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Patient Education: Diseases Conditions Treatments & Procedures

Heart Surgery

Before Your Surgery

You will be asked to scrub your chest and possibly your legs the night before surgery with a special antiseptic soap. This will clean your skin and remove germs.

Rinse off all the soap GENTLY. Don't use powder or lotion on your legs or chest. If you are unable to clean yourself, your nurse will assist you.

Clipping of hair will be done prior to your surgery by one of our staff. You are not required to do this on your own. Clipping the hairs on your skin decreases the chance of infection following your surgery. The area and time of the clipping will depend on the kind of surgery and your doctor's orders.

You may be given a suppository to help you have a bowel movement, before your surgery.

If you can not sleep the night before surgery ask your nurse if a sleeping pill is ordered. Sometimes just talking to your nurse helps reassure you.

You must not eat or drink anything on your own after midnight before your surgery. This will prevent you from vomiting during your surgery. You may take some of your medications with a sip of water and you may rinse your mouth with water if it becomes too dry but DON'T SWALLOW.