Find More From Expecting And Empowered
You can find so much more helpful information on c-section recovery and a million other prenatal and postpartum topics on the Expecting and Empowered blog.
And exclusively for What About Mamas readers, Krystle and her partner are offering $10 off any pregnancy or postpartum workout guide when you use my special code: WAM10.
My son is 7 months old, and Im still using the postpartum guide which I love, love, love.
I hope these dos and donts after c-section surgery were helpful to you, mama. Let me know in the comments below if you have any other tips to share.
Why Activity Restrictions Matter
Suboptimal medical outcomes sometimes occur with patients who have had completely successful cardiac surgery. The patient may recover more slowly, have trouble resuming the activities of daily living , and have trouble going back to his or her presurgical life and occupation. In the extreme case, the patient may die. When it became clear that the difference in outcomes was not always the result of the particular patient’s illness or the quality of the medical care provided, researchers began to look at psychological causes. The resulting studies have linked factors such as depression and anxiety to the observed suboptimal outcomes. In patients who had undergone coronary artery bypass grafting , depression and anxiety were associated with higher hospital readmission rates , and depression predicted an increased risk of death . The unaddressed question is this: Why do patients who have had a successful surgical procedure end up feeling depressed or anxious?
We have seen numerous examples, some tragic, of the consequences of inadequate postsurgical guidance. In response, we propose a change in the content and delivery of activity guidelines, with the goal of getting patients back to their pre-surgical life as soon as possible. We believe that through minor changes in how patients are treated after surgery, physicians and other clinicians can strengthen, rather than damage, patients’ psychological well-being and improve their recovery.
What Kind Of Care Do You Need After Open Heart Surgery
Keeping your incision clean requires you to use warm not hot water in lieu of cold-water. Gradually regain the normal levels of fitness and exercise your body as well as strengthening your lung and heart function by doing light activities, such as walking and strength-training. As well as being beneficial, yoga can improve your mood.
You May Like: What I Felt Before My Heart Attack
Can You Drive With A Pacemaker
Its safe to drive with a pacemaker if you are well, not suffering from dizziness or fainting spells and regularly attend check-ups. Its essential to tell the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency and your motor insurance company that you have a pacemaker.
After pacemaker surgery, you should wait at least a week before starting to drive. You may need to wait longer before driving if you’ve had a heart attack or cardiac surgery. If youre experiencing symptoms or are unsure about your driving safety, check with your cardiologist before getting behind the wheel. If you drive an HGV or passenger-carrying vehicle, you should wait six weeks before driving.
Find out more about driving, pacemakers and DVLA notification.
Activity Restrictions And Recovery After Open Chest Surgery: Understanding The Patient’s Perspective
The Indiana man was a fine horseman who treasured his horsesthey were almost like family to him. Then he had surgery to repair an aortic aneurysm. One of his physicians told him that he could never ride again and that he should sell his horses. Fearful of jeopardizing his life and not knowing what else to do, the man complied, but doing so plunged him into a depression that lifted only when he was well enough to see that the physician’s advice was wrong. He now owns and rides horses again.
Cardiac surgery patients at a major Texas hospital are told on discharge not to lift anything heavier than a half-gallon of milk . The door to the cardiac rehabilitation facility in the same hospital requires a 14-pound pull to open, yet no patients have died or have even been injured from opening this door.
Do the activity restrictions that patients are given after major surgery affect their recovery? Can the activity restrictions increase the risk of morbidity? Can bad advice kill a patient who has just had a successful surgical procedure?
Recommended Reading: What Foods Should Be Avoided With Congestive Heart Failure
Managing Pain After Open Heart Surgery
Managing your pain is an important part of your recovery after heart surgery. In addition to keeping you comfortable, pain control can help speed your recovery and reduce your risk of developing certain complications after surgery, like pneumonia and blood clots. Your pain level should be managed to the point that youre able to get up, walk around, cough and take deep breaths after surgery.
After heart surgery, you need to be able to move with some degree of comfort to aid the healing process, Dr. Tong says. Keeping your pain level manageable will help make sure your recovery stays on track.
You may leave the hospital with a prescription for pain medication and detailed instructions on how to use those medications to manage your pain.
People are often apprehensive about taking narcotic pain medications because of the risk of addiction, Dr. Tong notes. That is a healthy and very reasonable fear and an important conversation to have with your doctor. There are safeguards in place to stem opioid abuse and protect you from abusing medications. When it comes to prescription pain medication, for most people, its a matter of listening to your body. If you need it, take it. If you dont, dont.
