After you leave the hospital, you will need to see your health care team for follow up appointments. It is very important to keep these appointments to make sure you receive the best possible care to meet your individual needs.
Your first appointment will be with a certified nurse practitioner (CNP) 3-7 days after you leave the hospital. This appointment will be scheduled before you are discharged. Your next appointment will be 6 weeks after your visit with the CNP.
A report of the surgery and your progress during your hospital stay will be sent to your referring cardiologist. Call him or her as soon as you return home to make a follow-up appointment. You will need to see your cardiologist six to eight weeks after the surgery to determine how well you are healing. At this appointment, your doctor will give you instructions on driving, returning to work, and medications. Then, your doctor will tell you how often you should return. A plan of regular follow-up visits (at least once a year) is advised.
Be sure to follow your doctor’s guidelines on managing certain risk factors, including high cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity and smoking. Your doctor can provide a full risk factor evaluation and a schedule for regular follow-up visits to reduce the development or progression of coronary artery disease and reduce the risk of future complications.
If you had valve surgery, you will need to take precautions to reduce the risk of infective endocarditis. This includes taking antibiotics before you undergo any procedure that may cause bleeding such as dental work, invasive tests and surgery. Your doctor will give you more specific guidelines about reducing your risk.
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What is Mended Hearts?
Mended Hearts is a national organization dedicated to providing support and inspiring hope in heart disease patients and their families for more than 60 years. Mended Hearts of Greater Cleveland is a chapter of this national nonprofit organization. Mended Hearts helps people understand that there can be a rich, rewarding life after a heart event. They bring patients, families and caregivers together to form a network of caring individuals. Members listen, share their experiences and learn from healthcare professionals.
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