been admitted. (Some of the questions asked by the varying members of the health care team may seem repetitive; however each particular speciality places a different emphasis on your answer.)
  3. Physiotherapy is a very important aspect of your recovery. Your physiotherapist will visit prior to surgery to assess your current activity level and explain the physiotherapy schedule after your surgery.

On the day of your admission family members can visit you and also familiarise themselves to the ward. You may request a visit of the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) to help prepare you for recovery, feel free to ask your admitting nurse to arrange this.

Our nursing staff are there to provide you with care, support and education. If you would like more information regarding your surgery or if you have any questions please do not hesitate to ask.

***HANDY HINT***
If you think of any questions leading up to your surgery before you forget them write them down and bring the list along with you to the hospital. These questions can then be answered by the appropriate team member once you arrive.
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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.

Cardiac Rehabilitation

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

Following your discharge home, a letter will be sent to your general medical practitioner detailing your operative procedure and the progression of your recovery at North Shore Private Hospital. It is also advisable that you visit your general practitioner in the week following discharge from hospital for a general checkup.

Contact Cardiac Services Manager

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact your general practitioner, surgeon or the cardiac services manager at North Shore Private Hospital on (02) 8425 3144.