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Bypass Surgery Recovery

Tips for Heart and Bypass Surgery Recovery at Home

Each and every day, thousands of heart surgeries take place across the United States. From valve repair to open heart surgery, there are a number of procedures available to help people maintain a healthy lifestyle despite a cardiac event. And although there may be some trepidation when leaving the watchful eyes of the hospital personnel after heart surgery, returning to the comfort of home can bring peace of mind. Recuperating in your own bed, obtaining more restful, uninterrupted sleep, relaxing in your favorite chair, eating home cooked food, and having the opportunity for fresh air are just several of the benefits of recovering at home. Along with the comprehensive instructions the doctor will provide before discharge, the following heart and bypass surgery recovery tips can help: Incision Care Keep the incision dry and clean. The incision can be carefully washed (don’t rub) with soap. Avoid using creams or lotions on incisions until after they have healed. Easing Pain A prescription for pain medication will be given before discharge from the hospital. Itchiness, tightness and/or numbness around the incision are common after surgery. Diet and Sleep The doctor will instruct if a specialized diet is required. A regular appetite is likely to return within a few weeks. It’s not uncommon to experience difficulty sleeping for some time following surgery. Normal sleep patterns typically return within a few months. Swelling Three times per day, raise feet up higher than heart level when resting. (One note: recliners do not adequately elevate feet.) Avoid crossing your legs when lying in bed or sitting. Doing so places pressure on the veins under the knees and slows blood flow. Activity Avoid lifting objects greater than 20 pounds. Walk every day. The doctor or cardiac rehabilitation specialist will provide guidelines for walking upon returning home. Mental Functioning

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