Be Patient With Your Recovery
You should receive discharge instructions from your doctor when you leave the hospital, but it helps to be mentally prepared for a recovery time of several weeks or months, notes WebMD. This may vary depending on your health prior to the surgery, any complications that happened while in the hospital, and your motivation to follow instructions when you get home.
Three Months And Beyond
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.
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.
You May Like: How To Prevent A Stroke Or Heart Attack
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?
Life At Five Months After Open Heart Surgery
To view original post visit:
Blog Post by A.W.About this Blog
In this blog I will follow my everyday journey of living with familial hypercholesterolemia . I am sharing my own experience with this inherited disorder, and how I manage it daily from what literature I read on the topic and what my doctors say to how I live my life . This is solely a personal account that might or might not offer some insight on what to expect when diagnosed with this condition. This blog does not offer advice, in any way, to anyone suffering from this disease.
Also Check: Why Does Heart Rate Increase During Exercise
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.
What Are The Types Of Open
There are two ways to perform open-heart surgery:
- On-pump: A heart-lung bypass machine connects to the heart and temporarily takes over for the heart and lungs. It circulates blood through the body while moving blood away from the heart. The surgeon then operates on a heart that isnt beating and doesnt have blood flow. After surgery, the surgeon disconnects the device and the heart starts to work again.
- Off-pump:Off-pump bypass surgery takes place on a heart that continues to beat on its own. This approach only works for coronary artery bypass grafting surgery . Your surgeon may call this beating-heart surgery.
Read Also: Does Melatonin Slow Your Heart Rate
You May Experience Collarbone And Sternum Pain After Open
Sometimes you can have prolonged collarbone and sternum pain. Collarbone pain and sternum pain can be caused by the trauma of the surgery on your body or sternal wires. This pain can be sometimes helped with cardiac rehab or a resternotomy. However, make sure to communicate with your doctor about your pain to make sure its normal. After this past open heart surgery, Ive had a lot of pain and clicking in my shoulders and chest. Its caused a lot of chronic pain but working with physical therapy has helped me regain strength.
A Chest Pillow Is A Must
Having a pillow to stabilize your chest is a must. Most hospitals will send you home with one, but if they dont, make sure to get one. Chest pillows can help you when you sleep, sneeze, and cough they have has many uses. I had a pillow with me for almost a year after my last surgery and I still usee one during long trips in the car.
You May Like: How To Calculate 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 .
You May Experience Memory Loss And/or Brain Fog
There are a couple of things that can cause memory loss and brain fog after open-heart surgery. If you were put on bypass, it can cause these issues. It is also called pump head. Post-operative cognitive dysfunction can also cause memory loss. Both of these are usually short-term but can have the possibility of long-term effects. For the first six months, I really struggled with memory loss and brain fog. As time went on, it started to get better and I started to regain my memory and wasnt so foggy-headed.
Also Check: Why Do Young People Have Heart Attacks
What Is The Recovery Time
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.
Physician 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.
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.
How Do You Care For Someone After Open Heart Surgery
The thought of caring for your spouse after open heart surgery may be daunting. How do you know what to do or how to take care of them? Dont worry: your doctor will likely send you home with a lengthy list of post-surgical care tips, possibly including some suggestions for what to wear after open heart surgery, like a post-thorax vest to protect your loved ones sternum.
The most important thing to remember about caring for a loved one after surgery is to be prepared: know what kinds of meals might be best for healing, what type of transportation schedule youll need to set up to get them to and from rehabilitation appointments, what kinds of home-health aids they might need , and how to help manage their pain or nausea levels.
Post-surgical rehabilitation will likely include some form of physical therapy or occupational therapy. Youll want to discuss options for senior rehabilitation centers with your doctor to ensure you understand the basics of rehabilitation therapy and how to choose the senior care facility thats right for you or your loved one. For more information, read our blog post about how to determine when a senior might need rehabilitation therapy!
What Happens To Your Body During Open Heart Surgery
Open heart surgery may be performed with your heart beating or not. If your heart isn’t beating during the surgery, which is more common, it is called on-pump surgery. A heart-lung machine will do the job of your heart and lungs by circulating your blood away from your heart.
If your heart is beating by itself during the surgery, this is called off-pump surgery. This is far less common than on-pump surgery and only works for coronary artery bypass grafting surgery. It can also be called beating-heart surgery.
Most surgeries on open hearts follow specific steps. These steps may vary depending on your unique procedure and situation. Generally, your surgeon could take these different stages:
- Cutting a long incision down your chest
- Cutting into the breastbone and spreading your ribcage apart
- If you have an on-pump surgery, putting you on a heart-lung machine and giving medication to stop your heart from beating
- Performing the procedure to heal your heart
- Bringing back blood flow to your heart
- Severing the connection between you and the heart-lung machine
- Closing up the incision on the breastbone
- Sewing the skin incision back together
You May Like: How Do Video Games Affect Your Heart Rate
What To Expect During Recovery From Open
Heart disease is a common health issue. In fact, its the leading cause of death in the United States.
An umbrella term, it describes various conditions such as unstable angina, arrhythmia, valve disease, and atrial fibrillation.
And while theres no cure, it is possible to manage symptoms. For example, there are medications that you can take to help control the disease.
Not only that, but surgery is an option as well.
Will you be undergoing open-heart surgery? Want to know what to expect? If so, youre on the right page. Keep reading for everything that you need to know!
How Long Does Fatigue Last After Open Heart Surgery
A team of physicians and nurses will advise patients on what medications to take during recovery and also on what physical activity can be done. Its normal to feel tiredness and some pain. Each patients recovery time varies but you can expect it to take many weeks or months to return to previous levels of activity. Seek care and advise your medical team of any potentially serious symptoms of infection which include difficulty breathing, a fever, and excessive sweating.
Aftercare can also include blood tests, heart scans and regular stress tests which monitor the heart during treadmill exercises.
Don’t Miss: Is The Heart Attack Grill Still Open
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.
- Quality of life.
What Are Some Types Of Heart Surgery
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, MitraClipÂ® placement for mitral valve abnormalities, and WATCHMANÂ® placement for nonvalvular atrial fibrillation patients.
You May Like: What Is Normal Heart Rate When Exercising
What Happens After Open
Depending on the procedure, you may stay in the hospital intensive care unit for a day or longer. When youre ready, you will move to a regular hospital room.
You can expect to stay several days in the hospital. Your heart care team will explain how to care for your incision. You may have a special firm pillow to protect your chest when you cough, sneeze or get out of bed.
After surgery, you may experience:
Surgery To Place Ventricular Assist Devices Or Total Artificial Hearts
A VAD is a mechanical pump that is used to support heart function and blood flow in people who have weak hearts.
Your doctor may recommend a VAD if you have heart failure that isnt responding to treatment or if youre waiting for a heart transplant. You can use a VAD for a short time or for months or years, depending on your situation.
A TAH is a device that replaces the two lower chambers of the heart . You may benefit from a TAH if both of your ventricles dont work well due to end-stage heart failure.
Placing either device requires open-heart surgery.
Also Check: What Controls The Heart Rate
Beyond 6 Weeks Of Recovery
If you had open heart surgery and the 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.
Read Also: How Do You Say Heart Attack In Spanish
Preparing For The Surgery
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: Does Lisinopril Affect Heart Rate