Preparing for Surgery

Once it has been decided that you need open-heart surgery, you will either remain in the hospital or will be sent home for the surgery to be scheduled at a later time. The decision to stay in the hospital or go home is based on the severity of the heart problem. Whether you are sent home or remain in the hospital, you will undergo a series of lab tests and procedures in preparation for the surgery.

If you are released to go home, you will be asked to return to the hospital one or two days prior to your surgery to undergo the following lab tests and procedures:

  • Lab Work
  • Chest X-ray
  • Electrocardiogram
  • Pulmonary Function Test

If you have a loved one who has a similar blood type and would like to donate blood for you, they will need to donate five days prior to your surgery. Call the Mission Hospital Blood Bank at (949) 364-7768 to schedule an appointment to donate blood prior to the surgery.

In addition, you may also be asked to:

  • Stop smoking.
  • Stop taking aspirin or other medications unless otherwise instructed by your cardiologist.
  • If you are a diabetic and currently taking Metformin/Glucophage you may be advised to stop taking the medication prior to surgery. If you have any questions call your physician.
  • Stop eating or drinking by midnight the night before surgery. If your drink more than 12 oz. of beer, 6 oz. wine, or 4 oz. of alcohol per day, inform your physician prior to the surgery.
  • Shower the night before surgery and the morning of surgery with antibacterial soap.

If you are not released to go home and your surgery is scheduled immediately, the pre-surgery lab tests and procedures will be performed at the hospital.

Cardiac Liaison Nurse

Mission Hospital's Cardiovascular Surgery Services has a dedicated cardiac liaison, Nelo Siddiqui, a nurse practitioner. Nelo is available to answer any heart questions and help schedule any heart needs. She will provide pre- and post-operative education and coordinate care from the day of admission to the day of discharge. For any questions for Nelo, please contact her Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. at (949) 364-1400 ext. 7383 or