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Prepare For Your Visit

At Kaweah Health, our team works around the clock to make sure you receive 24/7 care before and after your heart surgery. Before you arrive, we would like to give you the opportunity to learn about what will happen during your visit and introduce the team that will be caring for you.

What to Bring

Patients should bring with them their home medications - the actual bottles, along with any over-the- counter meds or vitamins they currently take. This will help our nurses document a correct list of medications on admission. Patients should not bring any valuables, including cell phones or computers. These items are not allowed on our unit because they interfere with the equipment used for patient monitoring.


When you arrive for cardiac surgery, you must check in at the front desk of the Acequia Wing (located along Acequia Avenue and Floral Street) before you can come up to the 4th floor. You’ll be admitted there and escorted up to a room on the 4th floor. Once your admission paperwork is done, various tests may be completed such as lab and x-rays and you will meet and be educated by a respiratory therapist regarding breathing exercises. The registered nurse will show videos and explain in detail the processes and care before and after surgery.

Your Surgery

On the day of your surgery, a registered nurse from our cardiac surgery operating room and one of our surgical assistants will go to your room and speak with you before your surgery. They will bring you to the operating room, where you will receive anesthesiology care. From that point, your heart team will take over to complete your procedure. Once your surgery is complete you will be taken to the cardiovascular intensive care unit for an overnight stay until you are stable enough to return to a room on the fourth floor.

Meet Your Heart Team

surgery team

It takes a team to provide great heart care. Here's a look at the people who will work to make sure you receive great care during your stay.

Cardiac Surgeon: Cardiovascular surgeon performs operations on the heart and blood vessels of the body. There are a number of different types of operations on the heart, including replacement of heart valves, or bypasses of blocked coronary arteries.

Assistant Surgeon: Surgeon assistants provide help during an operation by performing a variety of surgical tasks. In our program, it is a second Cardiac Surgeon.

Registered First Assistant: This person is a medical or allied health practitioner that provides aide in exposure, hemostasis, and visualization of anatomic structures during the course of a surgical operation.

Physician Assistant: This person is responsible for preparing you before surgery, provides aide in exposure, hemostasis, and visualization of anatomic structures during your surgical operation. The physician’s assistant also assists in post-surgery care.

Registered Nurse Circulator: The circulating nurse is responsible for managing your nursing care as you undergo an operative or invasive procedure. This person also coordinates the needs of surgical team members and other care providers involved in your procedure.

Surgical Technician: The job of the surgical technician is critical to the success of your operation. This professional helps set up the operating room before surgery. It is their job to make sure all equipment is working properly including sterile and non-sterile operating equipment. It is also this person’s job to make sure that everything is in place and organized so that he/she can provide the exact tool needed in an efficient manner.

Perfusionist: The main responsibility of this specially trained health professional is to support your physiological needs during surgery so that the cardiac surgeon may operate your heart. This is accomplished through the utilization of the heart-lung machine. The perfusionist is solely responsible for the circulatory and respiratory functions of the heart-lung machine.