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Recovering From Heart Surgery

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Twelve Weeks After Heart Bypass Surgery

Recovering from Open Heart Surgery

For the first three months after heart bypass surgery, you should avoid any type of strenuous exercise that could strain your chest or upper arms, this includes activities such as:

  • Pushing a lawn mower
  • Lifting heavy objects
  • Other activities that put strain on your chest and upper arms

Most people are fully recovered at the 12-week mark after heart bypass surgery, and able to resume all normal, pre-surgery activities. Be sure to get the okay from your surgeon or cardiologist before resuming any type of exercise or other strenuous activity after your surgery.

Hormonal Changes Can Occur After Heart Surgery

For women, your period can be affected by the surgery. It can temporally or even in cases permanently changed. Your periods can become irregular, heavy, lighter, or more painful. Whenever Im in the hospital for some reason my body just automatically decides its going to have my period even though its not that time.

What Happens During Open

Heart surgery is complex. Some surgeries may take six hours or longer. You will receive anesthesia and be asleep during the procedure.

Surgery steps vary depending on the heart condition and procedure. In general, your surgeon:

  • Makes a 6- to 8-inch long incision down the middle of your chest.
  • Cuts the breastbone and spreads your ribcage apart to reach your heart.
  • Connects the heart to a heart-lung bypass machine, if youll have an on-pump surgery. An anesthesiologist gives IV medication to stop your heart from beating and monitors you during the surgery.
  • Repairs your heart.
  • Restores blood flow to your heart. Usually, your heart starts beating on its own. Sometimes, the heart needs a mild electrical shock to restart it.
  • Disconnects the heart-lung bypass machine.
  • Closes the breastbone or other incision with wires or sutures that remain in your body.
  • Uses stitches to close the skin incision.

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What Is Recovery Like After Open

Recovery time varies depending on the surgery type, complications and your overall health before surgery. It can take 6 to 12 weeks to recover from an open-heart procedure.

Your surgeon will let you know when you can return to work and other activities. Typically, you shouldnt drive or lift anything heavy for the first six weeks.

Some people need to take blood thinners after heart surgery to prevent blood clots. Your healthcare provider may also recommend cardiac rehabilitation. This medically supervised program can help you regain strength and stamina and improve overall heart health.

Your Eating Habits May Change

Recovery after bypass surgery

You may notice that youve lost your appetite or you just feel too tired to eat. This is common, so be patient. Your appetite will soon be back to normal.

We suggest you try eating frequent, small meals throughout the day. You need proper nutrition to enable your body to heal and get stronger.

We recommend a diet low in fat, cholesterol and sodium and high in protein. Good sources of protein include fish, eggs, dairy, beans and nuts. Limit the amount of salt in your diet to 2,000 milligrams a day. Foods known to be high in salt include restaurant food, soups, pizza, bacon and other processed meats.

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The First 24 To 48 Hours After Surgery

A heart bypass procedure usually takes approximately four to six hours to complete. After your surgical procedure is complete, you will be transferred to the cardiac intensive care unit or intensive care unit . Most people are transferred out of the CICU unit, to a lower level of care in one to three days.

On the day of surgery, most people who have undergone heart bypass surgery:

  • Begin drinking clear liquids: You will also start eating easy-to-digest solids once your body can tolerate it. You’ll stay away from food that are fried, greasy, processed or spicy.
  • Are asked to sit up: Your healthcare team will encourage you to move your body by sitting up on the side of the bed.
  • Are coached to cough and do deep breathing exercises frequently: This is to prevent lung complications such as pneumonia.

What Are The Different Types Of Heart Surgery

There are many types of heart surgery. The type of heart surgery you have depends on the condition being treated.

Coronary artery bypass grafting

Coronary artery bypass grafting is often called CABG for short. This surgery treats coronary artery disease in one or more of your coronary arteries. You mightve heard someone say double bypass, triple bypass or quadruple bypass. The first word tells you how many coronary arteries and their branches need to be bypassed .

CABG uses a healthy blood vessel from somewhere else in your body to create a new path for blood to reach your heart. Usually, CABG uses arteries from your arms or chest, or veins from your legs. This allows your blood to avoid the damaged part of your coronary artery.

Heart valve repair or replacement

Heart valve surgery manages heart valve disease by repairing or replacing the valve that isnt working as it should. This surgery allows a door that manages your blood flow to open more widely or close more tightly. As a result, blood can flow in the right direction and get where it needs to be.

Aneurysm repair surgery

Aneurysm repair surgery treats aortic aneurysms in your belly and chest. This surgery replaces the damaged part of your aorta with a graft, which is an artificial artery made of a special type of cloth. The graft offers a new, safe path for your blood to flow.

