Youll Play A Key Role In Managing Your Pain
Post-surgical pain is unavoidable but can be managed in a variety of ways. Because of recent national legislation changes, physicians can prescribe no more than a seven-day supply of opioids to patients at the time of their hospital discharge.
Weaning yourself off opioids as soon as possible is important. You may need less than a seven-day supply, depending on your condition. Some patients do not require any opioids for pain management.
Other options for pain management include:
Oral and topical analgesics such as acetaminophen and Salonpas patches
Applying a warm cloth to the area, using caution near the incision because nerve sensitivity may be decreased, causing the skin to burn
Relaxation techniques such as meditation and guided imagery
If you are on long-term opioids, you should meet with your prescribing physician to begin to wean down to the lowest dose possible before surgery.
Resuming Normal Activities After Open Heart Surgery
Its important to remember that not everyone heals at the same rate. People who have diabetes or are taking steroids may take longer to heal after surgery. Age can play a role, too, as recovery may take longer in adults who are older. Complete recovery takes about three to six months.
At any phase in your recovery, using common sense is the best way to keep yourself from overdoing it, Dr. Tong says.
If an activity causes pressure or pain, stop. If your sternum doesnt heal properly after surgery, it can cause you a lot of pain and complicate the healing process.
If you arent sure an activity is safe, check with your surgeon first. And contact your doctor right away if you experience:
- Redness on your chest larger than a quarter or drainage that resembles pus. This might signal an infection.
- A clicking noise in your chest when you cough or breathe deeply. This could mean the wire holding your sternum together has broken.
Overall, give yourself time to heal, while gradually doing a little more each week. Continue to work with your doctor until youre up to speed on your normal activities.
What Should You Avoid Doing After Having Cabg Surgery
Your body needs quite a bit of time to heal after a major surgery like CABG. Its important to follow your care teams instructions and ask them when you have questions. They will likely advise you to avoid certain activities while you recover, some of which may include the following:
It takes time for the sternum to heal. So for at least a couple of weeks after surgery, most people should avoid lifting, pushing, or pulling more than 10 pounds.
You should also limit use of your arms to simple everyday tasks like getting dressed and playing cards. In other words, dont lift your arms above your head or behind your back.
Dont drive for the first 2 to 3 weeks. This helps avoid injuring your chest, but its also because you may still be on pain meds and not feeling 100% yet.
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Major Side Effects Of Having Bypass Surgery
There are side effects from all kinds of surgery. Bypass surgery may also make you experience some of the side effects after you have been discharged from the hospital.
These side effects of during the bypass surgery recovery period may include:
One should be prepared that bypass surgery recovery period or the healing time following a bypass surgery will take weeks rather than just days. It is fine if you feel low or if you are having bad and good days after the bypass surgery. Side effects which are natural after the surgery will be temporary and will disappear in 4 to 6 weeks. Complete bypass surgery recovery period generally takes a month or so depending on the health conditions before the bypass surgery. Sometimes we feel that the ways things are going are wrong and that is when one should consult his or her doctor again.
If you are experiencing these problems after the surgery and during the bypass surgery recovery period please seek advice from your general physician as soon as possible:
Weeks After Your Heart Bypass Surgery
- When to drive: Most surgeons recommend waiting at least six weeks after surgery to begin driving even a minor accident could cause you to hit your chest area on the steering wheel which could disturb normal healing of your sternum.
- When to return to work: Those who perform strenuous physical labor may need to wait longer than people who work at a desk all day.
- When you can begin lifting heavy items: It’s important not to push yourself before your weight lifting restriction is eliminated.
- When you can resume engaging in normal sexual activity: Don’t neglect to discuss this with your healthcare provider.
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Taking Care Of Yourself At Home
Be guided by your doctor, but general suggestions include:
- Take all prescribed medications strictly as directed by your doctor.
- Activities such as sneezing and coughing could cause some discomfort around your wound site. Don’t be alarmed, as this is normal.
- Watch for any possible complications. Some of the symptoms of infection may include redness, drainage of pus, heat, or increasing pain at your wound site. Other symptoms that may indicate problems include difficulty breathing, or a swollen and tender calf muscle.
- You will need to wear an elastic support stocking on the leg that the vein was removed from. Raise your leg regularly to reduce swelling.
- Your breastbone needs at least three months to properly heal. Strictly avoid lifting, pulling or pushing heavy objects for at least six to eight weeks after the operation.
