Heart transplant surgery typically takes six to eight hours. Additionally, patients are monitored for several more hours after surgery in the operating room prior to moving to our cardiovascular intensive care unit (CVICU).
In the CVICU, you will have many lines and tubes in place; you will be sedated and asleep during this time. There will be a breathing tube in place and IV lines in your neck; there will be a chest tube in place. The average time spent in the CVICU varies, but the average is five to seven days.
The transplant team will update your family following the surgery. Your family will be allowed to see you as soon as you are stable in the CVICU. The CVICU has open visitation hours with the exception of 6:30-8:30 am and pm.
Once the transplant team decides you no longer require intensive care, you will be transitioned to our heart transplant step-down unit. Like the nurses in the CVICU, our nurses in the transplant unit have specialized training to care for heart transplant recipients.