When you wake up from surgery, you will be in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).
Surgery will make you feel weak and sleepy. For these reasons, you will have a plastic tube in your mouth that will help you breathe. You will also have many special IVs, cables, and drains, which are needed to monitor your VAD and heart function.
This medical equipment is necessary to monitor you and give you the medicines needed for recovery. All the equipment and lines can be startling to see, but they are completely normal. Day by day, your care team will work toward removing lines and tubes. It is also important to get you moving soon after surgery. Getting out of bed as soon as possible will help your body heal.
As with any surgery, you will probably feel some pain afterwards. Once your care team thinks you’re strong enough to be more awake and breathe on your own, your medicines keeping you sleepy will be turned off. Your breathing tube will be removed, and you will be given oxygen using a nasal cannula or mask. Your care team may also decide to give you a boost of nutrition, feeding you through a special tube in your nose called a nasogastric tube.