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Pre-Operative Instructions

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Preparing for the procedure: 

In general, no food should be given after midnight the night before a planned procedure although patients can continue to have free access to water. Medication administration before the procedure should be verified with the attending cardiologist.


Often an early morning drop-off time will be arranged by the cardiology team, which allows for proper preparation of your pet by the cardiology and anesthesia services. Our board-certified anesthesiologist tailors each anesthetic plan based on the individual patient to make the anesthetic procedure as safe as possible. 


Pain management: 

Most of our interventional cardiology procedures cause minimal discomfort as there are no significant incisions, and these procedures are performed under general anesthesia. Our procedures are often performed with a small skin puncture to access the underlying vessel.


Patients receiving minimally invasive pacemaker implants will have two small incisions, which are pre-emptively treated with a multimodal pain approach including both injectable and oral pain medications, as well as a long-acting numbing agent at the incision site (e.g. local anesthetic).  


Duration of hospitalization: 

Most of our patients stay overnight in the hospital for close monitoring following the procedure, and generally patients are discharged the following day. Detailed post-operative instructions will be discussed during the discharge appointment. 


Post-operative recovery: 

This depends on the procedure being performed, though most patients will have at least two weeks of exercise restriction. No running, jumping, or playing is allowed during this time frame. Patients should be supervised with short leash walks for bathroom breaks.


Often sedative medications are dispensed at discharge to help post-operative patients stay calm during the recovery period.  


Long-term follow-up: 

Our interventional patients do require follow-up and the extent of this depends on the procedure performed. Most patients are evaluated by a cardiologist 1-2 months post-procedure.


We work closely with our primary care veterinarians as well as our referring cardiologist colleagues to keep them informed along the way, and we strive to send patients back to their local cardiology care team whenever possible. 


Availability and referrals:

Summit’s cardiology department sees patients 7 days per week and is available for direct referral of sick patients for consultation. Pets experiencing truly emergent symptoms are admitted through our ER with in-house cardiology support as indicated.

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