Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery: When You Arrive at the Hospital

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Topic Overview

What happens at the hospital before the CABG procedure?

You will likely need to check into the hospital the night before or morning of your coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) procedure. You will take a shower with antibacterial soap the night before surgery. You won't be allowed anything to eat or drink after midnight.

Before your surgery, you will meet some of the members of the surgical team, including the anesthesiologist. This doctor gives you medicines to put you to sleep for the surgery and control your pain both during and after your surgery. He or she will explain how general anesthesia works and make note of any allergies you might have to medicines. You'll get a sedative to make you feel more comfortable and relaxed.

In the preoperative area

Until your operating room is ready, you will stay in the preoperative, or pre-op, room. Your family and friends will probably be asked to stay in the waiting room. Your anesthesiologist or his or her assistant will then start one or more intravenous (IV) lines in your arm. You will be given saline fluid (to keep you hydrated), anesthesia, and other medicines through your IV line before, during, and after your surgery.

Preparation in the operating room

When your surgery team is ready, you will be moved on a bed with wheels to the operating room. The staff will greet you and make sure that you are as comfortable as possible. Soon, you will receive general anesthesia through your IV line to put you to sleep. After you fall asleep, which happens quickly, a small tube called a Foley catheter will be placed through the opening of your urethra (the opening of the penis or the female urinary tract) and into your bladder. The free end of the catheter will then be hooked up to a bag that will collect urine.

If your surgeon plans to use parts of your leg veins for the bypass grafts, your legs may be placed in a frog position, with the soles of your feet placed together and knees spread apart. Next, your chest, arms, and legs will be cleansed so that they are germ-free. Sterile drapes will be placed on the parts of your body that are not involved in the surgery.


ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerRakesh K. Pai, MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology
Specialist Medical ReviewerRobert A. Kloner, MD, PhD - Cardiology

Current as ofFebruary 20, 2015