- Follow your doctor’s recommendations on diet and exercise.
- Eat a wide variety of fresh fruit and vegetables, wholegrain cereals and cold-water fish .
- In particular, avoid saturated fats found in animal products and hidden fats in pastries, biscuits, fried foods, snack foods, chocolate and cocoa.
Personality And Emotional Side Effects Of Open
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. Keep in mind that full recovery from open heart surgery can take up to one year.
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Adopt Healthy Lifestyle As A Precaution For Bypass Surgery
Some of the precautions for bypass surgery that can be taken to help reduce the risk of any further health problems post bypass surgery are described below:
Healthy Diet as a Precaution for Bypass Surgery
Choose a healthy diet as a precaution for bypass surgery. Chances of getting another heart problem post bypass surgery increases if a healthy diet is not taken. The diet should be low in fat, high in fiber and omega-3 that is a fatty acid that can help reduce cholesterol levels. A few types of food you should avoid are:
One should start exercising at a level which keeps them comfortable, if it is difficult to cove 150 minutes a week. Gradually the duration and intensity should be increased as your stamina and fitness starts to improve.
Lose Weight as a Precaution for Bypass Surgery
One should always have a check on his or her body weight. It is very important to lose weight if a person is overweight or obese as a precaution for bypass surgery. It will reduce the future health problems of a person who has a healthy weight. Healthy diet and regular exercises can help you reduce weight. It is easier to shed those extra kilos from your body by following a weight loss program, like NHS weight loss plan.
What Happens After I Leave The Hospital
It can take several weeks after valve replacement for you to feel normal again. Hopefully, youll feel much better than normal, especially if you were previously experiencing fatigue, shortness of breath, and other symptoms associated with a faulty heart valve.
Before you leave the hospital, well take plenty of time to explain what to expect during this portion of your healing process. Youll also receive specific instructions regarding your medications, physical activity, diet, and other crucial details pertaining to valve replacement.
My best medical advice for a successful outcome after heart valve replacement includes:
- Taking all medications exactly as prescribed, some of which may be new for you, such as blood thinners
- Following care instructions for surgical incisions
- Getting plenty of rest
- Participating in activities as directed, such as walking, but not overdoing
- Keeping your appointments for labs and doctor visits as scheduled, which may include diagnostic studies to access your new valves function and bloodwork to check medication levels
Even after youve recovered and are, perhaps, feeling like a new person, expect to return for periodic checks of your valve and heart health. Its important to keep these appointments so I can identify any problems early, when theyre usually easiest to treat.
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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.
Cardiac Rehabilitation During Bypass Surgery Recovery Period
The bypass surgery recovery period may include Cardiac Rehabilitation program if only prescribed by your physician. One can start off with his or her cardiac rehab while one is still in the hospital and continue it after getting discharged. What is cardiac rehab? Cardiac rehab is a type of exercise program that will help you increase the level of your physical activity under the supervision of professional who have exceled in it. The cardiac rehab management during bypass surgery recovery period also has dieticians, therapists, psychologists, and other health care providers who are going to aid you in bypass surgery recovery period. The whole cardiac rehab program will make you feel confident about adopting a healthy lifestyle.
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Procedure Completion Both Methods
Your doctor will sew the sternum together with small wires .
He or she will insert tubes into your chest to drain blood and other fluids from around the heart.
Your doctor will sew the skin over the sternum back together.
Your doctor will put a tube through your mouth or nose into your stomach to drain stomach fluids.
He or she will then apply a sterile bandage or dressing.
Exercising With Your New Heart Valve
While the goal of valve replacement is to improve blood flow and improve your hearts health, its a muscle that requires conditioning to stay strong. Every case is unique, and I may request certain activity restrictions even after youve healed, but I typically recommend you begin an exercise program thats designed to strengthen your heart.
Exercise routines to consider include:
Many gyms also have heart conditioning programs. Look for one thats affiliated with trusted medical resources and has well-trained instructors who are familiar with folks recovering from heart surgery. Before you begin, however, discuss your options with me so I can review your choice.
Its important to pace yourself, starting slowly and increasing your level of exercise gradually over time. I also recommend you:
- Drink plenty of water before, during, and after your routine to avoid dehydration and the stress it places on your heart
- Avoid exercising in excessive cold, heat, or humidity and opt instead for time at the gym or a mall walk
- Make your after-exercise shower lukewarm and avoid hot saunas since the heat and steam can stress your heart
Odds are youve heard about the value of exercise before, and for good reason. Routine physical activity thats appropriate for your age and stage of life is one of the best things you can do for your heart and overall health.
