Dear patient, if you have had open heart surgery recently you must know that recovery period of such surgery should be from 6 to 8 weeks, during this period is strictly prohibited any pressure on the chest area to ensure the healing of bone and wound correctly, so you must comply with the following instruction : –
- Do not drive a car during convalescence(rehabilitation ) period , and when you are going home upon discharge let another one drive for you and if the distance is far let the driver stop several times to walk .
- If you travel by plane you should inform the airplane crew that you have a recent open-heart surgery to cautions for any emergency.
- Do not carry heavy weights, including children,
- Do not raise your hands above the level of your shoulder and do not put your arms behind your back or move them in opposite direction.
- Do not sit on the floor but you should sit on a chair and raise your leg up from time to time to avoid swelling of your feet.
- You can climb the stairs, but slowly and you can rest during the climb.
- Pray on a chair to avoid pressure on the chest area
- You must use the chest binder during the period of convalescence to ensure the stability of the rib cage during movement (you cannt remove it at bed time) as well as you should support the chest with your hands when sneezing or coughing.
- You must take shower daily from third day after surgery with warm water and soap, and avoid to push the water directly to the wound, avoid ponds with stagnant water (Will be published in details in the wound care brochure)
- Use your spirometer (breathing exercise machine ) continuously to help in the return of the lung to normal before the operation (as directed by a respiratory therapist)
- When you get out of chair you should not based on either side of the chair, but on your both thigh to avoid pressure on the chest bones
- When getting up from bed trying to do so from the side closest to you and your hand is based on the far side of the bed that you intend to do.
- If anyone wants to help you sit should not pull out of your hands, but he has to put his hands behind your back to help you until the sitting position.
- You must move from the first day after surgery starting from sitting on a chair on the first day to walk short distances and increase it gradually.
- You can consume sexual relationship, but after the end of the recovery period (Consult your doctor for more details).
All these instructions must be followed carefully during the recovery period, but then what?
Dear patient, you must change your lifestyle according to your health condition after surgery in order to enjoy a long healthy life, God willing, so :
- You must be strict with your prescribed medication and don’t stop or change any medicine from your mined.
- You should follow a healthy diet regimen and try to reduce your weight to ideal weight (Ask a clinical dietitian for more details).
- Quit smoking and stay away from smokers
- You should walk 30 min, per day at least 4 times per week start with small distance and increase it gradually. Stop immediately when you feel any chest pain, palpitations or dizziness. (Go to nearest ER in case of emergency)
- Control your diabetic and take your proper dose of insulin.
You should GO TO NEAREST ER immediately in the following cases:
- Pain or pressure in the chest.
- Palpitations or dizziness.
- Shortness of breath like you were experiencing before the surgery with or without the effort.
- Signs of inflammation of the wound. (which mentioned in wound care leaflet )
- Crackling sound coming from the chest which indicate improper healing of the chest bone.