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Recovery

ICU

Like in other open heart operations, the patient stays in the ICU after surgery for 3 to 5 days and is closely watched for heart and general conditions. Patients usually wake up 3 to 5 hours after arriving at the ICU and have a tube through the mouth and the throat for breathing along with several other tubes connected (e.g. IV tubes, thoracic drainage tubes, urine catheters, etc.). The tubes are removed one by one depending on the patient’ recovery. To ease any pain and anxiety, analgesics are used. Also, to prevent any infection, all of the medical staff wear masks and gowns while attending the patient. In this sense, the time and the number of visits to the patients are limited.

General Ward

When the patient shows a good recovery, he or she is moved to a general patient room where the patient can stay with his/her family. The phases of recovery are not so different from those of other operations. The patient may be able to sit on a bed or a chair and also walk in the hallways with the help of nurses or any other people. He or she can have ordinary meals while the intake and the amount of urine should be monitored carefully. Every morning, the patient is weighed and takes a blood test and a chest X-ray. As the first month is a vital period to closely follow whether the transplant becomes stable in the new body, it is desirable that the patient frequently informs the medical staff of his/her conditions and fully cooperates with them.