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Helping Loved Ones During Bypass Surgery Recovery Period
Helping a loved one during bypass surgery recovery period is a crucial time for the caregiver. At the time of discharge the doctor hands him or her and the person responsible for his or her care is handed a set of instructions on how to deal with bypass surgery recovery period symptoms. This also includes tips on what to do for the patients emotional and physical well-being.
Contact Us About Emotional Side Effects Of Open
For more information about emotional side effects of open-heart surgery, contact Ciuffio Heart Surgery. We can help.
About the Author
Giovanni B. Ciuffo, MD Director is an expert in Minimally Invasive Heart Surgery and Bloodless Heart Surgery is the outcome of his commitment to the development and improvement of both of these techniques. He runs a Cardiothoracic Surgery practice and manages Minimally Invasive and Bloodless Heart Surgery Program where he cares for patients from all over the country and locally. to learn more about Dr. Ciuffo.
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Medical Issues To Consider
Once you and your doctor have decided that you are to have a heart bypass operation, your doctor will discuss in detail the risks involved. This will include the type of anaesthetic you will have and the immediate post-operative care you can expect. You also need to discuss health and lifestyle issues, including medical history, allergies and current medications.Once in hospital, your vital signs such as blood pressure and heart rate are recorded. You will also undergo various medical investigations prior to surgery, including blood tests, x-rays and an electrocardiogram.
Six To 10 Weeks After Surgery
If you had open heart surgery and your surgeon divided your sternum, it will be about 80% healed after six to eight weeks. By that time, youll generally be strong enough to get back to normal activities, such as driving, Dr. Tong says. You can probably also return to work, unless your job is physically strenuous.
Most importantly, this is the time to start a cardiac rehabilitation program. This is a monitored exercise program designed to increase your hearts endurance. Through cardiac rehabilitation, you can gradually increase your activities, and your doctors will watch your progress closely. Youll also learn more about how you can change your lifestyle and diet to keep your heart healthy.
Working through a cardiac rehabilitation program is the best way to find out when youre strong enough to resume the more strenuous activities you enjoy.
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The First Few Weeks At Home
During the first few weeks after hospital discharge, many people who have undergone heart bypass surgery:
- Experience low energy levels and feel fatigued frequently
- Have intermittent post-operative pain
- Need to continue taking pain medication, as ordered by the healthcare provider
- Are not yet able to return to work
- Have strict activity limitations such as a lifting and driving restrictions
- May experience sadness and mood swings
- Commonly have symptoms of major depression
Coping During the First Few Weeks at Home
You should rest often and sleep when you feel tired. Sleep will help your body recover and help to replenish your energy level. If you have trouble getting enough sleep at night, there are some things you can do to help, including:
- Be sure to establish a regular pattern of going to bed and getting up at the same time every day.
- If you have frequent insomnia, you may want to eliminate naps to ensure you are tired at night.
- Take your pain pills before you go to bed
- Be sure to sleep on your back for the first four to six weeks while your breastbone heals.
Coping with Pain
Pain after bypass surgery is common, some things you can do to relieve pain include:
Important Activity Warning
- Lifting objects that weigh over 10 lbs: This includes children, laundry baskets, trash receptacles and other objects.
- Driving: Even a minor car crash could cause the chest area to slam into the steering wheel.
The Second Day After Surgery
On the second day after your heart bypass surgery, you may:
- Be expected to get out of bed several times per day: You’ll be prompted to walk short distances in the hallway. You should try to walk every day and slowly, gradually, increase the distance that you walked from the day before. Walking helps prevent common post-surgery complications such as pneumonia and constipation.
- Be able to sit up in a chair: You’ll be encouraged to eat your meals out of bed.
- Begin eating solid foods and drinking liquids as tolerated: There will be a limit to the amount of fluids you can drink over a 24-hour period.
- Be moved to a regular cardiac unit: When you are moved out of the ICU, your heart will continue to be monitored closely via a small portable device called a telemetry unit, which continually transmits your heart’s rhythm, heart rate, breathing and blood pressure, remotely. This enables the nurses to monitor your vital signs, even when they are not in the room with you.
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