When a patient is reviewed in the surgical clinic, the anatomy of their heart defect is discussed in length and the surgical procedure is explained extensively. This discussion also includes the risks and benefits of the proposed surgical procedure. Once consent has been given the patient is added to the surgeon's waiting list.
The parents/patient is contacted shortly after their clinic visit with their planned date for admission. They are also sent a letter of confirmation which will contain a leaflet with more information about the admissions process and the surgery they will have.
Improvements in heart surgery and clinical care have led to more people with heart conditions surviving well into adulthood.
Most patients will be completely well shortly after surgery. There will be a scar down the middle of their chest, and there may be small scars where drain tubes were used. These fade very rapidly in most patients, but they will not go altogether. Smaller scars on the hands and neck usually fade away to nothing.