After getting heart surgery, the body processes slow down as a result of surgery, drugs, and less exercise. Therefore, getting back to a daily routine after heart surgery can take time.
You must know what to expect after heart surgery in order to reduce recovery time. Recognize the factors that can shorten your recovery and do all you can to avoid them. Similarly, do all that you can to speed up the recovery process.
|Contents: What Factors Influence Recovery Time after Heart Surgery?Tips to Recover Faster after Heart Surgery|
What Factors Influence Recovery Time after Heart Surgery?
- Type of Surgery
As soon as the surgery is completed, the recovery period begins. You may need to remain in the intensive care unit for several days depending on the type of operation you underwent (open-heart or minimally invasive surgery). Your activity will increase gradually during the period in the hospital.
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- Smoking Habits
Your heart rate and blood pressure rise momentarily every time you inhale a cigarette. As a result, your heart is put under more strain and has to work harder.
Smoking can clog your arteries, increases clotting, build up tar in the lungs, thicken your blood, weaken your bones and immune system, and increase inflammation. Keeping all these factors in consideration, you should quit smoking before undergoing the surgery to speed up the recovery rate after heart surgery.
Obesity increases a person’s risk of developing a variety of heart diseases and other health issues. Therefore, if you have excess weight, you should try to work on it before the surgery to hasten your recovery rate after heart surgery.
- Your overall health
The healthier you go into the surgery, the shorter is your recovery period. Anyone who has been sick for a long time can take longer to recover after the heart surgery than someone who is in reasonably good health.
Tips to Recover Faster after Heart Surgery
- Eat right: Eating habits play an important role in the recovery process. Your cardiologist may advise you on what you should eat and what you should avoid. Following the surgery, eating smaller and frequent meals is a good idea.
- Don’t rush into activity: Once you’ve recovered from your surgery, a good exercise routine will go a long way towards making you feel better than ever. But you should not force your body into any sort of activity when you are in the recovery phase. Doing so will only delay your recovery and may also increase the chances of injury.
- Follow your doctor’s instructions: It’s important to follow the doctor’s advice when it comes to resuming particular activities. As far as driving is concerned, you should consult your cardiologist regarding when to resume.
This is because your reaction time is slowed after the surgery and you must avoid any danger of injuring the breastbone. Also, since your breastbone needs time to heal, you may need to wait at least six weeks before riding a bicycle or lifting something.
- Take care of your incisions: Keep the incision made by your cardiologist clean and dry. Within a few days, you should be able to bathe or shower. However, during the shower, you should use a gentle soap. Using a towel, gently dry the area. Make sure to just pat the incision dry and not rub it.
- Rest well: After having heart surgery, a lot of people find it difficult to sleep. Within a few months, you should be back to your usual sleeping schedule. You may take pain medication as prescribed by your doctor about half an hour before bedtime if the pain keeps you awake. However, you are advised to not sleep too much during the day.
- Take care of your emotional wellbeing: Once you get back home after heart surgery, you might feel a little tired, irritable, nervous or depressed for a few weeks. Dealing with the worries and demands that follow surgery consumes a lot of psychological energy.
Talking to your family and friends about your feelings may help you cope up with the mood swings and recover faster.
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