Monday, January 23, 2023

Recovery From Heart Surgery

Don't Miss

Three Months And Beyond

Recovering from Open Heart Surgery

After three months, youll be able to engage in more rigorous and heavier exercise and activity. As always, be very mindful of how youre feeling and try not to overdo it.

At this point, youll be able to participate in a full range of workouts and sports, you can take on more strenuous home and garden projects .

In general, before starting up a new activity or taking up one that you used to do, ask your healthcare provider if its safe. Dont hesitate to seek out medical advice and/or help if anything seems off.

Your Eating Habits May Change

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.

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

What Medications Are Needed After Open-Heart Surgery?

Don’t Miss: How To Calculate Your Max Heart Rate

When To Call The Doctor

  • You have chest pain or shortness of breath that does not go away when you rest.
  • Your pulse feels irregular — it is very slow or very fast .
  • You have dizziness, fainting, or you are very tired.
  • You have a severe headache that does not go away.
  • You have a cough that does not go away
  • You are coughing up blood or yellow or green mucus.
  • You have problems taking any of your heart medicines.
  • Your weight goes up by more than 2 pounds in a day for 2 days in a row.
  • Your wound changes. It is red or swollen, it has opened, or there is more drainage coming from it.
  • You have chills or a fever over 101°F .

Showering And Incision Care

25 Elegant Open Heart Surgery Recovery Time

You may shower if your surgeon has approved this prior to discharge. Your incisions may itch or feel sore, tight or numb for a few weeks. Some bruising around the incisions is also normal.

  • Use warm water.
  • You may wash your incisions gently with soap and water, but do not scrub them.
  • Pat your incisions dry.
  • Do not take baths or use powders or lotions near the incisions.

You may have white pieces of tape on your chest. These are called “steri strips”. They will gradually fall off. If they have not fallen off in 7 days, gently wash your chest with soap and water and gently peel them off. You may have some bleeding if the strips pulled off any scabs.

If you find it more comfortable, a thin layer of gauze may be placed over the incision. Women may wish to place cotton or soft material between the bra and chest wall.

Incision Care

  • Your skin is sealed within 24-48 hours after surgery.
  • You may itch or feel sore, tight or numb for a few weeks. Some bruising around the incision is also normal.
  • Avoid sun exposure for the first year
  • Chest tube drainage Within the first week after surgery, fluid may leak out from your chest tube sites. You may cover the sites with sterile bandages. Call your surgeon’s office if have to change the bandages more than once/day.

Signs of Possible Infection

  • Increased swelling/tenderness along incision line
  • Persistent high fever

Don’t Miss: How Long Can Pre Heart Attack Symptoms Last

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.

Can You Treat Aortic Valve Stenosis Without Surgery

Medications cannot cure aortic valve stenosis, but your doctor may prescribe drugs to manage symptoms or reduce the effect on your heart. This is especially true in mild cases that dont produce any symptoms and dont create any significant circulation or heart problems.

Some medications include:

There are a few options that your healthcare team may consider:

While medications can reduce some of the complication risks, they wont cure or resolve the valve stenosis.

If aortic valve repair or replacement is necessary, there are two main options that dont involve cutting open the chest for open-heart surgery: balloon valvuloplasty and transcatheter aortic valve replacement.

You May Like: How To Get Resting Heart Rate Down

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.

What Should I Expect During Recovery At Home After Heart Surgery

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

The first six to eight weeks after heart surgery are usually the most challenging. You may recover quite quickly if you were in good health before your operation. However, your recovery may be slower if you were very ill before surgery or if you experienced any complications after surgery.

Remember that you should see slow steady improvement as you recover. Call your family doctor if you have or develop any condition that seems to get steadily worse over three days.

  • Managing follow-up appointments

    What kind of follow-up appointments will I need after my heart surgery?

    Once you are home from the hospital after your heart surgery, please arrange the following appointments:

  • Within the first week you are at home, call to make an appointment to see your family doctor to have your sutures or clips removed. Remember to bring the removal kit you were provided with before you left the hospital.
  • Your heart surgeon may see you two to three months after your surgery for a follow-up appointment. Please refer to your personal discharge documents for details. Call 604-522-6800 to arrange this appointment.
  • You should also expect a call from a cardiac rehabilitation program. Referrals are made automatically when you are discharged and you do not need to initiate this call yourself.
  • Pain or tenderness
  • Make an appointment with your family doctor if your incision continues to drain and/or you note any signs of infection.

    When will my incision heal into a scar and how do I care for it?

    Read Also: With Respect To Heart Rate, Which Of The Following Worked In Opposition To Each Other

    When Can The Patient Start With Regular Exercise Routine After The Surgery

    Regular exercise routine should be started after around 10 weeks of the surgery. Once the patient advances in the cardiac rehabilitation program, the heart becomes stronger to keep up and endure with the cardio. The patient can start enjoying jogging, golf, and even tennis if the patient wishes to do so. No matter what exercise, but it is recommended that the patient should indulge in any form of it for at least 30 minutes, five times a week. This keeps the patients heart healthy and under control and also provides the required rest.

