Day of Surgery | Boston Medical Center
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Day of Surgery

Your actual admission to the hospital will most likely be on the morning of your surgery. You will receive a letter and a phone call to confirm date and time.

Parking for the hospital is available in the Albany Street Garage or the Doctor's Office Building garage on Harrison Avenue. The day of surgery please report to the Registration Area on the second floor of the Menino Building. You will need to enter through the Moakley building (directions). 

You will be transported to the preoperative holding area to prepare for your surgery. An anesthesiologist and nurse work closely to prepare you for your surgery. Medications will be given to you to make you relaxed and comfortable. Once you are brought to the operating room, you will be asleep and monitoring equipment will be placed.

Cardiac surgery usually takes approximately 4 to 8 hours from the time the surgery actually begins. It is important for your family to know that this is an average time for the surgery to be completed. Once your surgery is over, a doctor will call or meet with your family to explain how the surgery went and will answer any questions.


You may have the following procedures and equipment during your stay. Most devices are removed within the first 24 to 48 hours.

Endotracheal tube: This tube in put through your mouth and into your windpipe to control your breathing during your operation. It is connected to a ventilator (breathing machine). You will not be able to speak while the tube is in. The tube is removed as soon as you are able to breathe on your own.

Oxygen: You will be given oxygen if you need it. It is usually delivered through small prongs in your nose or through a mask placed over your nose and mouth after the breathing tube is removed.

Heart monitor: A few small pads will be placed on your chest and attached to a monitor that traces your heart rate and rhythm.

Intravenous lines (IV's): A small tube is inserted into one of your veins so that fluids or medications can be given.

Other special lines: Similar to IV's, there are several other types that may be used to obtain critical information. For example, an arterial line is inserted into an artery (usually wrist) and is used to measure blood pressure, obtain blood, and get information about the amount of oxygen in the blood.

Chest Tubes: One or more chest tubes will be inserted in chest during surgery. The tubes are used to drain excess fluid and air from your chest.

Urinary catheter: This is a tube that is inserted into your bladder in the operating room to drain urine. It will be removed when you can urinate on your own.

Nasogastric tubes (NG or stomach tubes): This is a small tube that is inserted through your nose into your stomach. It removes air from your stomach and helps to prevent vomiting.

Pulse oximeter: A small probe is attached to the tip of a finger, your earlobe, or toe to measure the amount of oxygen in your blood.

Chest x-rays: Usually done daily after lung or chest surgery and provide valuable information about your lungs.