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A Patient's Guide to Heart Surgery

Follow-Up Appointments After Heart Surgery

Doctor and patient during checkup.

Cardiovascular Surgery Post-Op Clinic: 1-2 weeks after surgery

One to two weeks after surgery, you will meet with a nurse practitioner who will check your incision and cardiopulmonary status. Your nurse will let you know if you need further tests or evaluation.

Cardiologist: 6-8 weeks after surgery

A report of your surgery and your progress during your hospital stay will be sent to your cardiologist after you leave the hospital. As soon as you return home from the hospital, call your cardiologist to make a follow-up appointment. Your appointment should be six to eight weeks after your surgery.

At this appointment, your cardiologist will determine how well you are healing, as well as give you instructions on medications, resuming activities, driving, and returning to work. You will also be scheduled for future follow-up visits.

Any time before your appointments, you should call your doctor if you:

  • Experience chest pain or discomfort similar to what you felt before surgery.
  • Have new or increased swelling of the legs and feet.
  • See any signs of infection at the incision line.
  • Gain weight of more than 2 pounds in one day.
  • Have a fever higher than 101 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius).
  • Experience new or increasingly rapid or irregular heart beats.
  • Have shortness of breath or dizziness even when you are resting.

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