The heart bypass surgery recovery period rely upon on multiple factors,still the recovery period is good.
After heart bypass surgery, the patient has to remain in the hospital for about seven days so that medical staff can look into the recovery closely.
The recovery time varies slightly from one patient to another. Usually it takes 1 day to attain a state where you can sit in a chair, 3 days to be able to walk and five to six days to be able to climb up and down stairs.
In general case, a person recovers fully after about 12 weeks after surgery. However, the recovery can be delayed in case of any complication during the recovery or during the surgery.
Even in a general case in the absence of any complications, an individual takes a minimum of 6 weeks and a maximum of 12 weeks to recover after surgery. This time is actually required for the breastbone to heal.
Bypass Surgery Recovery at Home
You need to take painkillers for the recommended time to minimize the soreness in the region where cut was made. It is helpful to wear loose and comfortable clothes so that the wound does not rub against the tight clothes.
It is normal to feel weakness for the duration of three to six weeks from the time of surgery as most of the energy is utilized in the healing process. Only after about six weeks, you would be able to perform daily activities comfortably. Full recovery requires three months.
Activities After Bypass Surgery
Once you are discharged and returned to home, you have to wait for a few weeks after which you can perform all the activities. In the mean time, you are restricted to light activities like cooking, walking, playing indoor games related to boards and cards, lifting light objects etc.
The time before you can return to work depends on the nature of your work and your process of recovery. Normally it takes six to eight weeks but in case of complications or if your work involves hard physical activity like standing or lifting heavy objects, you would have to wait longer.
The time after surgery can be stressful and you have to be patient enough for few weeks after which the things will start to ease out and get better.
Cardiac Rehabilitation for Bypass Surgery
Cardiac Rehabilitation is a type of exercise program run by the medical professionals to develop strength in your body to be able to perform physical activities easily. It is especially helpful in recovery after bypass surgery.
Taking proper diet rich in nutrients and regaining physical strength are the important aspects of recovery for the patients of coronary bypass surgery. It is observed that cardiac rehabilitation is not only helpful in recovery but works like a life saver. People following cardiac rehab program have more chances of staying fit and alive after 5 years from heart treatment.
Cardiac rehabilitation is also helpful in:
- Increasing the stamina to perform physical activities
- Making your life better
- Making you feel good from inside
- Bringing healthy changes in your lifestyle and making you feel comfortable with medications.
Helping Loved Ones Recover After Bypass Surgery
Doctors would recommend certain post-surgery care instructions to be followed after getting discharged to the patient and caregiver.
Driving after Bypass Surgery
It is not safe to start driving just after the surgery even if you feel comfortable. Normally you can start driving after six to eight weeks. If the surgery is less invasive, you can start driving even earlier. However you can always travel as a passenger.
Diet after Bypass Surgery
Healthy diet is always helpful in the process of recovery after heart surgery. Thus in some cases, doctors may recommend special diet to the patients.
It is normal to feel less hungry after the surgery. Thus it is necessary to encourage the patient to take small meals more frequently to cope up with the situation. However, if the situation persists for many weeks, you must seek doctor’s advice.
Managing Emotions after Bypass Surgery
Usually the patient would feel low and sad after the surgery but things would improve after the first few weeks. In such situation the caregiver/partner must encourage the patient to:
- Wear neat and good clothes to make yourself happy.
- Include walking in your routine.
- Follow your hobbies and other activities which make you feel better.
- Share problems with the friends and family.
- Get out of home and visit friends and neighbors. Start with 15 minutes and then gradually increase the time depending on the comfort level.
- Sleep at right time and get good sleep in night.
- Participate in a rehabilitation program or join a support group.
If the patient still feels lonely and quite it is good to seek help from doctor.
Sleep after Bypass Surgery
The caregiver can help the patient in getting proper sleep by following the tips below:
- Take care of any feeling of pain and try to relieve the patient from pain by giving pain killers about half an hour before going to sleep. You can also make him comfortable by properly positioning the pillows.
- Take care to maintain a proper balance between the rest and physical activity. Always ensure that the patient takes proper rest during activities.
- Discourage the habit of taking caffeine in any forms like tea, coffee, chocolate, colas etc.
- Encouraging the patient to listen to relaxing music.
- Encourage the patient to follow a fixed time for going to sleep to get your body used to a particular time to relax and follow other routine activities timely.
Bypass Surgery Precautions
Bypass surgery does not guarantee complete safety against any heart disease in future. Thus it is important to stick to a healthy lifestyle and take the medicines on time as prescribed by the doctor to avoid any complications in future.
It is helpful to make healthy changes to your lifestyle to minimize the risk of heart problems in future. Some of them are as follows:
Follow Healthy and Nutritious Diet
It is recommended to take proper diet which contains less of salt and saturated fat with content of omega-3 and fiber. This minimizes the risk of developing any heart problem in future. Omega 3 is a type of fatty acid which helps in lowering levels of cholesterol in body. Include following food items:
- Food rich in starch like bread, pasta, wholegrain rice etc.
- Lots of vegetables and fruits- ideally five portions a day
- Fishes with lot of oil like the sardines and mackerel.
Indulge your body in minimum of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity. Moderate-intensity refers to such exercise which does not make you feel highly exhausted.
Following are some of the examples of moderate-intensity aerobic activities:
- doubles tennis
- brisk walking
- working with a lawn mower
- riding on cycle on a plane surface or slightly elevated like hills.
Other Precautions for Bypass Surgery:
- Get your body weight in control.
- Quit habit of smoking.
- Reduce consumption of alcohol.
- Taking medicines timely as instructed by doctor.