Bypass Surgery Recovery Period & What to Expect After Bypass Surgery

The bypass surgery recovery period depends on many factors but the recovery period is decent. The person who undergoes bypass surgery is supposed to remain at the hospital for seven days so that the medication is given without any problems and the recovery can be monitored keenly by the doctors. As you get better all the drips, tubes and drains that are attached to your body to give you with fluids & allow urine to pass will be taken off. You will be given pain killers to make you comfortable as after the operation there will be some sort of grogginess and discomfort following the surgical procedure. Immediate attention should be taken by the nurses or the doctors if one experiences too much pain or excessive bleeding.

Bypass surgery recovery period depends on individual’s prior health condition and age and everyone recovers from bypass surgery in their own speed and it generally takes time. One will be able to sit on a chair just after a day, able to walk more or less after 3 days & walk on the stairs after a week. The bypass surgery recovery period in general is inside twelve weeks of time. If a person has had complications during the surgery or may be after the surgery, the bypass surgery recovery time will increase.

Bypass Surgery Recovery Period

The breastbone takes minimum six to twelve weeks of time to recover.

What is Bypass Surgery?

Bypass surgery is normally referred to as heart bypass surgery. Bypass surgery is a type of heart surgery and is also known as Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting (CABG). This surgery is considered as a common open-heart surgery which in most of the cases have positive results and people live carefree life for more than a decade. In this process to make the heart disease free from any kind of blockage a healthy blood vessel is taken from a person’s leg or arm or chest and connects it to the arteries in the heart. This surgery is followed by a great symptom free life. Symptoms like chest pain and shortness of breath due to less blood flow to the heart normally become better. Bypass surgery generally in most people improve heart function and lowers the risk of death by any kind of heart disease.

Bypass Surgery Recovery Period: What to Expect After a Bypass Surgery?

Recovery at home plays a crucial role as there will be soreness on the cuts which can be eased using a few methods. Pain killers can be continued for a longer period of time. Clothes that are loose and comfortable which does not touch the wound may also aid in the process of recovery period post bypass surgery. In the beginning weeks following bypass surgery, your body takes energy from itself to heal and this process will make you feel a lot tired. By the end of sixth week one will be capable to perform his or her normal activities whereas within three months the patient will be completely recovered from bypass surgery under ideal circumstances where there are no complications.

  1. Wound Care During the Recovery Period Following Bypass Surgery

    The patient should take care of the wound during the recovery period after bypass surgery as there are metal wires that hold your breastbone which is also known as sternum together which are permanent. Skin will be healed as the stiches will slowly dissolve as the weeks pass by after the bypass surgery. You will be taught to take care of your bypass surgery wound for better recovery while you are still in the hospital. Healing the wound requires cleanliness and protection from sun. The area where the incision was done on your chest will be red and scar at first. Also the area from where the blood vessel was taken will be all red but gradually it will fade with time.

  2. Activities during Bypass Surgery Recovery Period

    The patient has to be careful while choosing the activities during bypass surgery recovery period, he or she cannot do whatever they want and have to be very careful in performing certain activities. There are a few things recommended by the team of doctor and nurses taking care of you in the hospital and they will ask you to avoid during the first few weeks after the bypass surgery. In the beginning days after you have undergone the bypass surgery you will be allowed to do some light and easy things like cooking, walking short distances, playing board games & carrying light objects. After a longer period of the bypass surgery you might be able to do a bit tougher jobs like driving, vacuuming, carrying medium weight objects, carrying babies and shearing the lawn.

    If your job is not physically challenging then you might get back to your job in 6 to 8 weeks. Getting back to your job also depends on the complications that you may or may not have faced. Also if your job involves a lot of time involved in lifting and standing it is recommended to take off for a longer period of time or till the time you are perfectly fit for it. Taking rest is the most important key to bypass surgery recovery period. Also it is recommended that you take up all the activities slowly to get time for relaxing.