    Days And Weeks Following The Heart Surgery

    During the phase consists of days and weeks following the heart surgery, people usually expect to regain their energy gradually and return to the regular activity levels. Although, the surgeons and cardiologists recommend the necessary medications and care tips to assure the fastest possible recovery of patients support from family members and friends act as the prime key to faster recovery in them.

    Also Check: How To Improve Ejection Fraction After Heart Attack

    The St Pauls Rehabilitation Experience

    Located conveniently near you, St. Pauls Senior Community offers comprehensive senior rehabilitation services to provide support for you and your loved one through any upcoming medical procedures, injury recovery, or other health concerns. We know youre likely to have questions, and wed be happy to answer them for you. To get more information, please contact us. Our team is ready to help!

    Preparing For The Surgery

    open heart surgery recovery

    Preparation for open heart surgery starts the night before. A person should eat an evening meal as usual but must not consume any food or drink after midnight.

    It is a good idea to wear loose, comfortable clothing to assist with restricted movement following surgery, but wear whatever is comfortable.

    Be sure to have all personal medical information on hand. This might include a list of medications, recent illness, and insurance information.

    It is normal to feel anxious before an anesthetic, and people should not hesitate to seek reassurance from the healthcare team.

    The doctor may request that the person washes their upper body with antibacterial soap. A member of the healthcare team may need to shave the persons chest area before they can have the anesthetic.

    The doctors may also need to run tests before surgery, such as monitoring the heart or taking blood samples. A doctor or nurse might place a line into a vein to enable the delivery of fluids.

    After the medical team has completed the preliminary tasks, the anesthesiologist will administer general anesthesia.

    Don’t Miss: Women Having Heart Attacks

    Benefits Of Left Ventricular Assist Devices

    An LVAD improves the blood flow to the body and improves the functions of the brain, liver, kidneys, and other body organs, thereby improving the patients ability to participate in Cardiac Rehabilitation Program. The other benefits of LVAD include:

  • Improved quality of life
  • Lower the symptoms of heart failure
  • Open Heart Surgery Recovery Time For Elderly Patients

    So what is the recovery time like following open-heart surgery? Well, that varies based on the individual. Often, you can expect to spend 7-10 days in the hospital following surgery, with at least one day in the ICU immediately following the operation. This stay may be longer if you experience complications.

    In terms of healing times, it can take anywhere from 6-8 weeks or longer for your sternum to heal completely based on individual risk factors and post-surgery complications, as well as your rehabilitation experience following surgery.

    Also Check: What Happens With Congestive Heart Failure

    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.

    When Should I Call The Doctor

    Day 6 recovery from open heart surgery to replace the aortic

    You should call your healthcare provider if you experience:

    • Chest pain other than normal discomfort at the incision.
    • Signs of infection at the surgical site, such as oozing and redness.
    • Slurred speech or other signs of stroke.

    A note from Cleveland Clinic

    Open-heart surgery is a life-saving procedure. But it is also a major surgery. Recovery can be long. When possible, you should take steps to improve your health like exercising, losing weight and quitting smoking before surgery. These actions may make recovery easier. Its normal to have concerns before undergoing a heart procedure. Dont hesitate to share questions and concerns with your healthcare provider.

    Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 03/25/2021.

    References

    Also Check: Why Did Mr Stone Develop Heart Failure

    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.

    What Are The Most Common Complications During Cabg Recovery

    When you are ready to go home, you will be given a list of medications and instructions to help you recover from your operation. You will likely have some new prescriptions, and you may be told not to take some of your old medications. This may seem a little overwhelming at first, but your nurse will sit down with you and go over the instructions in detail. If you have any questions, your nurse will be able to help make things clear before you leave.

    Don’t Miss: What Type Of Pain In Arm Heart Attack

    Prayer For Intercession Of St Luke The Evangelist Patron Saint Of Surgeons And Physicians

    St. Luke, also called Saint Luke the Evangelist, is the author of the Gospel According to Luke and the Acts of the Apostles. He accompanied St. Paul the Apostle on his mission and became one of the writers of the New Testament, narrating the birth, ministry, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ.

    You can learn the words spoken by the angel to Mary at the Annunciation, Hail Mary, full of Grace and Elizabeth’s words to Mary, Blessed are you and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus.

    Some scholars said that he died as a martyr and was hanged on the olive tree following the death of St. Paul, while others claim otherwise. St. Luke’s feast day is on October 18.

    St. Luke, meaning light giving, was a physician and was venerated by the Catholic Church as the patron saint of physicians and surgeons. Therefore, if you know someone who is a surgeon or a loved one is undergoing surgery, you can intercede with prayers to St. Luke the Evangelist.

    Almighty God, Who didst inspire Thy servant St. Luke the physician to set forth in the Gospel the love and healing power of Thy Son: Graciously continue in Thy Church the love and power to heal, to the praise and glory of Thy Name through the same Thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with Thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God, now and forever. Amen.

    St. Luke, ora pro Nobis!

    More articles

    Popular Articles