You will be working closely with a Valley Care Transitions case manager to determine the best plan for discharge, or going home, from the hospital.

Many factors will influence the final discharge plan, including:

  • How long you have been in the hospital

  • Your progress with physical therapy

  • The benefits provided by your insurance plan

If you have any questions throughout the process, please call 201-447-8377.

Discharge Planning

As part of creating your discharge plan, we will address the following:

  • Lifestyle modifications: Smoking cessation will be reinforced every day if applicable. We will have a nutritionist review appropriate diets with you and your family. And, you will be advised of the benefits of outpatient cardiac rehabilitation.

  • Congestive heart failure symptoms: Call your primary cardiologist as soon as possible if you develop the following symptoms of congestive heart failure:

    • Increased shortness of breath

    • Lower leg swelling

    • Weight gain of more than two pounds overnight

  • Follow up appointments: You will need to visit your referring doctor one to two weeks after discharge. You will need to return to the cardiac surgery office approximately six weeks after your surgery.

Frequently Asked Questions About Discharge After Heart Surgery

How long will I be in the hospital?

Most patients will go home in less than one week.

I live alone. What will I do when I get home?

Each patient is seen and evaluated by our case manager to determine the safest discharge plan.

How late can I go home the day of discharge?

There is no special discharge time. The time is dependent on when arrangements for your transportation home are made.

Can I go home in a car?

Absolutely! It is important to sit in the back seat. We advise that you place the safety belt across your chest, but over the heart pillow.

Can I attend a cardiac rehabilitation program once discharged as an outpatient?

Yes. Your cardiologist will discuss when it is safe for you to begin this phase of your recovery.

Does the hospital give me my medications at discharge?

No. Your physician or the nurse practitioner will provide you with prescriptions that you can bring to your local pharmacy to be filled. Or, you can send your prescription to our in-hospital retail pharmacy and have your prescription filled before you leave the hospital.

When can I shower?

You may shower five days after your surgery using a mild, non-fragrant soap.