Cardiac surgeons typically only do heart surgery with a scheduled surgical appointment, but sometimes they may have to perform emergency surgery to save someone's life. The majority of heart surgeons are employed through a heart heath center or a large hospital with a few working in private practice or a surgical office. Typically, your primary care doctor will diagnosed you before seeing a heart surgeon.
During your first visit with a heart surgeon, you'll fill out extensive amounts of paperwork and give a great deal of medical history so that the surgeon can give a correct diagnosis. In most cases, you'll have completed all testing before your first appointment with the cardiac surgeon, but he or she might order additional screening tests for a more accurately determination of the problem or abnormality. The surgeon will check all the information provided and decide whether you are a candidate for a specific surgery or procedure.
Once you've been scheduled for surgery, you'll visit the hospital before the procedure. This appointment usually takes several hours because you'll undergo a series of tests and receive instructions to prepare for the surgery. You'll take additional medical tests to make sure you are healthy enough for surgery, including an EKG, chest X-ray and blood work. You'll also be given antibacterial soap and an ointment that you will have to use for a few days before the surgery.
fter surgery, you'll be moved to an intensive care unit and then to a step-down unit to complete your recovery. The amount of time you are in the hospital usually depends on the type of surgery being done, but the typical amount of time is usually between three to five days. While you are in the hospital, a full team of skilled professionals will help you, and the cardiac surgeon usually will see you every day.
After you are discharged from the hospital, you will usually have to go to the heart surgeon's office one to two weeks after the surgery. During this appointment, the doctor will examine the incision site and your overall health. If everything is okay, you won't need to see the cardiac surgeon again, but you'll need to go to your cardiologist for check-ups.