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Here’s What to Expect After Open Heart Surgery.

About 2,300 Americans die of cardiovascular disease each day according to the American Heart Association. Most heart diseases can be prevented when you know the risk factors and a healthy lifestyle is in place.

You may know someone who has undergone heart surgery or is getting ready to have the operation. Do you know what’s involved with caring for a senior following heart surgery? This blog tells you what to expect including how long it takes to fully recover and what is the most common complication after open heart surgery.

heart health infographic

Recovering from Open Heart Surgery.

No matter what age you are when you undergo open heart surgery, it is a major operation that requires a hospital stay of one or more weeks. Immediately following surgery, a patient will spend some time in the intensive care unit of the hospital.

The most common type of open heart surgery is a coronary artery bypass. The operation involves taking a healthy blood vessel from one part of the body and using it to bypass the blocked arteries. It is often required to address plaque buildup, faulty heart valves or diseased major blood vessels such as the aorta. Replacing a faulty aortic valve is also an open-heart procedure and surgeons perform open-heart surgeries to repair aneurysms.

In general, a person who has undergone open heart surgery stays in the hospital for seven to 10 days including at least one day in the intensive care unit. After the operation the patient will wear a breathing tube to help with breathing. A line also is in place in the vein to administer pain relief medicine. There may also be other monitoring equipment attached to the heart patient.

How Long Does Fatigue Last After Open Heart Surgery?

A team of physicians and nurses will advise patients on what medications to take during recovery and also on what physical activity can be done. It’s normal to feel tiredness and some pain. Each patient’s recovery time varies but you can expect it to take many weeks or months to return to previous levels of activity. Seek care and advise your medical team of any potentially serious symptoms of infection which include difficulty breathing, a fever, and excessive sweating.

Aftercare can also include blood tests, heart scans and regular stress tests which monitor the heart during treadmill exercises.

What is the Outlook After Open Heart Surgery?

Open heart surgery has a high rate of success. Experienced professionals are skilled at making the procedures as comfortable as possible. The long-term outlook depends on each senior’s overall health and the specific procedure that was performed on them.

Knowledge is Power.

It’s normal to feel anxious before any type surgery. Gaining as much insight as you can from your cardiac surgeon will help ease your mind. Educate yourself so you know exactly what to expect if you or a loved one is undergoing the operation. You may also want to learn how to prevent heart disease after recovery. This blog provides pertinent information about the link between sugar and heart disease.

Are You Considering Cardiac Rehabilitation?

Our community specializes in caring for older adults following heart-related hospital stays. We can provide valuable post-op services such as personal care, and a variety of cardiac care therapies. There are often specific instructions after surgery involving crutches, walkers, wound care or special diets and we’re well-equipped to administer the top-quality care needed. Moving into a supervised cardiac rehabilitation program such as Windsor Estate’s after release from the hospital can reduce your need for a return hospital stay. It also ensures you get the essential care needed. Our chief priority is to get you back to your daily life more quickly.

What questions do you have about cardiac rehabilitation? We welcome the opportunity to help you with answers and explain our full capabilities. Contact us for more information.