Open Heart Surgery at Emanuel
Open heart surgery at Emanuel is performed by a team of specialists, some of the most talented and experienced surgeons, doctors, nurses and technicians found anywhere. The team includes:
The cardiothoracic and vascular surgeon heads the surgical team and runs the operating suite. Assisted by the others around him, the surgeon performs the actual cutting and stitching required during various open heart procedures.
The perfusionist becomes the patient's heart and lungs during an open-heart procedure. He connects the patient to the hospital's state-of-the-art heart-lung machine, which bypasses the heart and circulates oxygenated blood to the patient's brain and body.
The team's anesthesiologist monitors and managers the patient before and during surgery. He administers anesthesia to put the patient to sleep and make the procedure pain-free, administers any other medications the patient needs, and inserts the breathing tube that connects the patient to a mechanical ventilator.
The cardiac physician's assistant is responsible for patients' pre-operative care - coordinating consultations, ordering tests and performing any other functions necessary to ensure the patient is ready for surgery - and assist the heart surgeon during surgery.
These specially trained surgical assistants prepare the sterile area of the operating room before surgery, and assist the heart surgeon during surgery.
The circulating nurse works at the perimeter of the operating room, helping maintain a completely sterile environment at the operating table. They bring in equipment or supplies the surgical team needs, enters information into records and calls orders to other departments.
Complete Cardiac Services
Other specialists and services caring for cardiac patients at Emanuel include:
Critical Care Nurses
Open heart surgery patients transferred to the Critical Care Unit are cared for by a specially trained cardiovascular intensive care nurse who administers post-operative care as directed by the surgeon. The goal in the Critical Care Unit is to have a patient breathing on their own about four hours after surgery, on their feet briefly about eight hours after surgery, and healthy enough to leave the unit for a regular hospital floor within one to two days.
Patients emerging from open heart surgery are still on mechanical ventilation when transferred to the Critical Care Unit. A respiratory therapist monitors that ventilator, ensuring the patient is receiving enough oxygen in their blood. When the patient is capable of breathing on their own, the respiratory therapist disconnects the ventilator and removes the patient's breathing tube.
Cardiac rehabilitation is a supervised program to help heart patients recover quickly and improve their overall physical, mental and social functioning. The goal is to stabilize, slow or even reverse the progression of cardiovascular disease.
Emanuel's dietitian helps patients understand the links between diet and cardiovascular disease and learn healthier eating habits to improve their cardiovascular health.
Emanuel's on-site blood bank ensures patients have immediate access to the blood products they need during surgery or after-care.
For additional information on what you can expect after heart surgery, please view our brochure:
What to Expect After Heart Surgery - English
What to Expect After Heart Surgery - Spanish