Recovering From Heart Surgery
Salinas Post-Op Heart Care
Recovering from open heart surgery can take up 8 weeks, but there is much
you can do in that time to improve your condition. Immediately after the
surgery, you will be brought to the intensive care unit (ICU), with many
tubes hooked up to our body. One of these is a breathing tube, which will
be in your throat. Remember that this is a normal part of the procedure,
and a medical professional will help you remove them when the time is
right. With the anesthesia wearing off, you may feel some discomfort,
which the doctor will help you manage with pain killers.
While still in the hospital, ask your doctor about what you should do when
you return home to treat your surgery wound. You may want to have them
write down instructions for you and a family member so as not to forget anything.
Most open heart surgery patients return home after 5 to 7 days from the
surgery. As you medical professionals will no longer be close by to look
after you, it falls on you to keep yourself in good shape afterwards.
How to care for yourself after surgery:
- Mind your incision wound, it’s still fresh and susceptible to pain.
- Keep showers under 10 minutes and avoid direct contact with your wound.
- Get plenty of rest, take medication to induce sleep if necessary.
- Maintain a checklist of medications to take and when to take them.
- Ease yourself back into your day to day activities – move slowly
and rest when needed.
After the surgery, you may benefit from physical therapy. In this program,
patients work with a professional medical trainer who guides them through
carefully paced exercises to expedite the recovery process. It may also
be worth your time to attend heart health educational courses to keep
your newly repaired heart in good condition for years to come.