Recovering at home after heart surgery may be more difficult than you think. You have to face pain, discomfort, restricted movement and dependence on others for the first week and more.
The first phase of recovery from surgery may last from 6 to 8 weeks. Before being released from the hospital, you will get a series of instructions for post-surgery care. This will help in physical healing and feeling better. The best cardiologist doctor in India will recommend the following types of care:
Keep the spot of incision dry and clean. You will be allowed to take a shower after a few days. Consult doctor immediately if you have any signs of infection like:
- More oozing and drainage than usual
- Warmth or redness around the cut
- Pulling apart of edges
- Fever in excess of 100 F.
Another point of worry is if the breast bone shifts, cracks or pops when you move.
RELIEF FROM PAIN:
Your doctor will recommend pain medication prior to discharge from hospital. You will experience some feeling of discomfort near the surgical spot and nearby muscles. These include: tightness, itching and numbness near the spot which are all normal.
In case you had a by-pass surgery, you may sense more pain in your leg compared to the chest because the surgeon may have used leg veins as grafts. With time, the stiffness and soreness will fade. It will be good if you do some gentle exercise also.
DRIVING AND OTHER ACTIVITIES:
You must gradually build up activity in the first 6 to 8 weeks like doing simple chores. Generally doctors recommend:
- Not to lift any article weighing more than 10 pounds
- Not to stand in one place for more than 15 minutes.
- Not to pull or push heavy objects.
A good habit to develop is to go for a regular walk every day. Strictly follow all instructions of surgeon and physiotherapist. Do not climb stairs till the medical team has given permission.
Similarly do not attempt driving till doctor permits and it may take more than a month usually. This may be sooner if you have had a minimally invasive surgery. But don’t be afraid of riding a car as a passenger, at all.
The healing process will be enhanced if you follow a healthy diet. Learn from your doctor or nutritionist what to have and what to avoid.
You may have poor appetite after surgery. Go in for more frequent, smaller meals. If within a week, you appetite does not revive, consult about the issue with your doctor.
PSYCHOLOGICAL WELL BEING
Post operative blues are common with most patients, but these usually pass within a few days during recovery. If not, discuss with doctor.
To boost up your spirits, do the following:
- Get dressed daily
- Go for daily walk
- Resume social activities and hobbies
- Get good sleep
- Do a sharing of your feelings with others
But don’t overdo and you must restrict your visitors to 15 minutes each in the first few weeks.
This is some of the advice which even best cardiac surgeons in india will give you to help recover fully after a heart surgery.