The Hospital Stay
On the day of surgery you will be prepared to go to the operating room by the nursing staff. Then you will be taken to the operating room, where one of your physicians will give you anesthesia, which will cause you to sleep. The operation will usually take 3 to 5 hours and will use the latest heart surgery techniques and equipment. After the surgery, you will be taken to the intensive care unit, where you will wake up a few hours later. Under normal circumstances, you will remain there for 48 hours, until you can be transferred to a regular hospital room. In the next few days, you will progress steadily from sitting to standing to walking and from liquid food to solid food. In general, you are likely to feel sensations of pressure in the chest and stiffening in the back and neck along with some degree of pain. You will be given physical therapy with breathing exercises, which are important to your recovery.