A heart operation can be required if you have valve problems whereby replacement or repair is required. You might require heart surgery if you suffer from coronary heart disease. You might need to have surgery for repairing parts of your heart that have been damaged. You might need surgery if your heart is beating irregularly to ensure it beats properly. You might need a heart transplant due to which you need to have heart surgery.
Surgery Types To Choose From
There are two types of surgeries that you can choose from; robotic surgery or traditional surgery. Traditional surgery is called open-heart surgery in which a large incision in your chest is made and then the heart surgery is performed. Today, you have the option of opting for a surgery that consists of smaller incisions and can lead to faster recovery. Your doctor is the one who will help you determine whether it is safe to choose traditional surgery or if you are a good candidate for robotic surgery.
Heart Surgery Recovery Tips
You will recover faster if you start taking care of yourself right after surgery. It can take 2 months for you to heal. Here are some tips to help you recover faster after heart surgery.
- You need to ensure that the incision dries up completely and is clean at all times. Your doctor will tell you when you can take a bath. You need to take care when you touch your incision site and ensure you only touch it when your hands are clean.
- You should call your doctor if you notice you have an infection. For example, if you see that your wound is oozing or you have a fever of more than 100F then contact your doctor immediately. If you notice more redness than usual then you should speak to your doctor.
- You should take proper rest. Many people reportedly have trouble sleeping after heart surgery but it is vital to get complete rest. Arrange your pillows so you can sleep properly and you get the rest you need.
- Avoiding caffeine and taking pain relief medication can help you get proper sleep. It is best to avoid napping too much during day time because it will make you feel more tired. Instead, take a nap for a few minutes after activity.
- Getting into a routine is going to make recovery post-surgery a whole lot easier for you. You can do this by doing things at the same time every day such as eating and going to sleep at the same time.
- Your doctor will give you prescription medication for pain relief. Make sure you understand when to take them and diligently take them at the said times. This can help you recover faster post heart surgery.
- You should make walking a regular part of your life as this will help you recover faster after heart surgery. Another great thing to do is to climb stairs. You should consult your doctor about climbing stairs.
- You should not start doing normal activities immediately after surgery. You should increase the activity gradually. For example, pushing heavy things is not recommended and standing in the same sport for over 15 minutes is not recommended. Ask your doctor for advice.
- You should focus on your emotional well-being too. You need to make an effort to be happy and look at the positives in your life. Spend time appreciating and spending time doing things you enjoy and love to do.
- If you feel like you are getting depressed or more anxious post-surgery, then you should book an appointment with a psychologist as he can help you feel better after surgery. You can speak to your loved ones, and your doctor too. Else, you can join a support group.
- You might feel too tired to meet people and so you can limit how long they visit you for initially. When you feel better, you can spend more time with them. Socializing will help you recover faster and feel good too.
- You should start to eat a healthy diet that is good for your heart and your overall health. This will benefit your overall well-being and you will be able to recover faster. Try to avoid foods that have high sugar, salt, and fat content.
- If you smoke, then quitting smoking is recommended by doctors as this will help you recover faster from your heart surgery. Do this gradually or take your doctor’s help if you are having trouble quitting smoking.
Just like recovery after any surgery, recovery from heart surgery is a gradual process. Your doctor will let you know about how to take care of yourself post-surgery. Make sure you listen to your doctor and follow his instructions carefully.