Heart Transplant Online Manual
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Heart transplant surgeons
This surgery is being performed at Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis by:
Cardiologists who work with heart transplant patients include:
- Mosi Bennett, MD, PhD
- Barry Cabuay, MD, FACC
- David Feldman, MD, PhD, FACC, FAHA
- Kasia Hryniewicz, MD
- Michael Samara, MD
- Peter Zimbwa, MD, PhD, MSC, MRCP, DTM&H
After your surgery
After surgery, you will be moved to the Cardiovascular Surgical Intensive Care Unit (Station H-4100). You will stay here for two to three days.
You can expect the following while you are in the Intensive Care Unit.
- The nurses will watch you closely.
- You will be unable to talk for the first few hours after surgery. A breathing machine (ventilator) will help your breathing during and right after surgery. Your nurse will help you communicate (either with your hands or blinking your eyes) during this time.
- You will receive medicines through intravenous (IV) lines in your arm or hand.
- You will be connected to a heart monitor to check your heart rate, heart rhythm, pulse and temperature.
- You will be in a positive pressure room and isolation to keep you from being exposed to germs.
- Everyone who enters your room will need to wash their hands. You may have visitors as long as they do not have an illness that could be spread (such as a cold or the flu).
- You will be asked to wear a mask when you leave your room. The mask will protect you from getting infections.
- When your doctors feel you are ready to leave the Intensive Care Unit, you will be moved to a telemetry unit. You will start rehabilitation to regain your strength, start taking your medicines on your own, and learn other self-care skills.
Preparing to go home
While still in the hospital, you will learn how to begin your life as a transplant recipient. Routine care, medicine schedules, and clinic visits will become familiar topics.
The more you learn, the better you can manage your health needs at home.
- Learn about your medicines. Be sure you know:
—what they are (brand name and generic name)
—when to take them
—how to take them
—why you need to take them
—possible side effects.
- Keep track of your medicines on the chart you receive by the transplant coordinator two to three days before you leave the hospital.
- Learn to check your pulse, temperature and weight once a day and your blood pressure twice a day. Keep track of your numbers on the chart given to you by the transplant coordinator before you leave the hospital.
- Wear a MedicAlert® bracelet. This bracelet identifies you as a heart transplant recipient. Go to medicalert.com for more information.
- Learn the symptoms of infection and rejection.
Before you go home
Before you leave the hospital, you should be able to:
- identify your medicines, why you are taking them and how to take them
- use the Medication Plan when taking your medicines
- tell staff the signs of rejection and infection
- understand the follow-up plan
- write down important information on the Daily Record given to you by the transplant coordinator before you leave the hospital.
Source: Allina Health's Patient Education Department, Care After Heart Transplant, cvs-ahc-95405 (4/13)
First published: 01/06/2013
Last updated: 01/06/2013
Reviewed by: Allina Health's Patient Education Department