Surgery and Recovery

Noun Stretcher

Most children with CHD need to be hospitalized for surgery or other medical procedures during their lifetime. Each treatment is different, but there are some basic steps that all children go through during surgery and recovery.

The Day of Surgery

It is normal to take most of the day to prepare your child for surgery, perform the surgery, monitor after surgery, and transfer your child to the intensive care unit (ICU).


What Happens in the Intensive Care Unit

The ICU is an area of the hospital designed to care for children that require a lot of medical attention, and this is where your child will begin their recovery after cardiac surgery.


The “Ups and Downs” in the ICU

It is impossible to predict events in the ICU and this is often a very stressful time for parents.


Communicating With Your Care Team in the Hospital

It’s important that you talk with your child’s medical professionals about their care and learn who to ask when you have questions or concerns.


Moving to Acute Care

At most hospitals your child will transition to a cardiac acute care unit after leaving the ICU because it has specialized equipment and staff to provide ongoing cardiac care.


Preparing for Discharge

Your care team in the hospital will work with you to decide when your child’s health is stable and it is safe for them to go home.