Information on admission
When you are admitted to the hospital, you will be directed to the nursing ward by the admissions department. Once arrived, a nurse will take care of your admission and give you the desired and necessary information.
Please bring the completed questionnaire you received (anamnesis form) with you, so we can quickly get a good and complete overview of your physical condition, and medical history. Think about important information and be sure to report it! Think about allergies, anti-coagulant medication, diabetes,…
Bring a clear overview of the medications you take at home. We recommend that you bring the original packaging to avoid misunderstandings. During your stay you will receive medication from the hospital.
We will do our best to accommodate your preference for the type of room. If you would like a private room but it is not available at the time of admission, you may have to stay in a double room for a little while. We will do our best to respect your wishes and move you to a private room as soon as possible.
Time of the operation
The evening of your admission, you will be told the time of your procedure. This is a guideline time. Each patient and each operation is given the time it deserves so this time may change. Urgent procedures may also affect the surgery schedule. During your stay we will keep you informed as much as possible about the operation program. Do not hesitate to speak to us about this.
What to bring to the hospital
As new patients are admitted or transferred from the intensive care unit daily, we cannot guarantee that after surgery you will stay in the same room as on the day of your admission. Therefore, please limit what you bring with you to avoid unnecessary unpacking and packing.
When you arrive, bring only the following:
- night clothes when you are admitted the day before the operation
- your glasses
When you return to our department, you and your family will be notified in time and you may have clothing brought to you for the remainder of your stay.
We recommend that you bring as few valuables as possible to the hospital. In your room, however, you can store valuables behind a lock. You can give the key to a nurse for safekeeping when you are not in your room.
Assistance after discharge
Be prepared for a period after surgery when it may be more difficult for you to care for yourself. Think about this in advance and discuss it with your family, family doctor or specialist. The social worker will help you from day one to ensure that your return is as smooth as possible. Even before your admission, you can contact our social workers who can give you clear information about possible additional support at home or in a recovery stay.
The examinations that will take place on the day of admission are listed below:
- ECG (cardiac ultrasound)
- chest X-ray (picture of the lungs)
- blood test
- screening for MRSA (= the ‘hospital bug’)
Sometimes additional tests are needed such as:
- doppler neck vessels (ultrasound)
- urine analysis
- sputum examination (in case of valve surgery)
- consultation with the ear, nose, and throat specialist (in case of valve surgery)
- consultation with the dentist (in case of valve surgery)
- lung function tests
Some tests may have already been done ambulatory. Always bring the results with you on admission.
During the day of admission, the physiotherapist, surgeon and anesthesiologist will also visit you. This will give you the opportunity to ask additional questions. We would therefore ask you to stay in your room on the day of admission or to report when you want to leave the room.
If you think you will have trouble sleeping that night or if you are nervous or anxious, you may ask the anesthesiologist to prescribe medication.
The evening before surgery, a nurse will depilate the surgical area. During surgery an incision is made at the level of the chest and (sometimes) the legs. From a hygienic point of view, hair removal is necessary. This means that the hair is trimmed away at the level of the chest, both legs and the pubic area. After depilation you will take a disinfecting shower.
The day of the operation
The day of surgery you must be in the fasting state. This means no eating, drinking or smoking from midnight the day before surgery.
When it is your turn, there will be a final check using the preoperative checklist. You will be given a lozenge to prepare for general anesthesia. This medication will not put you to sleep yet, but you will start to feel lethargic and everything that happens around you will have less impact on you. It is important that you do not get out of bed after taking this medication.
The nurses will take you and your bed to the operating room where you will be entrusted to the team from the operating room.
Stay in the intensive care unit
Cardiac surgery is a very drastic event for your body. For the first few days you will therefore need to be kept under constant supervision by a group of specially trained doctors and nurses in the intensive care unit.
What is the room like?
The intensive care unit is located on the third floor of the hospital. Due to the high intensity of care, sounds such as alarms, the passing by of nurses, doctors and the cleaning team can be observed on this service. The rooms are continuously lit, but this is kept to a minimum at night. This is necessary for continuous monitoring of body functions.
In the intensive care unit, a responsible nurse and doctor are always present for you. You can call on them at any time. You are never alone in the intensive care unit.