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You may need tubes, lines and monitors after surgery. Tubes remove fluid from your body. Lines give you fluid and medicine. Monitors tell us how your heart and lungs are doing. This is a list of common tubes, lines, and monitors:
Mechanical Circulatory Device Driveline (MCD): A tube that comes from your belly. It connects the MCD (heart pump) to the controller and power source.
Arterial Line (A-line): A tube in one of your arteries used to measure your blood pressure. It is also used to take blood. It may be in your wrist, arm, or groin.
Blood Pressure Cuff: The cuff goes around your arm, wrist, or leg to measure your blood pressure. It inflates and deflates. It is used with a doppler. A doppler is a device that makes a noise like an ultrasound machine.
Chest Tube: A tube that comes from your chest. It drains fluid around your heart and lungs into a container. Chest tubes are taken out before you go home.
Endotracheal Tube (ET tube): It is also called a “breathing tube.” The ET tube helps you breathe while under anesthesia. The tube is placed in your windpipe through your mouth. It connects to a ventilator. It can come out when you are awake, able to breathe on your own, and follow commands. It may take a few hours to days before this tube comes out. You cannot talk while it is in place.
Foley Catheter: A tube that comes from your bladder and urethra. It drains and measures urine while you are under anesthesia. It is normal to feel the urge to “pee.” The tube is removed by your nurse 1-2 days after surgery.
Intravenous Catheter (IV): A tube in a vein used to give fluid and medicine. You may have a large IV in your neck, as well as smaller IV’s in your hand, wrist, or arm.
Nasal Cannula: Oxygen is given through prongs placed in your nose. It will be stopped when you no longer need it.
Pulse Oximeter (pulse ox): A device that clips to your finger or earlobe. It has a red light and measures your oxygen level.
Sequential Stockings: Stockings placed on your lower legs. They are attached to a machine that inflates and deflates in a pattern. They help blood move through your legs and decrease your risk of getting a blood clot.
Swan-Ganz Catheter (Swan): A tube that is placed into the IV in your neck. It threads down to your heart. It allows your surgeon to more closely monitor your heart. It is removed when your heart does not need to be closely watched.
Telemetry: A monitor that allows doctors and nurses to see your heart rhythm after surgery. The monitor is attached to pads on your chest.
Temporary Pacemaker: A pacemaker is a device used to adjust your heart rate after surgery. It sets a normal heart rate while your heart recovers. It comes from your chest with small wires attached to your heart. The wires are taken out before you leave the hospital. If you have a permanent pacemaker in place, the settings may be adjusted before you leave the hospital.