Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery: When You Arrive at the Hospital

Font Size

Topic Overview

What happens at the hospital before the CABG procedure begins?

You will typically check into the hospital the evening before or morning of your coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) procedure for preoperative education. You will take a shower with antibacterial soap the night before surgery and will not be allowed anything to eat or drink after midnight.

Recommended Related to Heart Disease

Is It a Heart Attack or Angina?

It’s dramatic when someone has a heart attack on television or in the movies. But in real life, symptoms can be more subtle and difficult to identify. And because heart attack and angina symptoms are so similar, it may be hard to tell what's going on. But knowing the differences -- and the reasons behind them -- can result in seeking treatment sooner, and living longer.

Read the Is It a Heart Attack or Angina? article > >

Before your surgery, you will probably meet some of the members of the surgical team, including the anesthesiologist. Your anesthesiologist is responsible for giving you medicines to put you to sleep for your CABG surgery and control your pain both during and after your surgery. This doctor will explain the process of general anesthesia, make note of any allergies you might have to medicines, and prescribe a sedative to make you feel more comfortable and relaxed before the procedure begins.

In the preoperative area

Until your operating room is ready, you will remain in the preoperative, or pre-op, room. Your family and friends will probably be asked to remain in the waiting area. Usually your anesthesiologist or the anesthesiology assistant will then start one or more intravenous (IV) lines in your arm. You will be given saline fluid (to keep you hydrated), anesthesia, and other medicines through your IV line before, during, and after your surgery.

Preparation in the operating room

When your surgery team is ready, you will be transported on a bed with wheels from the holding area to the operating room. The staff will greet you and make sure that you are as comfortable as possible. Soon, you will receive general anesthesia through your IV line to put you to sleep. After you become unconscious, which happens quickly, a small tube called a Foley catheter will be placed through the opening of your penis or female urinary tract (urethra) and into your bladder. The free end of the catheter will then be hooked up to a plastic bag that will collect urine.

If your surgeon plans on using pieces of your leg veins to create the bypass grafts on your coronary arteries, your legs may be placed in a frog position, with the soles of your feet placed together and knees spread apart. Next, your chest, arms, and legs will be cleansed so that they are germ-free during the procedure. Usually a yellow-brown solution known as Betadine (povidone-iodine) is used to cleanse your body, as well as rubbing alcohol. Sterile drapes will be placed on the parts of your body that are not involved in the surgery.

1

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: April 05, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
Next Article:

Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery: When You Arrive at the Hospital Topics

Hot Topics

WebMD Video: Now Playing

Click here to wach video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

Which sex is the worst about washing up? Why is it so important? We’ve got the dirty truth on how and when to wash your hands.

Click here to watch video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

Popular Slideshows & Tools on WebMD

feet
Solutions for 19 types.
highlighted areas of the brain
How well do you know yours?
oatmeal and eggs
The best and worst for you.
dog begging at table
Foods your dog should never eat.
MS Overview
Recognizing symptoms.
mature woman with serious expression
What do you know?
chlamydia
Pictures and facts.
Healthy Snack
13 delicious options.
Take your medication
Separate fact from fiction.
lone star tick
How to identify that bite.
young woman in sun
What to watch for.
woman clutching at stomach
Do you know what's causing yours?

Women's Health Newsletter

Find out what women really need.