  3. Major Side Effects of Having Bypass Surgery

    There are side effects from all kinds of surgery. Bypass surgery may also make you experience some of the side effects after you have been discharged from the hospital.

    These side effects of during the bypass surgery recovery period may include:

    • Constipation, muscle or back pain is a side effect during the bypass surgery recovery period.
    • Having mood swings or feeling sad is another side effect of bypass surgery recovery period.
    • Difficulty in sleeping and getting tired.
    • Pins & needles or swelling at the point where the blood vessel graft was taken off.
    • Another side effect during bypass surgery recovery period is partial or complete loss of appetite.

    One should be prepared that bypass surgery recovery period or the healing time following a bypass surgery will take weeks rather than just days. It is fine if you feel low or if you are having bad and good days after the bypass surgery. Side effects which are natural after the surgery will be temporary and will disappear in 4 to 6 weeks. Complete bypass surgery recovery period generally takes a month or so depending on the health conditions before the bypass surgery. Sometimes we feel that the ways things are going are wrong and that is when one should consult his or her doctor again.

    If you are experiencing these problems after the surgery and during the bypass surgery recovery period please seek advice from your general physician as soon as possible:

    • Acute shortness of breath.
    • Pus coming out from the wound.
    • A high body temperature.
    • Swelling around the wound.
    • Severe or increasing pain in or around the wound.
    • Excessive seating.
    • Heart palpitations which make you feel faint or dizzy.

    Contact the emergency health service if you are not able to contact your general practitioner.

  4. 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.

    Bypass surgery recovery period success and returning to a healthy and peaceful lifestyle requires a proper diet full of nutrient rich foods and everyday exercises recommended by the doctor. Cardiac rehab is also considered as a lifesaver than just improving heath. Researchers have found that patients who are through with cardiac rehab live for five or more years after a heart event than those who are not through with it. There are other things that can be improved by cardiac rehabilitation during bypass surgery recovery period:

    • Quality of life.
    • Sense of well-being.
    • Exercise capacity and stamina.
    • Devotion to healthy lifestyle changes and medications.
  5. Life During the Healing Period Following Bypass Surgery

    It is very important to take care of your health during bypass surgery recovery period. Adopting a lifestyle which is healthy marks you safe from developing further risks of any sort of heart diseases. You should follow some rules after the bypass surgery recovery period also which may include:

    • One should eat healthy and a balanced diet during bypass surgery recovery period.
    • During the recovery period or healing time following bypass surgery, exercising regularly keeps the stamina up.
    • Moderate or completely eliminate your alcohol intake.
    • Get rid of extra weight if you are obese or overweight after bypass surgery recovery period.
    • Stop smoking if you smoke.

    Also it is very important to continue any type of medication if prescribed by the doctor.

  6. Long-Term Effects of Bypass Surgery

    For a healthy life after bypass surgery one should just not take care of the short term effects but also long term effects. After a successful heart bypass surgery there are symptoms like chest tightness, high blood pressure or shortness of breath which are improved. Heart bypass fixes a blocked artery but to prevent your heart from any future diseases you need to change some of your habits. Healthy lifestyles should be taken very seriously to get the best surgery outcomes. Many of the times researchers observe that after the bypass surgery recovery period people are more likely to resume their early lifestyle and work routines rather than trying to improving the lifestyle to stay away from future problems. One should very seriously ask their general physician about a proper diet and other important ways to lead a healthy life.

Helping Loved Ones During Bypass Surgery Recovery Period

Helping a loved one during bypass surgery recovery period is a crucial time for the caregiver. At the time of discharge the doctor hands him or her and the person responsible for his or her care is handed a set of instructions on how to deal with bypass surgery recovery period symptoms. This also includes tips on what to do for the patient’s emotional and physical well-being.

