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Can I Wipe Myself After Open Heart Surgery

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You May Feel Like Youre On An Emotional Roller Coaster

Life After Open-Heart Surgery

Recovering from open-heart surgery involves physical and emotional healing. The recovery process uses emotional and physical energy.

If you feel upset or emotional in the weeks after your operation, dont worry this is a normal reaction. Many patients report these feelings up to three months after the operation:

  • Mood swings that may include depression, fear, anxiety, loneliness, helplessness and anger

  • Crying easily for no apparent reason

  • Lack of energy or motivation

  • Getting easily frustrated

  • Having good days and bad days

  • Feeling more emotional or sentimental than normal

Even though you may feel drained physically and emotionally, its important to follow guidelines for good self-care:

  • Get dressed every day

  • Walk daily within your limits

  • Get plenty of rest

Lifetime Precautions After A Hip Replacement

The temporary precautions that hip replacements patients are advised to take, relate mainly to the surgical procedure that was used, whereas the lifetime precautions relate to the material that the implant was made of.

The range or type of activities you will be able to do, once you have been through the recovery period, does not appear to depend on which method was used to implant your hip replacement, as once your soft tissues have recovered and strengthened, they should be able to stand up to most normal activities.

In general, surgeons recommend that patients can return to sports activities 3 to 6 months after surgery.

You will be advised on what types of activities and sports, you can take part in depending on the type of materials your implant is made of metal, ceramic, polyurethane

Typically, a person will be advised that swimming, bowling, stationary biking, dancing and walking are allowed often referred to as low-impact activities.

Some patients with experience, will be advised that it is okay to do downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, weightlifting, ice-skating and Pilates.

High-Impact sports, such as racquet ball, squash, football, soccer, rugby, baseball, softball, jogging and sprinting, are totally advised against.

The recommendations above are all from a study conducted in 2005, where data from 614 surgeons were collected, to find out what was typicallyallowed, allowed with experience and not allowed after a hip replacement.

Do I Really Need Full

By Adam Pick on September 27, 2008

At the age of 62, Ettas mitral valve regurgitation has reached severe status. That said, Etta will be having mitral valve repair surgery in three weeks. In her last email to me, Etta raised an interesting question. Etta asked, Adam Do I really need full-time help after open heart surgery?

This question really brings back memories from my early, early, early recovery from aortic valve replacement surgery. My family and support group was insistent that I was not home alone for the first two weeks after open heart surgery. We even created a detailed Microsoft Excel Spreadsheet that highlighted which days my mom, sister, brother, dad and Robyn were responsible for me.

I have to admit That was a very smart move of my friends and family. Having full-time help was the best!!!

My support group was there to help me with the little and big challenges of early open heart surgery recovery when broken sternum pain is common:

  • Getting in-and-out of bed
  • Opening up a twist-cap bottle
  • Tying my shoelaces
  • Going to the pharmacy
  • Making breakfast, lunch and dinner

As you can tell, I encourage lots of support group help following heart surgery. Plus, my family and friends had a unique type of fun spending time together as I began my healing.

However, Im curious to know if YOU have any thoughts for Etta. Can you help her out?

Keep on tickin!

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From Hospital Discharge To Six Weeks

As you begin getting back into your routine, remember to start with small tasks and take plenty of breaks. Dont overdo it.

After you leave the hospital, unless your surgeon says otherwise, you may return to activities such as:

  • Light cleaning.
  • Climbing stairs.

Some things are still off limits, though.Dont lift, pull or push anything that weighs more than 10 pounds. Its too soon to drive, too, but its OK to ride in a car.

Following Safe Functional Mobility Strategies

Functional mobility in this case includes any type of transfer, whether its in the bed, bathroom, or chair. Be very mindful of teaching your patient not to use too much force with arms during bed mobility tasks.

With sit to stands, you can educate the patient on several methods to use their legs and transition to stand. This might take a lot of practice at first since it isnt a natural movement for people.

In the shower, gently remind your patient not to pull up from grab bars until they are cleared to do so.

Many surgeons will provide your patient with a heart pillow. You can cue your patients hold onto the pillow when performing any transfers to assist and remind them to avoid using their arms.

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Dont Worry Your Surgeon Has Heard Them All Here Are 5 Common Questions They Get

Youve just had hip replacement surgery congratulations! Youre well on your way to a more active tomorrow. But did you forget to ask a few burning questions at your last appointment? Not to worry we asked Dr. Michael Suk, chair of the Geisinger Musculoskeletal Institute and the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, some of the most frequent questions they hear after hip replacements. So, you dont have to.

How Long Do You Have To Use A Raised Toilet Seat After A Hip Replacement

If you have to use a raised toilet seat after a posterior or lateral hip replacement surgery, you will typically have to use it for between 6 and 10 weeks following your surgery, before you can start using a regular toilet seat again.

The exact time will, of course, depend on your age, state of health, your type of surgery.

