Cardiovascular Surgery

Foothills Medical Centre

About Us

Contact & General Service Information

For a description of what this service offers, access and contact information, view our service listing Cardiovascular Surgery, FMC

Finding Us


Within FMC

The CVICU and Unit 91 are located on the 9th floor of the main building at Foothills Medical Center. The CVICU also has satellite beds on the 10th floor to accommodate additional patients.


Public washrooms are on the main floor next to the elevators. Another public washroom is on the 10th floor, outside of Unit 103A- CICU across from the waiting room.


For a list of patient and visitor services, visit Foothills Medical Centre

Care Team

Clinical Nurse Educators (CNE): The CNE supports staff education on the unit, including when new policies and procedures are introduced.

Clinical Resource Nurses (CRN): The CRN supports the team by acting as a resource and mentor to staff for giving a high standard of care.

Nurse Clinicians: or charge nurses, are registered nurses who work with the unit manager to coordinate day-to-day operations of the unit. They serve as a resource for the bedside nurses, among other duties.

Nurse Practitioners (NP): Nurse practitioners are advanced practice registered nurses. They manage daily care on Unit 91 and make patient care decisions.

Nursing Attendants (NA): support nursing care on the unit.

Perfusionists: are specialized health care professionals who give heart and lung support during and sometimes after cardiac surgery.

Pharmacists: Pharmacists are involved in supporting your medication management.

Physicians and Surgeons:Surgeons perform different types of cardiac surgery, including coronary artery bypass grafts and valve surgery. Along with a team of operating room staff, the surgeon will perform your surgery and follow your progress as you recover. CVICU physicians or intensivists (a type of doctor who specializes in the care of very ill patients), are responsible for your care and recovery while you are in the CVICU.

Physiotherapists (PT): work with you to start moving and breathing after surgery to encourage recovery. Learn more

Registered Dietitians: are responsible for giving you the best nutrition possible while you are in the hospital. They can also teach you how to make any changes to your diet before you leave the hospital.

Registered Respiratory Therapists (RRT): focus on making sure you’re breathing well after your surgery. All cardiac patients see an RRT as required.

Social Workers: give emotional, personal, and social support to patients having cardiac surgery and their support group. Can help with different problems or concerns patients and their support group may have before and after cardiac surgery. Learn more

Staff Nurses Registered Nurses (RN) and Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN): are responsible for bedside care and are your main caregivers and contact during your hospital stay.

Unit Clerks: are the first point of contact on the unit. They make sure things on the unit run smoothly.

Unit Managers: the CVICU and Unit 91 each have a unit manager, both report to the Cardiac Surgery Manager. Together, they are responsible for the day-to-day operations of the unit, administration, and making sure patients get the best care.

Your Visitors

Local Accomodations

Health & Safety

Keeping our patients healthy and safe is our priority. To help us do this, we ask that visitors follow a few basic rules:

  1. If visitors have any flu or cold-like symptoms, please DO NOT visit and come back when symptoms have cleared.
  2. Hand hygiene is a key practice at the hospital. We ask that all visitors wash their hands carefully, or use the alcohol-based hand rub, every time they enter or exit the hospital and the unit.

Visiting Hours


The CVICU is a 24/7 unit. Visitors may come at any time except during shift change, which happens from 7 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. and 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., or during certain special situations. Visitors can get into the CVICU by using the phone in the CVICU Family Room.

For your first visit after surgery, you can have many visitors at your bedside at once. There isn’t a lot of space in the CVICU, you may only have 2 bedside visitors at a time during all other visits.

Unit 91

The visiting hours for Unit 91 are from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. each day. Note that the telemetry area has a “quiet time” from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. to give patients a time to rest. We ask that families not visit at that time.

Visitors Access

The CVICU is a restricted unit. To enter the unit, visitors must use the phone in the CVICU Family Room. The unit staff will tell visitors if it is a good time to visit.

When visiting Unit 91, all visitors should go to the nursing station first. The unit clerk will let them know if it is a good time to visit and direct them to your room.


Rounds happen once a day in CVICU. They give your health care team a chance to get together and talk about your progress and treatment plan. Families are welcome at rounds. If your family would like to be there for rounds, please talk to the bedside RN.

Contacting the Unit

The CVICU and Unit 91 are both 24/7 units. Your visitors are welcome to call the units at any time to speak to a nurse or receive an update. Please choose one person from your group to share updates with your care team. This will ensure information is shared quickly and easily.

During Your Stay

When will I see the doctor?

The surgeon will check on you soon after surgery to see how you’re doing. The surgeon will then see your support person in the waiting room to talk about the surgery.

The CVICU intensivist will visit you once a day for rounds. A doctor will always be available to you on the unit.

While you are on Unit 91, the surgeon may not see you every day. The NPs are the health care professionals managing your day-to-day care and they work closely with your surgeon. They do rounds each day, and you will see them often during your stay.

After discharge from the hospital, you will need to follow up with your family doctor 1 week after surgery, and with your cardiologist and surgeon within 6 to 12 weeks after your surgery. You will have this information in your Discharge Checklist.

Some people may be asked to go back to the hospital for a follow-up visit in the NP Cardiovascular Surgery Follow-Up Clinic. If you need this appointment, the NP will book it before you leave the hospital.

Where do I go after I leave the CVICU?

Most people stay in the CVICU for 24 to 48 hours. After this time, you will be transferred to Unit 91’s telemetry unit for more recovery. As you get better, you will be transferred to Unit 91’s main ward, where you will stay until you are discharged.

What happens after I am discharged from the hospital?

Before being discharged from the hospital, your health care team will decide what kind of ongoing care you may need. You will usually be discharged to your home. It is rare, but a few people need extra recovery time and will be sent to a transition centre before going home.

When you are sent home, you may need more help than what your support group can give. If this is the case and you meet specific care criteria, Home Care may be available to give you extra nursing support.

Before you leave the hospital, you will get information to guide you through the rest of your recovery. You will need to schedule follow-up appointments with your family doctor and with the surgeon.

Who do I ask about financial aid?

There are 2 social workers who can answer questions about financial aid for heart surgery patients and their support group. Note that financial aid is not available to everyone. If you have questions about coverage for medicine, ask your social worker.


Cardiac Surgery Information Video for Patients & Families – Calgary Zone

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