Bypass surgery is a procedure of replacing blocked arteries of heart with new ones to facilitate the proper and timely flow of blood in the heart. Bypass surgery is a very common treatment nowadays and has a high success rate. It is done to avoid the risk of heart failures or any other cardiac attack. Though with the advancement of technology the chances of success have increased, it carries certain complications like – heart stroke, low-grade fever, bleeding, blood clots, chest pain, infection, kidney failure etc. American Heart Association (AHA)has declared that the following a heart-healthy lifestyle post surgery will help ensure best surgery outcomes and reduced side effects. Therefore, one should take utmost care and precision after the bypass surgery.
Do’s for bypass surgery
Eating a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids including lean fish help your heart stay fit post heart surgery. Regular intake of anti-oxidants through fruits and vegetable help one recover fast. Also, whole grains should be consumed in place of carb-rich foods. Foods rich in whole grains are –whole grain barley, oatmeal, whole grain pasta etc. Proteins are also good for faster and effective healing.
Taking care of incision
The surgical scar called incision takes around six to eight weeks to heal. During this time one should take precautions such as wearing loose clothes, women should wear loose wireless bras, avoid rash driving, using mild soaps and warm water for bath, using only medically approved options to clean the scar, etc. Incision is supposed to be kept dry all the time to avoid water retention. It should also be given plenty of air for faster recovery.
Sleeping for eight hours is advisable for a person who went through heart surgery. Sleeping helps restore body’s energy to heal from the surgery. This also helps immune system return back to its normal functioning after surgery. Also, one is advised to sleep on back facing ceiling to avoid any pressure on the incision and newly operated heart.
The medication prescribed by doctor post-surgery should be taken exactly as prescribed. This is because these medications are aimed at reducing blood pressure, keeping a check on cholesterol levels, and diabetes. Any disturbance in the cholesterol level and diabetes has a direct bearing on cardiovascular health. The medicines should exactly be taken for the prescribed time duration.
A Cardiac rehabilitation program is a beneficial tool for post-surgical patients for timely recovery. It involves exercises and attempts to reduce stress, anxiety, depression etc. Cardiac rehabilitation programs benefit the patients by reducing the post-surgery risks of heart dysfunction. Therefore, it is advisable to consult your doctor and go through such programs for better results from heart surgery. Cardiac rehabilitation helps patients in better stress management, blood pressure control, mild exercises good for effective recovery.
Exercise is suggested to improve cardiovascular health but should be strictly monitored. Brisk walking and duly monitored treadmill walk are preferred for post-surgical patients. Every exercise should be checked with respect to its effect on blood vessels.
Don’ts following bypass surgery
Patient who has undergone bypass surgery should avoid exertion and fatigue at any cost. Post surgery the body drains out a lot of energy to compensate which it is advisable to take rest and sleep well. Any kind of exertion can hamper the process of healing so the patient is advised to go slow and retain the energy. The more one takes rest the more energy body has to heal effectively.
Driving is not allowed post surgery for at least two to four weeks as it can cause disturbances with incision healing. One should avoid a long drive even when else is driving and take a short break in between to revive the blood circulation.
Avoid ointments on incision
Patient is advised to avoid using any ointment, oil etc on incision because it can cause disruption in the healing process. Only prescribed medicines should be applied. Any redness, swelling around the area and increased body temperature should be reported to doctor.
Avoid saturated fats and salt
Saturated fats increase the cholesterol levels in the blood, therefore, it is advisable to avoid foods with saturated fats. Also, salt intake should be minimal as it has a risk of causing high blood pressure.
Avoid processed foods
It is advisable to not consume processed food items like potato chips, wafers, processed meats, frozen meals, canned soups, and juices etc. This is because the number of preservatives can affect the healing process.
Painkillers can cause a serious disturbance in the body combined with the prescribed post-surgery medicines. To avoid the side effects it is advisable to check with the doctor before taking any such medicine.
Lifting heavy articles
Lifting heavy articles having weight more than 20pounds is strictly prohibited. This is because such heavy lifting can cause a sudden pressure on new arteries and incision which will adversely affect its healing.