Only your surgeon knows exactly how long he thinks you need it, and he will usually let you know at the 6-week post-operation assessment.

For those who have had an anterior hip replacement none of this is relevant, as only a handful of cases will require a raised toilet seat, and any precautions to be taken for bending or sitting.

While you are looking for raised toilet seats, there is lots more that you can do to make your bathroom a safer place for seniors, or anyone else with mobility issues.

To find out all the different things you can do, to have an instant impact on bathroom safety, take a look here,54 Bathroom Safety Tips For Seniors A Helpful Guide.

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Question : Will I Set Off Metal Detectors With My Joint Replacement

If your implant is made of metal, fully or partially, you may set off metal detectors at events, schools or airports. If youre somewhere that has a metal detector, let the person doing the screening know that you have a metal hip from joint replacement surgery.

They may still have you go through the metal detector, or they may offer you a separate, private screening or pat-down. Communicating that you may set off the metal detector and why is key to making sure the screening still goes smoothly so you can get to where youre going without incident.

When Can Life Resume After Open Heart Surgery

Going Home Recovery after Open Heart Surgery | Heart Care Video Series

How soon is too soon? After open heart surgery, when can I get back to real life? Take a shower? Climb the stairs? Have sex?

Patients are allowed to shower the third day after surgery, said Dr. Victor Schmelzer, cardiac and thoracic surgeon with St. Elizabeth Healthcare Heart & Vascular Institute.

Generally speaking, when patients go home, they are able to care for themselves, he said. That is usually five days after open heart surgery and, if they are doing exceptionally well, it may be three days.

They are able to bathe and clothe themselves and go up and down steps. We encourage them to be as active as possible, said Schmelzer. They are not allowed to pick up anything heavier than half a jug of milk to allow the breast bone to heal, he explained. Bathtubs, hot tubs and swimming pools are off limits while the incision heals to avoid the possibility of infection.

The big question, usually from men, is When do I get to drive? They dont like to be chauffeured around. They definitely dont like to be driven around by their wife. Thats a big issue, he joked. The answer? No driving the first month after open heart surgery.

In 26 years, hes never had a case of a patient complaining he or she injured themselves during sexual relations.

Golf is another priority.

The other big question that people have a lot of the time is when can I start playing golf, when can I start hitting a golf ball? Schmelzer said.

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Best Raised Toilet Seats After A Hip Replacement

I have an article which goes into great detail about the best raised toilet seats for after a hip replacement, with all the reasons why I have chosen them, and for whom each seat is best suited, which you can find here Best Raised Toilet Seats After A Hip Replacement

Heres my list of the best raised toilet seats, dependent on the age and weight of the user

When To Contact Your Healthcare Provider

Contact your healthcare provider if:

  • You have a fever of 100.5 °F or higher.
  • You have pain in your abdomen, nausea, and vomiting.
  • You have any of the following signs of infection in your incision:

After 5:00 p.m., during the weekend, and on holidays, call and ask to speak to the person on call for your healthcare provider.

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Using Wiping Aid Tools

When you have undergone surgery on the back, be it spine, shoulder, or hip surgery, you may find it hard to turn around and flex. After relieving yourself, an effort to wipe your bottom may prove an uphill task.

The same challenge may be the distance between your furthest reach and your bottoms when you narrow down. Entrepreneurs and manufacturers have, over time, come up with exciting and innovative toilet aids to help people to bridge the gap between their furthest reach and their bottom.

The gadgets and their names may form a long list, yet their function is essentially one increasing our reach by acting as an extension of our arm. Some wiping aid tools may be electronic, while others are simple tools that follow simple machines load, pivot, and effort principles.

We are going to discuss several wiping aid tools.

The long reach comfort wipes aiding tool

This device reaches up to fifteen inches, and it simply wraps six pieces of tissue paper or pre-moistened wipe around the end of the wand using unique nubs to hold it in place. After wiping, you press a button at the side of the wand to disengage the toilet paper and drop it inside the toilet.

Functionally, after fitting the required end of the wand with toilet paper or pre-moistened wipe, you are supposed to pass it down to your bottoms and wipe them when holding at the other side of the wand.

Bottom-buddy toilet tissue wiping aid

Assistive Devices For Toileting After A Hip Replacement

If you are having trouble with wiping yourself and not bending forwards, there are a number of devices, along with certain models of raised toilet seat, which will give make it easier to do this without leaning forwards and hurting yourself

Open Front Seats

Both safety frames with raised toilet seats and bedside commodes have models with open front seats, which allow access and more room for personal care.