Heart surgery for atrial fibrillation

Insertion of a cardiac device

Heart transplant surgery

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Recovering From Heart Surgery

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Recovering from heart surgery can take anywhere from a few days to several months. The rate of recovery depends largely upon the type of surgery performed. While open heart surgery will require a longer recovery time, minimally invasive surgeries typically take a much shorter period. There are also other steps involved to ensure complete recovery. Following certain recommendations can also speed up recovery. Nonetheless, heart surgeries often require overall lifestyle changes.

What Is Cardiac Surgery

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Cardiac surgery is any surgery that involves your heart or the blood vessels connected to your heart. Its also called cardiovascular surgery or simply heart surgery. Heart surgery is complex and requires the specialized expertise of cardiac surgeons. Its a major event that can improve heart function and circulation and give you a whole new lease on life.

Heart surgery can correct issues you were born with . It can also repair issues that develop later in life. The type of heart surgery you have depends on the underlying problem or combination of problems.

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How Do I Manage Post

A cardiac anesthesiologist is also a pain management specialist for conditions related to surgery. Your anesthesiologist will talk to you about your options for managing post-operative pain. Before your surgery, the anesthesiologist may ask about your pain tolerance to help gauge how best to manage your post-operative pain, guiding decisions such as the proper narcotics dosage, the feasibility of nonnarcotic pain medication options, and the need for nerve blocks.

Although most heart surgeries are major surgeries, they are typically not a source of long-term pain. Even in the short term, the pain may be less severe than with operations on other areas of the body. Opioids are used when necessary, but there are many other pain management options, including:

  • Lidocaine infusion

Lifestyle Changes After Surgery

Lifestyle is often a reason why a person needs heart surgery in the first place. An unhealthy diet, lack of proper exercise, overexertion, stress, drinking alcohol, smoking or vaporizing, a high caffeine intake, other drug usage, and many other factors can weaken the heart over a long period of time. In order to ensure that the heart remains healthy after healing from surgery often requires lifestyle changes.

Fortunately, the healing process can help to integrate these lifestyle changes into a persons daily routine. For example, embracing a heart-healthy diet does not have to end once the healing process is over. Eating healthy is a lifestyle change that can greatly increase ones well-being after surgery. It can also help prevent the need for surgery.

The exact lifestyle changes that will need to be made after surgery are dependent upon each persons circumstances. Some patients may need heart surgery because of a lack of exercise. Others may need exercise because they worked too hard for too long. Stressing out because of over-work can also be a reason a persons heart grows weak.

Physical or psychological changes may be needed depending on the circumstance. The exact changes that need be made should be discussed between the patient and physician.

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What Happens During Triple Bypass Surgery

While youre under general anesthesia, a surgeon will:

  • Make an approximately 6-inch vertical cut down the middle of your chest .
  • Split your breastbone down the middle to get to your heart.
  • Remove a blood vessel from your leg, arm or chest.
  • Attach one end of the blood vessel to your aorta and the other to your coronary artery . If they use an artery thats under your collarbone, they may leave that part connected and attach the other end to your heart. They may need to do this in several places, depending on where the blockages are located.

How long does triple bypass surgery take?

Triple bypass surgery can take three to six hours.

What Is The Survival Rate Of Heart Surgery

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Heart surgery survival rates vary based on the type of surgery and how many problems are repaired during the operation. Survival rates are:

  • Mitral valve repair for mitral valve prolapse: 100%.
  • Aortic valve replacement: 98.1%.
  • Coronary artery bypass surgery : 97.8%.

Heart surgery is generally riskier for people who are very ill or have other medical conditions.

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What Is Triple Bypass Surgery

Triple bypass surgery reroutes blood around three blocked areas in your coronary arteries. A surgeon moves blood vessels from elsewhere in your body to your heart. This allows blood to flow through open blood vessels instead of trying to move through blocked ones.

You may hear people refer to this surgery as a coronary artery bypass graft or CABG. Its usually an open-heart surgery.

Can triple bypass surgery be minimally invasive?

Yes, but in very select scenarios. Some people meet the criteria for a triple bypass surgery that requires only a 3-inch cut between their ribs. Others can have a robotically assisted operation that uses a few 2-inch cuts. However, these minimally invasive techniques arent a good option for everyone and are only suitable for highly select people. These procedures typically dont use a heart-lung machine, which means your heart keeps beating during the surgery. A provider can tell you which method is best for your situation.

Who needs to have triple bypass heart surgery?

People who have coronary artery disease may need triple bypass surgery. Its most likely the best option for people with plaque in three parts of their hearts arteries. They need this operation because they have plaque blockages in their arteries that supply blood to their heart muscle. These blockages can cause chest pain, shortness of breath and heart attacks.

Why is triple bypass surgery done?

People need triple bypass surgery because:

How common is triple bypass surgery?

How Should I Prepare For Open

To prepare for open-heart surgery, you should follow your healthcare providers recommendations about:

  • Medications: You may need to stop taking certain medicines a week or two before surgery. People often stop blood thinners and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs . These medicines can increase bleeding risk.
  • Food and drink: Your healthcare team will ask you to fast before your surgery. Anesthesia is safer on an empty stomach.
  • Smoking and alcohol: Cut back on alcohol and quit smoking. Both can slow postsurgical healing and increase the risk of complications.