  1. How is Pain Managed During the Recovery Period Following Bypass Surgery?

    Pain management during the bypass surgery recovery period plays a crucial role in patients life and after the bypass surgery some discomfort in muscle or incision, itching, numbness or tightness along the incision are normal. Obviously the pain will not be anything in comparison to what the patient had been experiencing before the bypass surgery. A pain relief medication will be given to the patient that is supposed to be followed under the care of the loved one. If the blood vessels were taken from the leg which generally happens, the patient is supposed to experience more pain in the leg than in the chest. Daily activities and walking will help to get rid of the stiffness and pain.

  2. Can Patient Drive After Undergoing Bypass Surgery?

    Your loved one will be allowed to drive a car only after 6 to 8 weeks during the bypass surgery recovery period.

  3. Helping Loved Ones with their Activity during the Bypass Surgery Recovery Period

    There are guidelines which are recommended for patients during bypass surgery recovery period and as a care giver you should make sure that the patient does what the doctor recommends:

    • One should not lift object that weigh more than 10 pounds.
    • It is highly recommended to walk regularly.
    • Do not push or pull heavy things.
    • Increasing activities slowly is recommended.
    • Climbing stairs is allowed unless restricted by doctor’s orders.
  4. Helping your Loved ones in Managing Diet During Bypass Surgery Recovery Period

    During the bypass surgery recovery period the patient tends to lose his or her appetite. In this case the care giver has to make sure that his or her loved one is eating smaller but healthy and frequent meals. A proper diet and nutrient-rich food helps the patient to hasten bypass surgery recovery period. One must contact the doctor if the patient’s appetite does not improve in a few days.

  5. Helping your Loved Ones in Managing Their Emotions during Bypass Surgery Recovery Period

    The caregiver can help their loved ones in managing their emotions during bypass surgery recovery period. Feeling sad or cold after a surgery is a common symptom, but it should pass after a few weeks. The person who is taking care of the patient should encourage their loved one to:

    • Walk daily.
    • Share their feelings
    • Resume hobbies and enjoy social activities
    • Get properly dressed every day.
    • Join a cardiac rehabilitation and get involved.
    • Get a good and peaceful sleep.
    • Visit with others which should be limited to 15 minutes and gradually increase them.

    Call the doctor if the patient is unable to get rid of the pessimistic attitude.

  6. Helping the Loved Ones in Managing Their Sleep during the Bypass Surgery Recovery Period

    The care giver can help their loved ones in managing their sleep during the bypass surgery recovery period. It is usual if the patient complains about the trouble they are having while sleeping or if they are unable to sleep. One should resume normal sleeping patter after a month of surgery, if not call the doctor right away. Some of the tips are given below which may improve the patient’s sleep:

    • One should ask their loved ones to avoid caffeine in the evenings such as chocolate, tea, colas and most importantly coffee.
    • Relaxing music can be a very good way of getting a relaxed sleep.
    • There should be a routine set so that the patient’s body is accustomed to it.
    • The pain killers which are medicated by the doctor should be given to the patient half an hour before bed time. Also make an effort to arrange pillows in comfortable position.
    • Frequent naps during the day may let to lack of sleep in the night. Activities and rest should be balanced by the caregiver.

Precautions for Bypass Surgery

There are a few precautions for bypass surgery that can be taken to reduce the risk of getting heart problems in the future.

Adopt Healthy Lifestyle as a Precaution for Bypass Surgery

Some of the precautions for bypass surgery that can be taken to help reduce the risk of any further health problems post bypass surgery are described below:

  1. Healthy Diet as a Precaution for Bypass Surgery

    Choose a healthy diet as a precaution for bypass surgery. Chances of getting another heart problem post bypass surgery increases if a healthy diet is not taken. The diet should be low in fat, high in fiber and omega-3 that is a fatty acid that can help reduce cholesterol levels. A few types of food you should avoid are:

    • Sausages and fatty cuts of meat.
    • Cream
    • Cakes and biscuits
    • Meat pies
    • Butter, lard and ghee.

    You must eat the following as a precaution for bypass surgery:

    • Fruits and vegetables- five portions a day as a precaution for bypass surgery.
    • Starchy foods like wholegrain rice, bread and pasta as a precaution for bypass surgery.
    • Oily fish like mackerel and sardines.

