What to expect after Cardiac surgery
Each person responds differently to a cardiac surgery. Recovery will depend on a number of factors. Some of them are listed below:
Recovery depends on the type of cardiac surgery
Cardiac surgery may be open heart surgery or robot assisted minimally invasive heart surgery. In case of open heart surgery, the cardiac surgeon has to make large incisions in order to operate on the affected area of the heart. This increases the risk of post surgical infection and post-operative pain .But if the same surgery is performed with the help of a robot then the surgeon can make minimal incision with the use of highly sophisticated technology and instruments. This reduces the risk of post surgical infection. It also helps in decreasing the post-operative pain, and facilitates a speedy recovery.
Recovery depends on the heath of the patient
Recovery also depends on the existing medical condition of the patient, for example diabetes, high blood pressure and other medical problems. A person who has previously suffered from cardiac disease or who has previously undergone cardiac surgery is at an increased risk of developing post operative complications.
Age of the person may affect the outcome of cardiac surgery
Young people undergoing the heart surgery are more likely to have a better post operative outcome than older patients.
Recovery in the Hospital
Depending on the type of heart surgery, you may spend a day or more in the hospital's intensive care unit (ICU). The person is given intravenous fluids until he is capable to eat and drink on his own. He may also be given an oxygen mask. When you leave the ICU, you'll be moved to another part of the hospital for several days before you go home. As long as you are in the hospital your heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, vital signs, and incision site will be closely monitored by the doctors and the nurses.
Recovery at Home
The person who has undergone a cardiac surgery will be given discharge from the hospital once the doctor feels that it is now safe for him to go home. Before going home the person is given specific instructions by the cardiac surgeon about how to care for the incision. He is educated about the after effects of the surgery, which include post operative pain, weakness, loss of appetite and the risk of bacterial infections. He is educated on identifying the signs of infection and other post operative complications. He will also get information about follow-up appointments, medicines, and emergencies when the doctor needs to be called right away.
Educating the person about lifestyle changes
The person is also educated about lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking and limiting the intake of alcohol. The doctor may also advise an exercise regimen suitable for his heart condition. Other therapies like meditation and yoga which help in reducing stress are advised by the doctor. The doctor may also refer him to a dietician in order to make healthy heart friendly changes in the diet.