Evaluation and hospitalization

UC Davis cardiothoracic surgeons can quickly assemble a team of experts from vascular surgery and interventional cardiology to examine a case from every relevant angle. Using advanced proficiencies in minimally invasive techniques, as well as off-pump surgeries where indicated, surgical teams offer safe, precise and effective solutions that are associated with decreased pain, lower infection risks and faster recovery times.

Preparing for surgery

When surgery is indicated, you will undergo a presurgical evaluation that includes:

  • Blood work
  • Chest X-rays
  • Cardiac catheterization
  • Echocardiogram
  • Electrocardiogram
  • State-of-the-art MRI, CT or nuclear scans, as indicated

UC Davis physicians have access to the full range of state-of-the-art diagnostic services to help pinpoint the best course of treatment. After you’ve been fully evaluated, specialists will meet to review your data, along with the latest research, and create a comprehensive treatment plan. Your surgeon will share the plan with you, answer any questions and discuss timing. Your full involvement and the involvement of your loved ones will contribute to the best possible results. Your referring doctor also will be notified of the plan and kept abreast throughout treatment.

Your hospital stay

The average hospital stay for cardiothoracic surgery is five to seven days. This may vary with your particular procedure. During your stay at UC Davis Medical Center, you’ll receive thorough, personalized care. Multiple specialists will monitor your condition and will meet daily to discuss your progress, ensuring the most thorough and effective post-operative care. Following your surgery, a dedicated nurse, along with the physician team, will provide continuous care for you in the intensive care unit.

A supervised cardiac rehabilitation program will be designed specifically for you, beginning in the hospital and continuing on an outpatient basis. This will include an exercise program as well as education, counseling and training to help you understand the disease process that led to your surgery and help you develop a healthy lifestyle.

Maintaining long-term heart health

When you’re ready, you will return home with the knowledge, tools and resources to maximize the results of your surgery. We will talk with your primary care physician to provide updates on any new medications, specialized care or needed follow-up. While you’ll require more rest at first, your recovery program will allow you to become increasingly active each day. Because heart disease is a lifelong condition, vigorously following a heart-healthy lifestyle is critical in slowing the progression of disease and maintaining long-term health and vitality.