If you have concerns about bringing narcotics into your home, or if you have a history of substance use disorder, be honest with your doctor. Theyll be able to discuss your options with you and determine a pain control plan with you.
Household Appliances And Tools After Pacemaker Surgery
Most household tools and appliances are safe to use with a pacemaker. Appliances like hairdryers, tongs and toasters are safe but try to keep them at least five inches or 12cm from your pacemaker. Household tools like drills and cordless screwdrivers dont cause problems as long as they’re well maintained and in good condition.
Also Check: What Is The Target Heart Rate Zone
You May Feel Like Youre On An Emotional Roller Coaster
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
More Exercises After Bypass Surgery
Long periods of inactivity arent good for the body, especially after undergoing major heart surgery. The heart needs to adjust to the new surgical grafts and perform as well as it did before, which requires low-intensity, regular exercise to allow it to adjust to the movements gradually. However, precautions must be taken to ensure you do not rush into any intense activity.
Read Also: Why Do Athletes Have Lower Heart Rates
After Cataract Surgery: Dos And Donts
Written by Lara Dudek
Vision loss due to the development of a cataract in the eye is highly common. Fortunately, cataract surgery is safe, frequently conducted, and painless. By replacing your natural lens with an artificial one, you will experience restored vision without the risk of cataracts returning in the future.
Once you have completed your cataract surgery you will be well on your way to a better lifestyle with the visual clarity you have longed for for years. Still, you will need to be mindful of giving yourself ample time to recover while following the post-operative recommendations provided by your doctor. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you recover from cataract surgery.
You May Experience Sleep Issues
Many people complain of having trouble sleeping for some time after heart surgery. You may experience insomnia because of:
Effects of anesthesia
Changes in your daily routine
Stress from personal concerns
Normal sleeping patterns typically return in two to three weeks. Until then, try these tips:
Take enough rest breaks in between your normal daily activities but avoid a daytime nap longer than 20 minutes.
If you have pain, take your pain medication about 30 minutes before bedtime.
Arrange the pillows so you can maintain a comfortable position and decrease muscle strain.
If you feel anxious or nervous, talk to your spouse, partner or a trusted friend. Get your troubles off your mind.
Avoid caffeine in the evenings.
Listen to relaxing music or a guided imagery audio program.
Ask your partner to give you a back rub.
Take a relaxing shower.
Follow a bedtime routine to let your body know its time to relax and get to sleep.
Its OK to sleep on your back, side or stomach. You will not hurt your incisions.
Recommended Reading: Do Antibiotics Increase Heart Rate
What To Expect At Home
After surgery, it takes 4 to 6 weeks to completely heal and start feeling better. It is normal to:
- Have pain in your chest area around your incision
- Have a poor appetite for 2 to 4 weeks
- Have mood swings and feel depressed
- Have swelling in the leg that the vein graft was taken from
- Feel itchy, numb, or tingly around the incisions on your chest and leg for 6 months or more
- Have trouble sleeping at night
- Be constipated from pain medicines
- Have trouble with short-term memory or feel confused
- Be tired or not have much energy
- Have some shortness of breath. This may be worse if you also have lung problems. Some people may use oxygen when they go home.
- Have weakness in your arms for the first month
Home Care And Lifestyle Changes After Bypass Surgery
When the patient arrives at home from the hospital, patient requires a home care provider for at least 15 days. They will help in the following way:
- Emotional Support after Bypass Surgery: Since its a difficult period for the patient, it is essential that the patient is not kept alone. Presence of close family members or a home care provider is essential to provide emotional support and care.
- Wound Care after Bypass Surgery: Cleaning of the chest incision and grafts according to the doctors instructions are a must.
- Check for Infections at Surgical Site after Bypass Surgery: Check for symptoms of infection on surgical site. In case symptoms of infection are there, one must take doctors advice in order to prevent complications.
- Medications after Bypass Surgery: They should follow the regime of delivering prescribed medicines appropriately to the patient.
Many lifestyle changes are to be made including in work pattern and diet. These include:
Coronary Artery Bypass surgery has been very helpful for the patients with cardiovascular disease. However, it is neither a cure for arterial blockage nor does it stop the formation of new plaques in the arteries. Thus, it is necessary that the patients strictly follow prescribed diet and other habits along with regular health check-ups. These precautions will prevent formation of plaques in his future life and allow leading a healthy life.
