Typical Heart Surgery Timeline

What to Expect

If you are scheduled for cardiac surgery or if your heart surgery is a result of an emergency situation, the cardiac nurse educators and the rest of the team at Oregon Heart & Vascular Institute at Sacred Heart Medical Center at RiverBend will explain exactly what to expect, including day-by-day details of a typical cardiac surgery hospital stay.

In general:

  • Cardiac surgery procedures usually last from three to six hours.
  • The average length of stay in the hospital after heart surgery is four to five days.
  • You will need someone at home to help you for at least one week after surgery.
  • You will continue to need help for the next four to six weeks after surgery with lifting, house cleaning, laundry and driving. It is very important that you make plans for someone to help you as you recover. Tell your nurse if you need help making plans for discharge.

Other things to know about cardiac surgery at Oregon Heart & Vascular Institute:

  • Leave all valuables—including wedding rings—and clothing at home (or send them home with your family before surgery). You may keep glasses, dentures and hearing aides.
  • The surgeon will visit with family members in the Intensive Care waiting room after the surgery is over when you (the patient) are settled in the Intensive Care Unit.
  • You will be seen by one of the cardiac surgeons each day. It may not be the surgeon who performed your surgery; however, each surgeon is familiar with all cardiac surgery patients. You will see your surgeon about six weeks after you are discharged.
  • Before discharge from the hospital, the nurse educator will contact you to schedule an instruction class. This class is for the person who will be helping you at home after discharge.

For more information, please contact us at (541) 222-7218 or (888) 240-6484.