    Check the products that have lowest amount of salt in it and try to cut it down from your diet as a precaution for bypass surgery. It is always given on the nutrients chart labels. One should keep a good knowledge about eating healthy, less food at a time and also less salt.

  2. Exercise Regularly as a Precaution for Bypass Surgery

    After the bypass surgery recovery period, working out should be practiced regularly to lower the risk of developing any kind of heart disease in future. Adults are recommended to work out for 150 minutes of aerobic workout every week. Aerobic work should be moderate-intensity which means the workout should leave you slightly breathless.

    Some examples of moderate-intensity aerobic activities as a precaution for bypass surgery are:

    • Cycling on level ground or with few hills as a precaution for bypass surgery.
    • Doubles tennis
    • Hiking
    • Fast walking
    • Pushing a lawn mower as a precaution for bypass surgery.

    One should start exercising at a level which keeps them comfortable, if it is difficult to cove 150 minutes a week. Gradually the duration and intensity should be increased as your stamina and fitness starts to improve.

  3. Lose Weight as a Precaution for Bypass Surgery

    One should always have a check on his or her body weight. It is very important to lose weight if a person is overweight or obese as a precaution for bypass surgery. It will reduce the future health problems of a person who has a healthy weight. Healthy diet and regular exercises can help you reduce weight. It is easier to shed those extra kilos from your body by following a weight loss program, like NHS (National Health Service) weight loss plan.

  4. Stop Smoking as a Precaution for Bypass Surgery

    Smoking is a very root problem of getting heart diseases. The chances of increasing heart problems are due to smoking so stop smoking as a precaution for bypass surgery. It is also bad for your blood pressure which increases and also it narrows your arteries. One can try to stop smoking by getting oneself referred by his general physician to the NHS (National Health Service) smoke free service. This will get you out of smoking by giving advices and helps. One can call the NHS smoking helpline. Encouragement and free help will be given by trained professionals. There are options for medical help also which is given after you give up smoking on your own. Dedication is the most important criteria if you genuinely want to leave smoking.

  5. Moderate your Alcohol Consumption as a Precaution for Bypass Surgery

    Moderate your alcohol consumption as a precaution for bypass surgery. If you consume alcohol there is a limit recommended which should not be exceeded:

    • Both the sexes are advised to not consume alcohol more than 14 units in a week.
    • Drinking should be taken in small amount at a time.

    25 ml of spirits are measured as 1 unit of alcohol that is also half a pint. One and a half units of alcohol can be measured by a small glass of wine which is 125 ml. Alcohol which should be taken in limits if exceeded can lead to high blood pressure and increase in heart problems.

Taking Medication Properly as a Precaution for Bypass Surgery

The medication is given in minimum amount during bypass surgery recovery period. There also may be a need for medication to reduce the risks of further heart problems. Some medicines which are generally prescribed by the doctors as a precaution for bypass surgery are given below:

  1. Anticoagulants and Antiplatelets as a Precaution for Bypass Surgery

    The above prescribed medicines reduce the risk of blood clots that form. Some of these types of medicines are:

    • Warfarin
    • Clopidogrel
    • Low-dose Asprin.

    You may be given any of these medicines during bypass surgery recovery period for a few weeks. These medicines if taken as prescribed by the doctor after the surgery can reduce the risk of serious issues.

  2. Statins as a Precaution for Bypass Surgery

    Statins lowers your blood cholesterol level which prevent any further damage to the coronary arteries and also reduces the risk of major hear problems like heart attacks. This medication is prescribed by the doctor during the bypass surgery recovery period. Here are the examples of statins and it includes:

    • Simvastatin (Zocor)
    • Atorvastatin (Lipitor)
    • Fluvastatin (Lescol)

    Most of the time statin as a medication will be prescribed for life.

Also Read:

Bypass Surgery Recovery Period