During heart transplant surgery, you will be put under general anesthesia; you will not be awake or feel anything. You will also be placed on a machine to help you breathe. Your anesthesiologist will provide more details before surgery.
Once you are asleep, IV lines and a tube to drain your urine will be put into place. A tube will also be inserted through the nose into the stomach to drain stomach contents and prevent vomiting. The transplant surgeon will make a cut in your chest, where your heart will be removed and the new heart will be placed.
During surgery you will be placed on a heart-lung machine that will let the blood get oxygen during the surgery. You will be in the operating room for about four to eight hours.
When the surgery is finished, tubes will be placed on both sides of your chest to let fluid and blood drain. It is normal to have some bleeding after surgery. These tubes are usually taken out after three to four days. Special mechanical sleeves will be placed around your legs to keep the blood circulating so that clots can be prevented.