Your Pediatrician or Family Physician will make the recommendations or initial referral to Riley Hospital for Children Cardiology at Indiana University Health or to the Cardiothoracic Surgery Office.
Usually, your first appointment will be made with one of our Pediatric Cardiologists.
Past records are reviewed, appropriate testing such as x-rays, and echocardiograms are completed in an effort to make the correct diagnosis for the child.
Test results are forwarded with letter of recommendation from the Cardiologist to the Surgery Office.
The scheduling clerk or the RN will contact you from the Surgery Office to discuss the surgery and options for dates of care. Scheduled cases are reviewed each week by the entire Heart Team - all Cardiologists, all Surgeons, Fellows, Residents, and Nurses from Riley Cardiology at IU Health, Cardiac Surgery, Operating Rooms and Intensive Care. All tests results and films are shown and discussed by the group to develop the best plan of care for your child.
You and your child arrive at Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health Day Surgery the day preceding the surgical procedure. During the day, you will meet the anesthesiologist, the surgeon, and have a tour of the intensive care unit (ICU). In addition, all necessary labs are done as well as any additional testing ordered by the surgeon. These tests are performed on an outpatient basis. If you are from out of town, the surgery office will assist you with overnight lodging close to the hospital (usually in the Ronald McDonald House).
The day of surgery, you will be instructed to arrive approximately ½ hour prior to the start time of the procedure. If necessary, your child will be pre-medicated to help with his or her anxiety and fears.
You will be shown to the surgery waiting area. Once your child is taken to surgery, a nurse liaison from the operating rooms will make rounds approximately every hour to update you on the progress of the surgery. She will relay any pertinent information from the surgeon during your wait.
Following surgery, most patients go directly to the Riley at IU Health Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) for the first 1 - 3 days. Parents have 24 hour visitation with their child on this unit. When the patient is stable, they are then transferred to an age specific unit. The average hospital stay for an open heart procedure is 5 - 7 days. The average hospital stay for a closed heart procedure is 2 - 4 days. The hospital course for each patient is individualized based on personal need.
Upon discharge from the hospital, you will be given specific instructions for your home care, as well as contact numbers should you have any problems or concerns.
Your child will be scheduled for a routine post operative evaluation with the Cardiologist and the Surgeon at approximately one month from the surgery date.