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Recovering From Bypass Surgery

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Your heart may heal faster than the incision after the bypass surgery. The bypass surgery is not as traumatic and disabling as it used to be. In certain cases, the doctors can perform a bypass while the heart is still beating. This is an advance that will shorten the recovery time and reduce the risk of complications. Relatively the younger patients with fewer health problems and simple blockages tend to have the smoothest operations and quickest recoveries.

The first phase of the heart surgery recovery can last for six to eight weeks. When you are released from the hospital, you’ll be given a set of instructions for the post-surgery care which will help you to heal physically and feel better.

Shorter hospital stays

If all goes well, some patients will be allowed to go home in as little as three days post bypass surgery. As per a study, the patients who get released early after the bypass surgery have no more complications than those who stay longer. In addition to a quick retrun to home cooking, they have another advantage, i.e. they end up spending less for the medical care in the 60 days after leaving the hospital. Usually, it takes a full five days to go home.

Keep the cut made by the surgeon, clean and dry. You will be able to take a bath or shower within a few days post the bypass surgery.

If you have any signs of an infection such as edges pulling apart, more drainage or oozing than usual, fever greater than 100F and redness or warmth around the cut, then call the doctor. You should also call the doctor when the breast bone feels like it shifts, or it pops or cracks when you move.

The pain can be surprising

Tammy Estep, now 50 year old had a quadruple bypass in the year 2004 which taught a hard won lesson about the traditional bypass surgery. No matter how much a patient worries ahead of the time and she too had worried plenty, the aftermath comes as a shock. As per the Buffalo, NY resident, “Doctors cannot tell you how your body will feel.” A heart patient says that, “It is something that you have to experience for yourself”.

Estep’s recovery from the bypass surgery included constipation, a side effect due to the pain medications that she was taking. But the big problem experienced by her was the painful, itchy, eight-inch gash through the center of her sternum. She says, “It’s not the heart that takes times to recovery instead it’s the incision”.

Your doctor will probably prescribe the pain medication before you leave the hospital. You may experience some discomfort around the cut and in the muscles including the tightness, itching, and numbness along the incision. All these are normal but it shouldn’t hurt as much as it did before the surgery.

If you had undergone a bypass surgery then the legs may hurt more than the chest if the surgeon has used the leg veins as grafts. The soreness and stiffness will begin to fade with time and performing gentle exercises will also help.

Cardiac rehab speeds recovery

The slowness of Maiorana’s recovery has pushed him to attend the cardiac rehabilitation program at the local hospital. This rehab program consists of the supervised exercises and nutrition counselling which armed the patient for the recovery ahead. Now he is able to run and lifts weights several times each week. He also follows to a healthy, low fat diet in order to protect his arteries. This also helps reducing the chance he’ll ever have to have his chest opened again.

Making healthy food choices help the healing process. Your doctor will let you know whether you should have to avoid specific things. If you may not feel like eating for a while post surgery then try smaller meals, more often. If your appetite doesn’t return within a few weeks then bring this up with your doctor.


Most people have trouble sleeping post bypass surgery. You should get back to normal slumber pattern within a few months. Call your doctor, if you experience difficulty with sleeping, diet or have pain near the incision post surgery.


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Latest Activity: Mar 23, 2017 at 1:15 AM

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