Don’t Miss: How Much Aspirin Do You Take For A Heart Attack
Dos And Donts After A Hair Transplant
When youve just come home after a hair transplant, you want to make sure you know how to take care of the most precious of goods: Your newly implanted hair grafts. They are still fragile and need a bit of nurturing to fully take root. At Nashville Hair Doctor, we give our hair and beard transplant patients detailed directions for home care before they leave our clinic. Here are some of the DOs and DONTs we like to emphasize:
Wondering What Else You Need To Know
Remember, if you have a scheduled c-section, you have the extreme advantage of being able to prepare your home ahead of time to be more recovery friendly.
Krystle recommends you do some meal prepping and set up a baby feeding & changing station with everything you need in one spot, in whatever room youll be most comfortable in.
You can also put baby things and personal necessities in baskets on top of a table because bending down and reaching up high will probably be painful.
Don’t Miss: What Is Considered Elevated Heart Rate
How Should I Sleep After Cataract Surgery
You will be provided with a protective shield for your eye that should be worn during sleep for at least the first week after your cataract surgery. This will help you avoid rubbing your eyes and/or causing an accidental injury to your eye while it is in the recovery phase. Aside from the eye shield, this procedure should not require any significant changes to your sleep routine. If you are a side sleeper, it may be beneficial for you to sleep on your non-operative side to help avoid applying any additional pressure as the eye heals. If eye pain or discomfort is affecting your sleep, you should address it with your doctor to help determine potential solutions or treatments.
Things To Avoid With A Pacemaker
You can live an active and fulfilling life with a pacemaker, but there are some things to avoid when you have a pacemaker. Strong magnets or power generators can cause electromagnetic interference.
- Metal detectors: Metal detectors can interfere with your pacemaker. Avoid using one unless you have checked with your cardiology team.
- Electromagnetic fields: Arc welding, power generators, close contact with car-ignition systems, diathermy and high-power radio or TV transmitters all generate strong electromagnetic fields.
If you work with any of these things, you should check with your specialist before returning to work. You can also check the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency website for up-to-date information.
Recommended Reading: Can Low Blood Sugar Cause Heart Palpitations
What Should You Do To Recover From Heart Surgery
A full recovery from open heart surgery will take up to 3 month, and most of the recovery time will be at home. Understanding what you can and cannot do is important to recovering well. Keep in mind these dos and donts for a speedy and full recovery.
Do Establish A Routine
Ward off depression and allow your body to adjust to being home by creating a daily routine. Wake at the same time each day, have regular meal times, schedule exercise, visits, and entertainment during the day, and go to bed at a regular time.
Dont Over Do It
You will be limited in the number of stairs you can climb and the amount you can lift. Dont cheat. The limits are set to allow your sternum to heal properly and to keep your heart from overworking before it has recovered.
Do Attend Cardiac Rehabilitation
As you recover your heart will need to be strengthened. During cardiac rehabilitation your heart is constantly monitored while you exercise. You will regain strength and endurance, but also will gain confidence in your repaired heart.
Dont Doze All Day
Take a short nap in the afternoon if you are very tired, but otherwise try to avoid sleeping during the day to allow your body to readjust to a normal schedule.
Do Wear A Seatbelt
Until your sternum is completely healed, you will not be able to drive. If you ride in a car, do wear your seatbelt. The seatbelt may be uncomfortable against your chest. Using a small towel as padding may be more comfortable.
Dont Worry About Decreased Concentration
Can Open Heart Surgery Change Your Personality
Personality and Emotional Changes People who have had open heart surgery report mood changes, as do people close to them. Anxiety and depression are the most commonly experienced emotions after heart surgery. Anxiety can be caused, in part, by worries about possible physical aftereffects of the surgery.
Also Check: How Many Aspirin To Prevent Heart Attack
How Should I Handle My Emotional Ups And Downs
In the flurry of information you received after your heart attack, you or your doctor may have overlooked the emotional aspects of your illness.
Its normal and expected to experience a wide range of emotions. Perhaps youre afraid, depressed, scared, angry, or confused. The important thing is to recognize, understand, and manage your emotions so that they dont negatively impact your recovery and increase your risk of a second heart attack. Talk to your doctor and/or a mental health care provider about your feelings so they can get you back on track.
How Do You Wash Your Face After Cataract Surgery
Your surgery should not come at the expense of your hygiene, however you should avoid exposing your eye to direct water contact for at least a week. You can resume washing your face the day after your surgery while being careful to not touch your eye. It is recommended that you do not splash water directly on your face, rather use a washcloth to carefully clean your face. While your surgery incisions should close and heal within a few days, it is important to continue to be diligent about not getting water in your eye during the initial recovery period. Be sure to always have your eyes closed when washing your face and avoid rubbing the healing eye.
Read Also: Does Heart Attacks Run In Families