Toilet Aids for wiping

There are a number of plastic, long handled devices with a gripping mechanism at one end, to which you can attach your toilet paper or wet wipes, and then clean your self without bending more than your precautions allow

  • Freedom Wand is one example, and has a number of extensions which extend the device up to 30 in length. You can make it 7, 14, 21, 25 or 30 long, which should be long enough for most people.
  • Comfort Wipe is another wiping device.
  • The gripping system is somewhat different, but it will hold toilet paper and wet wipes.
  • Not as long as the Freedom Wand the length of the handle extends a persons reach by 15 , but that is still far enough for a lot of people

Both of these devices allow you to wipe your private parts from the front, so you do not have to lean forwards. You simply pass the device between your legs and clean yourself in the upright sitting position.

Handheld bidet sprayer

This is my preference, as a bidet will wash you clean, and you dont have to wonder if you have really got yourself clean.

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Don’t Take Your Meds As Prescribed

You may shrug off pain medication because you heard it’s addictive or it makes you constipated, nauseous, or woozy. But skimping on your medicine isn’t smart.

Pain can sometimes interfere with your sleep, appetite, and ability to get around, Whiteson says. And that can make it harder for your body to heal. Ultimately, the goal is to get off medication, but not before you’re ready.

Wiping Issues To Tell Your Doctor About

If you feel as if you just can’t get clean after a BM, call your healthcare provider, said Dr. Borkar, especially if this is something new and lingering. This stuff can feel embarrassing, but remember that your healthcare provider is there to help you, and they have heard it all before. Ultimately, wiping is a common concern. “If you’re dealing with any issues wiping, you’re not alone,” said Dr. Dweck.

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Sitting On A Toilet Seat After A Hip Replacement

If you have to take precautions sitting on the toilet after a hip replacement , you have probably fitted a raised toilet seat of some kind, and now you are going to get used to sitting on in the right way, so that you dont hurt your hip replacement.

Should you have a caregiver, you will both need to know how the sitting on the toilet, and the getting up from the toilet, are done.

If you havent yet fitted your raised toilet seat, and you dont know anything about raised toilet seats, I have an article you can look at, Types Of Raised Toilet Seats: All You Should Know Before You Buy, and which explains about all the types, with lots of different examples of each, and to what situations, and for whom, they are best suited. In all, I discuss 13 different types of seats which you can use.

A few important points to make here about raised toilet seats are

If you are going to use a bedside commode over the toilet as a raised toilet seat, which by the way is the best solution we found for my mom, then there are a few points you will need to look at for those as well

Remember To Move Carefully

Before and After Your Heart Surgery
  • Rapid change of position may be accompanied by dizziness if done to quickly.
  • Rest whenever you get tired.
  • Rest between activities. If you need to rest for more than one hour after an activity, you may be pushing yourself too hard. Do a little less the next day.
  • Avoid placing undue strain on your chest region by sitting in one position for long periods of time.
  • When sitting or standing, use your leg musclesdo not use your arms to lower or raise yourself from your chair.
  • Do not cross your legsit interferes with blood flow.

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Care Of Your Incisions

As you heal, your incision will look better and the soreness will go away. Changes in the weather, too much or too little activity and sleeping in one position too long may cause increased soreness. You may also feel numbness or itching or see redness or swelling, which will also stop with time. To care for your incisions, we suggest:

  • Wash gently with mild soap during your daily shower. Dry carefully with a towel. Pat it dry Do not rub the incision.
  • If you have small pieces of white tape over your incision, you must remove them after you have been home for seven days. If the strips come off on their own, you may leave them off.
  • If your incisions are puffy, have areas of redness, are oozing, or begin to open slightly, call your surgeon.
  • Women should wear a bra. A good support bra will reduce the tension placed on the incision. If the bra bothers you, you may put a small piece of gauze under the bra for added comfort.
  • For discomfort or soreness, you may use a heating pad. Apply it four or five times per day on the low setting for about 20 minutes each time. If needed, take pain medication prescribed by your doctor.

Whats The Best Chair After A Hip Replacement

If you had an anterior hip replacement, you really dont have to worry about this, unless of course your surgeon has told you to take some precautions involving chairs.

It is wise to avoid any really low chairs, and if the chair has armrests that can make it easier for you to stand up in the early stages of your recovery.

For patients who had a posterior or lateral hip replacement, you want to get a chair with

  • armrests you need these to help you when standing up
  • a straight back
  • a seat which is higher from the floor than the back of your knees, so you are that your hip does not bend more than 90 degrees if your hip is higher than your bottom that is fine
  • you should be able to place your feet flat on the floor when you are seated no dangling, or even half up in the air this is for safety when standing
  • a firm but comfortable seat

You should sit on any low seats, puffy seats, sofas and seats without armrests.

If you are finding the chair you are using a little too firm, you can always add a wedge cushion or a square cushion of dense foam, 2 to 4 inches thick, to make things a little more comfy.

It is completely unnecessary to spend a fortune on a chair, that you will only be using it for 6 to 10 weeks, in most cases.

For my mom, we had a very basic upright wooden chair with a slightly padded back and seat, and armrests.

The seat height was about 1 inch higher than her knees, so she was sitting with her hip at a very good angle.

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