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VCU Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Department of Surgery, Virginia Commonwealth University VCU Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery VCU Medical Center VCU

VCU Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery

Getting Ready for Surgery

Our staff will work with you and your insurance company to obtain information about your benefits concerning testing, surgery, and admission.  Should you have additional questions, please contact the Cardiothoracic Surgery office at (804) 828-2774.

The cardiac surgeon will schedule your surgery.  If you have not had your tests done during the clinic visit, our staff will contact you to set up these appointments.

During your visit to the clinic, the staff will review your medical history and you may have the following tests based on your medical history:

  • Blood tests
  • Urine test
  • Nasal swab test
  • Heart test (EKG)
  • Chest X-ray

If you have any test results at home, please bring them with you to this visit. Any additional diagnostic tests will be arranged by your surgeon’s office.

Cardiac surgery can make your blood sugar go too high even if you don’t have diabetes.  Keeping your blood sugar at a safe level (not too high, not too low) is important for healing.  Your health team will work with you to keep your blood sugar at the right level.

Watch heart surgery video:

  • Go to website:   www.hearts.vcu.edu  
  • Click Patient and Visitor Information
  • Click Patient Education Video
  • Click the arrow to start video.

One week before surgery:
Practice better eating habits.  Eat more protein and vegetables and much less concentrated sugars and drinks such as juices and sodas.  This will set your body up for better healing and you will be asked to have the same good eating habits in the hospital right after your surgery to keep your blood sugar controlled.

For the five (5) days before surgery, you need to shower using the special surgical soap that is provided to you.  Please wash from your neck to your feet.  Also wash beards, but do not get soap into your mouth, nose or eyes.   Also wash your hair with regular shampoo.

Do not shave any part of your body.

If you smoke, quit at least 24 hours, and preferably one week before surgery.  Talk with your health care team on how to stop using tobacco.

Do not drink alcohol (wine, liquor, or beer) at least 2 days before surgery, and preferably one week before surgery.

Hospitality House information is available upon request. (Please try to reserve as soon as possible).

Do not eat or drink anything after midnight the night before surgery.
Questions or Concerns, Please Call 804-828-2774


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