Heart Surgery

Over 1100 heart surgery procedures are performed every year at St Paul’s Hospital.

Heart surgery includes the following procedures:

Coronary Bypass

Coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG or “cabbage”) is a surgical procedure used to re-route blood around blockages in the coronary arteries and restore blood flow to the heart. In this surgery blood vessels from the legs, arms or chest may be used for the bypasses. 

Heart Valve Repair and Replacement

Heart valve surgery is used to repair or replace diseased heart valves. The four valves in your heart are:

  • Aortic valve
  • Mitral valve
  • Tricuspid valve
  • Pulmonary valve

What to bring

You should bring the following to the hospital:

  • Cardiac Surgery Patient Guide
  • A list of current medications and your BC Care Card
  • Walker, cane or prosthetics you normally use at home
  • Non-slip slippers or shoes that are easy to get on and off
  • Loose clothing to wear when you go home. Something that opens in the front is best.
  • Your toothbrush, dentures, hearing aids, etc.
  • Women should bring a supportive bra that opens in the front. It is important to support your breasts so they don’t pull on the incision

Do not bring:

  • Valuables like jewellry, electronics, or large amounts of money
  • A lot of clothing; you really only need clothes to return home in

Disease Information

The Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada provides a very good resource for patients and families to get more information about their heart disease.

More information can be found about different surgeries performed as well.

Please talk to your Cardiologist or Heart Surgeon if you have more questions.

Patient Information

You will be seen in the Pre-assessment Clinic before your surgery where x-rays and other tests will be arranged.

The day of your surgery you will come to the surgical daycare to be admitted to the hospital.

After your surgery you will stay in the cardiac surgery intensive care unit (CSICU on the 3rd floor of the Providence building) for a day or two, or longer if needed. Once you are ready for the ward you will be transferred to 5B which is located on the 5th floor of the Providence building. You will be in a private, semi-private (2-bed), or 4-bed room which can have both men and women sharing the room. Requests for a private or semi-private room are granted for a fee and based on availability.

Heart Surgery Manual (English)

Your Heart Surgery at St. Paul's Hospital (English)

Other languages available:

Russian version
Punjabi version
Polish version
Mandarin version
Fahrsi version
Cantonese version

Discharge Teaching

Physio Cardiac Surgery Recovery Teaching

Contact Information

If you have questions about your upcoming heart surgery, you should contact your Heart Surgeon’s office.

If you do not have a Heart Surgeon assigned to your case yet, then it is best to contact your Cardiologist or GP.