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The Day of Bypass Surgery

Most people feel anxious on the day of bypass surgery. If you feel anxious, you can request medication to help you relax and decrease your anxiety. As you are being prepared for your bypass surgery, patches will be applied to the skin of your chest, arms, or legs for an electrocardiogram (EKG). Your healthcare team will also make sure that you have an intravenous fluid line, through which you will be given medications and fluids throughout your procedure.

(Technically speaking, an open heart surgery is any procedure where the chest is opened, which certainly includes procedures beyond a heart bypass (a valve replacement, for example). However, because a heart bypass is the most common type of open heart surgery, for the purposes of this article, we will be using the terms "bypass" and "open heart surgery" interchangeably.)
 

An Overview of The Day of Bypass Surgery

On the day of your bypass surgery, at your scheduled time, you may be taken to a pre-operative room or directly to the operating room. Your privacy will be maintained at all times, and the staff will make every effort to keep you warm and comfortable.
 
If you feel anxious, as most patients do, you can request medication to help you relax and decrease your anxiety.
 
To begin preparing you for open heart surgery, patches will need to be applied to the skin of your chest, arms, or legs for an electrocardiogram, or EKG. An EKG records the electrical activity of your heart.
 
Many tubes and lines will also need to be placed to provide for your safety. Exactly when these tubes and lines are placed will vary. However, you should expect them to be in place before the surgery begins.
 
Your healthcare professional will first make sure that you have an intravenous (IV) fluid line. You will be given medications and fluids through your IV throughout the procedure. Antibiotics will also be given to you to decrease your risk of infection.
 
A special IV called an arterial line may be placed in an artery, usually in your right wrist, to check your heart rate and blood pressure continuously.
 
A catheter, which is a plastic tube, will be inserted into your bladder. Another tube will be placed into your stomach, and a specialized IV will be inserted into a large vein in your neck or upper chest.
 
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Heart Bypass Surgery

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