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Open Heart Surgery - How To Take Care After It?

Reviewed by
Fellowship in Electrophysiology, DM - Cardiology, MD - Medicine
Cardiologist, Bhubaneswar  •  15 years experience
Open Heart Surgery - How To Take Care After It?

One of the crucial types of surgery is the heart surgery, which is commonly known as the bypass. It is a type of surgery in which the chest is cut, and surgery is done on valves, muscles, and heart arteries. As per the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, it is one of the most common types of surgeries, which is performed on adults. During this surgery, the prime focus is to remove the blockage from the heart so that fresh blood can easily flow into the heart. No doubt that this process is critical, but it is easily true that after the surgery you have to take extra care of yourself.

Talking of which, here are certain things that you can expect after the surgery.

  1. Moved To ICU: The moment, the surgery is done, you will be moved to the Intensive Care Unit where the person’s health conditions will be monitored, vital signs will be checked, and medical professional will frequently visit to make sure that the patient is just doing fine. Once the surgery is over, you may not wake up quickly, but you will continue to breathe through the breathing tube. About food, of course, you will not be allowed to take solid food, but there is an intravenous (IV) needle will be put in a blood vessel in your chest and arm from which you will be given fluids. 
  2. Recovery At Home: Once you are given the discharge, your focus should be to get recovered quickly. Recovery at home entirely depends on the heart problem for which the surgery was done. Of course, the doctor will give you necessary instructions with regards to healing incision, dealing with after effect is and understanding the signs of complications. Follow up the medicines and attend the appointments as advised to keep track of your health condition. You may face some after effects such as appetite loss, constipation and sleeping problem. If there is any complication, make sure you speak with a doctor about the same immediately.
  3. Ongoing Care Is Important Too: Once the surgery is over, as said, you will have to go for frequent checkup with your doctor. During these visits, your doctor will tell you to get blood, stress test and electrocardiogram done, which will assess the working condition of the heart. You might also be given few blood-thinning medicine and bring certain changes in lifestyle and medicine.

There are certain phases of recovery which will take time eventually. The first phase is the lengthy one that can last for around 6-8 weeks. Once you get a discharge from the hospital, you will be given instructions that you must follow with good care. This will pace up the healing process and make the process better.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult a specialist & get answers to your questions!
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