About Mercy

Preparing for Surgery


You will be scheduled for surgery after you have consulted with your cardiologist and a cardiac surgeon. A nurse will visit with you and your family about what to expect. Please also watch the realistic and reassuring video above to help you take an active role in preparing for surgery and the recovery.

To help you plan for your surgery and for your post-surgery recovery period, we urge you to think about what you and your family may need to do before, during and after your hospital stay.  Your health care team will assist you and your family by addressing discharge needs based on the type of surgery you have and what your recovery needs may be.

Questions to consider

  • Will a friend or family member be with you at the hospital?  If so, do they have any special needs?  Have they planned for lodging and meals?
  • Who will be available to answer questions or make medical and other decisions for you should you be unable to do so after your surgery?  Do you have a durable power of attorney for making health care decisions?  If you have a living will or durable power of attorney, bring a copy of it to the hospital with you.
  • While you are in the hospital, have you arranged for someone to care for your home, your pets or pay rent, utilities, etc.?  You may also want to let your clergy know that you will be in the hospital.
  • Have you asked your doctor about what assistance you may need after discharge? Possible options include home care, a skilled nursing facility and outpatient services. Make arrangements for someone to stay with you for approximately one week when you return home.
  • Most patients are not allowed to lift more than 10 pounds for six to eight weeks after surgery. Who will be available to carry your groceries, do your laundry, vacuum or do other chores?
  • Most patients are not allowed to drive for four weeks after surgery. Who will be able to drive you to clinic visits and other appointments?
  • Do you have financial concerns or questions about insurance coverage for your hospital stay or for any services you may need after you leave the hospital? 
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Des Moines, Iowa 50314

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