Planning ahead for your operation
Stay as active as possible and to the degree that your condition and the recommendations by your doctors allow.
If you are overweight try to lose as much excessive weight as possible. Overweight patients can be at high risk of complications during and after a heart operation.
Stop smoking. Patient who continue to smoke to the day of their heart operation are faced with a much higher risk of respiratory related complications and delay recovery.
If you due to have a heart valve operation, visit your dentist a few weeks ahead of your operation dated and make sure that your gums and teeth are as healthy as possible.
Traveling: Make arrangements for someone to drive you to the hospital on your admission date and especially have someone to pick you up at discharge. You will not be able to drive for a period of at least 6 weeks after a heart operation.
Driving prior to cardiac surgery: Further information about driving after cardiac surgery can be found through the DVLA website.
What to take with you: Pyjamas, supporting (sport) bras, slippers and socks, toiletries and shaving equipment. Do not forget a good book, or a laptop/ipad, some films, your mobile phone …anything you think that it may need to help you pass the time.
Make arrangement for when you get back home: You will not be able to lift things for weeks after the operation and you will not be able to drive for at least 6 weeks. Make sure that you have adequate support from your husband/wife/partner/children/friends/distant family. If you live by yourself, try to find and arrange for help to be available. Consider discussing this with your GP and Social Services if required and explore the possibility of joining a Nursing Home for a few weeks.
Do not forget other members of the family that may dependent on you and any pets you may have. Appropriate arrangements may be necessary not only for the time you will be at the hospital but also for the first few weeks after you return back home.
Useful map of John Radcliffe Hospital