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Recovering At Home From Open Heart Surgery

Youve just had open heart surgery and youre now recovering at home. Mercy Healthcare Services, a San Diego-based Home Health Agency specializing in post-open heart care, have put together this video guide just for you. In our 4 videos, we talk about the top reasons why patients get re-admitted to the hospital and what you can do to prevent them.
One of the top reasons post-open heart patients get re-admitted to the hospital is a condition known as Heart Failure. Heart failure is when the heart does not pump or fill with blood well. This causes the heart to lag behind in its job of moving blood throughout the body.
This can lead to symptoms such as swelling, trouble breathing, and feeling tired. If you have heart failure, your heart has not actually “failed” or stopped beating. It just isn’t working as well as it should.
So, what are the symptoms of heart failure?
1. Changes in breathing. Every morning, when you get up, you need to check and look for changes in breathing.
Ask yourself these questions:
Can I breathe as well as I normally can?
Am I getting out of breath doing things I can normally do without a problem? Doi
Am I coughing more than usual?
Did I use more pillows than usual to sleep last night?
2. Changes in weight
Weigh yourself every morning after urinating but before eating. Write down your weight on a calendar. Then ask yourself:
· Has my weight gone up or gone down compared to yesterday? If so, by how many pounds?
3. New or worse swelling
Ask yourself:
DVT

What Is The Recovery Time

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Recovery time depends on the type of surgery you have, but for most types of heart surgery you are likely to spend a day or more in the hospitalâs intensive care unit. Then you will be moved to another part of the hospital for several days until you go home.

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute notes that the length of your recovery time at home will depend on the type of surgery you had, your overall health before the surgery, and whether you experienced any complications from surgery. For example, full recovery from a traditional coronary artery bypass may take six to 12 weeks or more.

Anesthesiologists are the most highly skilled medical experts in anesthesia care, pain management, and critical care medicine. They have the education and training that, in some circumstances, can mean the difference between life and death.

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Caring For Your Wound

The metal wires holding your breastbone together are permanent.

But the stitches closing your skin will gradually dissolve over the weeks following surgery as your skin heals.

While you’re recovering in hospital, you’ll be told about how to care for your wounds at home.

It’s important to keep the wounds clean and protect them from the sun while they’re healing.

You’ll have a scar where the surgeon cut down your chest, as well as where the grafted blood vessel was taken from.

These will be red at first, but will gradually fade over time.

In This Video Learn Reasons Doctors Use Open

Heart surgery is one of the marvels of modern healthcare. Doctors of the 1800s initially believed surgery on the heart was impossible and were hesitant to even try. Starting in the 1950s, thanks to determined and brilliant surgeons, open-heart surgeries became increasingly safer, more common, and more effective.

Despite the medical progress, patients and their loved ones are understandably anxious about their surgery dateand what their life will be like in the weeks and months following the procedure.

Open-heart surgery is actually a group of procedures. We can do surgery on the heart for many different reasons, says Michelle Weisfelner Bloom, MD, cardiologist at Stony Brook University Medical Center. The most common surgery is coronary artery bypass grafting, or CABG.

When Is Open-Heart Surgery Beneficial?

Patients might benefit from open-heart surgery for one of a few reasons, according to Dr. Weisfelner Bloom.

What to Expect After Open-Heart Surgery

After waking up from your surgery, you will likely feel confused and tired. You will be hooked up to wires and tubes and will be in the Intensive Care Unit with highly trained healthcare professionals. Your wrists may be gently strapped down to prevent you from accidentally pulling out any of the tubes.

Recovering from Open-Heart Surgery

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What Happens Before Triple Bypass Heart Surgery

A healthcare provider will order tests to complete before the day of surgery. These may include:

A provider will ask you to stop eating and drinking at midnight before your surgery. Youll also need to temporarily stop taking certain medicines for several days before your operation.

On the day of your surgery, youll change into a hospital gown and leave your belongings with a family member. Youll get an IV for medication that will put you to sleep for the surgery. Youll receive a breathing tube as well.

What Are Some Types Of Heart Surgery

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There are many types of heart surgery. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, which is part of the National Institutes of Health, lists the following as among the most common coronary surgical procedures.

In addition to these surgeries, a minimally invasive alternative to open-heart surgery that is becoming more common is transcatheter structural heart surgery. This involves guiding a long, thin, flexible tube called a catheter to your heart through blood vessels that can be accessed from the groin, thigh, abdomen, chest, neck, or collarbone. A small incision is necessary. This type of surgery includes transcatheter aortic valve implantation to replace a faulty aortic valve with a valve made from animal tissue, MitraClip® placement for mitral valve abnormalities, and WATCHMAN® placement for nonvalvular atrial fibrillation patients.

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