Preparing for Surgery

We want every stay at New Mexico Heart Hospital to be as pleasant and comfortable as possible. Our health care team is dedicated to anticipating and exceeding the needs of patients and families but you may find the following information helpful in preparing you for your upcoming surgery. Please review this information and be sure to discuss any questions or concerns with your physician or during yoru Pre-Op Assessment call. 

Before Surgery

The Pre-Op Assessment Clinic Nurse will interview you for surgery in-person or over the phone. Please have your medication list and medical/surgical history handy. This interview will take 15-20 minutes. If you have not received a call within 2 days of your surgery, please call the Pre-Op Assessment Clinic at 505.727.7222.

  • Review medications/supplements you take now
  • Review medical/surgical history
  • Review anesthesia/sleep apnea history
  • Confirm procedure, side/site
  • Discuss post-op pain management
  • Discuss labs/EKG/chest x-ray (if ordered)
  • Discuss what medications to take day of surgery
  • Discuss when to stop eating/drinking before surgery
  • Discuss what time to arrive day of surgery
  • Answer questions or address any special needs
  • For inpatient procedures pack a small suitcase with bathrobe, basic toiletries, and reading material. 

Contact Number
Please give us a number where you can be reached on the day of surgery. This will allow us to reach you should your surgery time be changed at the last minute.

Post Surgery Medications
If you are given a prescription by your surgeon, please have it filled before your surgery.

Night Before Surgery
Shower or bathe (reduces normal bacteria on your skin) and brush your teeth. Follow any special bathing instructions your doctor provided. Also, follow instructions for when to stop eating and drinking.

Day of Surgery

  • Shower or bathe
  • Brush your teeth
  • Wear clean, loose, comfortable clothing
  • Remove all body jewelry/facial piercings and leave at home
  • Do not wear makeup or lotion
  • Wear glasses - do not wear contacts (bring the  case)
  • Any paperwork from your surgeon
  • Photo ID and insurance card
  • Copy of Living Will or Medical POA
  • Brace, sling or crutches (if applicable)
  • Someone over age 18 to drive you home
  • Co-payment (if applicable)
  • Sleep apnea patients should bring their CPAP machine. Please empty water prior to arrival.
  • Do not drink alcohol or take street drugs for at least 24 hours before your surgery
  • No smoking or tobacco-use the day of surgery
  • Nothing to eat or drink after midnight the night before surgery
  • Take only medications as instructed
  • Your surgeon or nurse will instruct you as to any special diets before surgery

Arriving for Surgery

  • Complimentary valet parking is available at the Lovelace Medical Center ground floor entrance
    Mon. - Fri. 5:30 a.m. - 6 p.m.
  • Enter the heart hospital at the main entrance on the south side and check-in at the registration desk to complete your registration packet.
  • If necessary, deductibles or co-payments will be collected at this time.
  • After registration, you will be directed to the surgical area.
  • Go through the patient verification process
  • Take tests for allergies, vital signs, labs (if indicated), blood glucose (if diabetic), urine pregnancy test (if female of child bearing age), and possible drug screen
  • Change into a hospital gown, review medications and medical/surgical history, and review or sign surgical consent
  • Have your IV started with any medications your surgeon ordered (small children generally do not get IV in Pre Op area)
  • Visit with your surgeon to answer any last minute questions and get your operative site marked (if your surgery involves laterality)
  • Visit with the anesthesia provider to discuss anesthesia, answer questions and sign consent
  • Visit with your operating room nurse to review patient ID, procedure, allergies, etc
  • Your surgical site may require preparation
  • We welcome and encourage visitors, however, we may need to limit how many are with you at one time, or ask visistors to take turns
  • Parents of children having surgery will remain with them before and after surgery. You must remain in the building at all times during your child’s surgery
  • Small children cannot be left unattended in the surgical waiting area at any time. They are not allowed in the recovery area as a visitor.

After Surgery

Our patient care unit has been designed to provide the best care with state-of-the-art monitoring equipment. Our 55 bed unit has the capacity to accommodate critical care, intermediate care and general medical/surgical patients. We also provide large, privte rooms and open visiting hours that allow family members to be present and involved in care. 

Our clinical dietitians provide heart healthy diet education for our cardiac surgical patients. Cardiac Intensive Care Unit patients receive nutrition assessment and recommendations for both enteral (feeding via a peg tube) and parenteral (intravenous feeding) nutrition formulas.

    • Your surgeon may speak with your family in the waiting room or call them on the phone.
    • You will be taken to the recovery room until you awaken, then one family member will be allowed to be with you (usually one hour after arrival).
    • Parents of children having surgery will be able to be in the recovery room.
    • The nurse will evaluate you, give you pain medications and discharge you home or to your room.
    • You should expect some pain after surgery, but we will make every effort to safely minimize your pain and keep you comfortable.
    • We use a pain scale 0-10. 0=no pain and 10=severe pain
    • You will be given written discharge instructions when going home.
    • An adult (over age 18) must drive you home.
    • We recommend that a responsible adult be with you at home for the first 24 hours after outpatient surgery.
    • We may call 24-48 hours after your surgery to see how you are doing.
    • Your surgeon may speak with your family in the waiting room or call them on the phone.
    • You will be taken to the recovery room until you awaken, then one family member will be allowed to be with you (usually one hour after arrival).
    • Parents of children having surgery will be able to be in the recovery room.
    • The nurse will evaluate you, give you pain medications and discharge you home or to your room.
    • You should expect some pain after surgery, but we will make every effort to safely minimize your pain and keep you comfortable.
    • We use a pain scale 0-10. 0=no pain and 10=severe pain
    • For your safety and well-being, please allow us to assist you when getting out of bed
    • Meal times for inpatients are 7:30 a.m., 11 a.m., and 4:30 p.m.
    • You will be given written discharge instructions when going home.
    • An adult (over age 18) must drive you home.
    • We may call 24-48 hours after your surgery to see how you are doing.

    For additional information please review your Guide to your Patient Experience booklet.