Heart bypass surgery is quite successful in the U.S. today. Individual patients' recovery time varies from 6 weeks to 6 months, following specific guidelines designed for them by their doctor. These are the commonly used recovery steps after you leave the hospital.
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Things you need
- Instructions from your doctor
- Cardiac rehab plan
You can take charge of your recovery from quadruple bypass surgery most effectively by working closely with your doctor and through the plan he devises for you. Your coronary-artery disease has been treated by the surgery, but not cured. You must make choices to reduce your risk for future heart problems and to get back to your prior lifestyle.
Your home care is designed to control the factors that worsen your heart disease. You should reduce stress, eliminate smoking, reduce high blood pressure and high cholesterol, and exercise appropriately. You will also need wound care for the chest and leg incisions received during surgery. Medications may be prescribed for all of these.
Ask your doctor whether a supervised cardiac rehab program is right for you. These programs are supervised by doctors. They include specialised nutrition counselling for your particular medical conditions and specially formulated exercise training to build energy, strength, and flexibility. Do not undertake any of these programs without your doctor's specific instructions. Precision in recovery plans is essential.
Take all prescribed medications as directed. Common medications after bypass surgery include drugs for pain management, lower cholesterol and blood pressure, potential blood clots, diabetes and depression. As with all medications, the exact doses, timing, and combinations are important.
Follow your doctor's instructions and change your lifestyle to improve your underlying coronary-artery disease. These changes will help assure that the results and recovery from your bypass surgery are excellent. Medical studies show that you can expect reduced symptoms of your underlying disease, less risk for future heart attacks, and a decreased risk of dying within 10 years after the surgery.
Tips and warnings
- By following your doctor's plans for you, you should get back to most activities in about 6 weeks.
- Learn and practice stress-reduction techniques such as relaxation techniques and skill building exercises. Ask your doctor to refer you to appropriate professionals.
- If you smoke, stop. If you don't smoke, don't start. Smoking increases complications and slows recovery from bypass surgery.
- Don't try to do too much too soon after surgery. You could set yourself back.
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