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, specialist physiotherapist and psychology team. Before discharge a nurse specialist 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.
We will give you more advice before discharge.
These Top Tips have been written by adults who have experienced a hospital stay
Food & Drink
• 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/ when you want.
• Get visitors to bring in food that you fancy as some of the hospital meals can be interesting (I’ll never forget ham and parsley sauce?!).
• Make best friends with the lovely healthcare assistants so you don’t have to have breakfast at 7.00, 9.30 is a much more acceptable time (probably only relevant if you’re a long termer ?).
• 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, i Pod or on phone, can help if you can’t sleep on a night due to the noise.
• Pack magazines/ easy puzzle book/ colouring book (or book), sometimes you might not have the concentration to read a book, however flicking through a magazine/ doing a puzzle passes the time. Also when you run out of things to talk to your visitors about as you have done nothing and all they have done is visit you for the last week or so, or you fall asleep they can also read them!!
Extra items to consider
• Take some soft tissues (the hospital ones are ok but not that soft after a while).
• Take moisturiser especially hand moisturiser as it is dry in the hospital.
• Pack layers, vest tops, short sleeve pyjamas and cardigans/ jumpers as it can be really warm on the wards.
• Ear plugs & eye masks to block out noise and light at night.
• Change for the car park when you get dropped off and for your relatives who might stay with you.
• Side rooms are ok for a couple of days but can become isolating; at least on the ward you can see the comings and goings.
• Take your medical folder- probably only relevant for other hospitals (not LGI).
• Don’t be afraid to ask for help (delegate walking the dog, housework etc)
• Make sure your finances and paperwork are up to date ( you don’t want to worry about bills)