Surgery & "Top Tips" for coming into hospital

  • After the decision has been made to go ahead with surgery, you will receive a letter to attend a clinic to meet your surgeon where the surgery is explained to you. You will also meet a Psychologist and an Adult Congenital Specialist Nurse who are there to support you through the surgical pathway. Following this appointment you will be put on the waiting list for surgery.

    Once you have received a date for surgery, a pre-admission clinic appointment will be posted to you to attend, or phone call will be made to you. The pre-assessment process is run by the Adult Congenital Specialist Nurses and it aims to prepare you for your admission to hospital, provide an opportunity to ask questions, and discuss any concerns. You will also have a blood test, swabs, chest X-ray and ECG either during the clinic, alternatively an appointment will be made around three days before admission. Should you not live locally to Leeds different arrangements can be made, this is something to discuss with the Nurse Specialist.

  • You will come into hospital the day before surgery. You will meet the ward team, Surgeon and Anaesthetist, who will talk through the operation again. You will be in hospital for about one week, with at least one day and one night on the intensive care unit (ICU).
    After your operation you will be closely monitored by the Surgeon and Cardiologist. You will also have access to the Adult Congenital Nurse Specialists, Physiotherapist and Psychology team.
    Before discharge Adult Congenital Nurse Specialists will visit you on the ward to talk with you about how best to take care of yourself when you go home.
    By the time you are discharged, you will be able to dress yourself, shower, manage a flight of stairs and make yourself a light meal/snack.
    We advise against heavy, strenuous activity for at least 6-8 weeks, but encourage you to recover by regular walking and light activity. You may want to have a chat with your work about time off for recovery, we normally recommend having up to 12 weeks off.
    We will give you more advice before discharge.

  • Top Tips from adults who have experienced a hospital stay

    • Take a bottle of squash with you – unless you like drinking water at room temperature
    • Take fruit sweets/ mints/ chewing gum- can help freshen mouth/ some medication can taste horrid
    • Take snacks, your appetite is probably not going to be the best so snacks will allow you to eat little and often
    • Get visitors to bring in food that you like
    • Most wards allow you to order a take out meal that can be delivered to the Ward – Ask the staff on the ward
    • Pack music, iPod or on phone, can help if you can’t sleep
    • Chargers!!!
    • Pack magazines/book/easy puzzle book/colouring book sometimes you might not have the concentration to read a book, however flicking through a magazine/ doing a puzzle passes the time
    • Take some soft tissues
    • Take moisturiser
    • Pack layers, vest tops, short sleeve pyjamas and cardigans/ jumpers for varying hospital temperatures
    • Ear plugs & eye masks to block out noise and light at night
    • Change for the car park
    • Take your medical folder
    • Make sure your finances and paperwork are up to date (you don’t want to worry about bills)

  • A nurse specialist will phone you at home in the week following discharge to check on your progress. You will be given a contact telephone number and email address so you can get in touch should you have any concerns in between discharge and follow-up. You will receive an appointment to see a surgeon 6 weeks after discharge and cardiologists at 3-4 months.

    If you require any further information about your surgery please contact the Nurse Specialist on 0113 3928154 or

    You can get Information about the different operations here: