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FAQ

Carotid Endarterectomy

What will the recovery time be once I’m home?[+]

Within a few weeks you will be able to return to a normal lifestyle. During the initial recovery period you will have restrictions placed on physical activity and driving.

How long will I have to stay in the hospital?[+]

You can expect to spend 1 or 2 nights in the hospital.

Heart Catheterization

If I need open heart surgery will that be done the same day? During the same admission?[+]

After your heart catheterization is performed by your cardiologist, you will be sent back to your room and 
the cardiologist will consult a heart surgeon to review your films and together they decided if open heart surgery is appropriate for you. Unless you are considered an emergency patient who needs open heart surgery immediately, your open heart surgery is usually not performed on the same day. Scheduling of your heart surgery depends on many factors but is generally performed during the same admission, but not necessarily the day immediately following your heart catheterization procedure.

If I need stents will that be done the same day?[+]

In many instances, your cardiologist may place a stent or multiple stents during the time you have your
heart catheterization procedure. However, the decision to place a stent or multiple stents at the time of your heart catheterization procedure depends on many factors and you should attempt to discuss this issue with your cardiologist before you have your procedure.

How long does the heart catheterization take?[+]

Usually the actual procedure takes around between forty-five minutes to one hour. If a coronary stent is placed the procedure will take longer depending on the additional time to place the stent or stents in your coronary artery.

Will I know the results of the test the same day?[+]

Yes, your cardiologist will be able to discuss the results of your heart catheterization with you during your hospital stay. The cardiologist will review the digital images obtained during your procedure at a computer work station following the procedure, dictate a procedure report, and then visit with you and your family.

How long will I have to stay in bed after the procedure is over?[+]

On average you will be asked to remain on bed rest between 4-6 hours, depending on your physician’s request. During that time it is important for you to lie still, and avoid bending the knee of your affected leg. The nursing staff will assist you with repositioning to ensure that you are kept as comfortable as possible. However, with a closure device plugging the artery you will be able to ambulate much sooner, for example, possibly within 3 hours.

Will I go home the same day?[+]

Depending on the results of your heart catheterization procedure you may be discharged later the same day if no blockages are found. If your heart catheterization results in a coronary stent being placed, you can expect to spend at least one night in the hospital. Complications during your recovery period may also result in the need to stay in the hospital overnight.

Will I be put completely to sleep during the procedure?[+]

Medication for relaxation or light sedation will be given. A local anesthetic will be used at the puncture site. General anesthesia is rarely used in usual circumstances. There is a possibility that you will be awake throughout the procedure but semi-sedated and restful. If at any point during the procedure you are feeling pain please alert the physician or your cath lab nurse.

What happens during a heart catheterization?[+]

After local anesthetic has numbed your groin, the doctor will make a small puncture and insert a catheter into your blood vessel. You shouldn’t feel any pain at all, but there will be a sense of pressure. He will be watching the catheter’s movement on an x-ray monitor. You won’t feel the catheter inside you as it moves through your artery to your heart. The tube is guided to your heart, where the coronary arteries originate. Special dye called contrast media is injected into your coronary artery and is seen on the x-ray monitor in the form of a picture and can identify blockages in your coronary blood artery. Dye will also be injected into your heart’s pumping chambers to see how well your heart pumps and also if a heart valves has leakage. After the procedure is finished the catheter will be removed, and firm pressure will be applied to where the catheter was removed to stop any bleeding. Alternatively, a closure device will be placed to stop any bleeding. It is important to try to lie still and not bend your knee too much for about four to six hours if you have pressure applied but you will be able to get up and ambulate much sooner if a closure device is employed. You should keep your head relatively flat. Your doctor or nurse will discuss with you how long you need to lie flat. You don’t need to keep your procedure leg stiff – you can move your foot and wiggle your toes. The nursing staff will monitor you closely during your recovery period.

Peripheral Vascular Patients

What time can I expect to be discharged?[+]

There is not an official check-out time at Kansas Heart Hospital. You will be discharged once you are seen by your physician and/or physician assistant/nurse practitioner and are provided with all of your necessary discharge follow-up instructions and medication list and / or prescriptions.

Why do I have to bring my medications from home?[+]

You are asked to bring your medications to the hospital in order for your admitting nurse to make one final cross check to assure that you are actually going to receive the medications which you have been prescribed and have been taking at home. Medicare and other healthcare agencies demand that medications be checked and double checked in order to avoid medication errors or omissions. During your hospital stay, you will be asked to take your own medications, unless the physician has prescribed a new medication or a substitute medication for your.

Will my pain be managed during the hospital stay, and when discharged home?[+]

The physician and nursing staff will work closely with you to ensure that your pain is properly controlled during your hospital stay. When you are ready for discharge the physician may prescribe a pain reliever medication if necessary.

Will this affect my ability to walk after the surgery is done?[+]

Your ability to walk should not be affected by this surgery but there may be slight swelling in the extremity which underwent surgery.

How long will I say in the hospital?[+]

If you undergo an intraoperative angiogram with angioplasty you will usually go home after the recommended period of bed rest or early the next day. If you are scheduled for a surgical bypass procedure for leg blockages, then you should expect a 1-2 night hospital stay.

Will I have incisions?[+]

If you are scheduled for an intraoperative angiogram, you will have a puncture site in the groin region in order to place a catheter to inject dye and obtain images of blockages in your leg or arm arteries. If the blockages are suitable for ballooning (the procedure is called angioplasty), it will generally be performed at the same time. Also, a peripheral stent to open up a blocked artery may be employed during the same procedure as well. Whether your procedure requires angioplasty, a stent or both will be based on the type and location of your arterial blockages.

If you are scheduled for actual surgery involving the placement of by-pass graft to treat a blockage(s) in your leg arteries you will have a surgical incision based on what needs to be done in the affected leg artery. Sometimes more than one incision may be necessary.