How Long Does It Take For Your Chest To Heal After Open Heart Surgery?
Complete healing after an open heart surgery may take quite some time. Doctors recommend not doing any strenuous activities for at least a period of 6 weeks. This period of time is given for the sternum or breastbone to heal properly. After 6 weeks, the patient may have to go for cardiac rehabilitation and indulge in few chest exercises to speed up the recovery process. Although, the patient may gradually start getting into daily activities, the complete healing and recovery process may take around a year.
How To Take Care Of Your Chest Incision Site After The Surgery?
Once the surgery is done, the patient has to stay in the hospital for few days for observation in order to ensure the success of the surgery. The patient mostly has to follow the doctor's instructions then, while the nurses are going to take care of the incision site. It is important to discuss the methods of caring the incision site at home after discharge.
- Most of the doctors may recommend the patient to go for bed bath because in open heart surgery the incision point is quite big.
- Vigorous scrubbing of the incision point should be avoided.
- Surgical dressing of the chest incision should be done regularly.
- The incision site should not be directly exposed to sunlight for a year because it is easily prone to sunburn.
- Applying any kind of creams, oil or lotion on the incision should be avoided unless the doctor feels okay to do so.
- In case of any symptom of injection of the incision site like swelling, redness or even fever, it should be informed to the doctor as early as possible.
What Methods Are Included In The Recovery Process After Six Weeks?
- After the 6 weeks from the date of the surgery, the incision in the chest is essentially healed to about 80 percent. Slowly the patient can start normal activities including driving. The patient may get back to work, but physical exertion should be avoided.
- The doctor may ask the patient to start with the cardiac rehabilitation process. This helps in increasing the endurance of the heart after the surgery.
- In the process of cardiac rehabilitation, the expert teaches the patient some exercises that helps in making the working of the heart better. The progress of the patient is monitored.
- The cardiac rehabilitation also helps the patient by letting him know proper dietary habits and lifestyle changes suitable for him for a speedy recovery. Such habits should not be compromised.
- Cardiac rehabilitation is a necessary program for proper healing after an open heart surgery. It builds up the endurance so that the patient can be healthy and resume a normal life to include strenuous activities.
When Can The Patient Start With Regular Exercise Routine After The Surgery?
Regular exercise routine should be started after around 10 weeks of the surgery. Once the patient advances in the cardiac rehabilitation program, the heart becomes stronger to keep up and endure with the cardio. The patient can start enjoying jogging, golf, and even tennis if the patient wishes to do so. No matter what exercise, but it is recommended that the patient should indulge in any form of it for at least 30 minutes, five times a week. This keeps the patient's heart healthy and under control and also provides the required rest.