CABG or heart bypass surgery is the most common procedure with about 340,000 cases each year.
Recovering from a heart surgery can take time. Everyone heals at a different rate depending on one’s age, risk factors, and other underlying medical conditions. In general, the average recovery time takes about 6 to 8 weeks after surgery while complete recovery may take up to several months.
The road to healing begins at the hospital and requires the collaboration of a team of medical professionals as well as family members and caregivers who are prepared to provide the needed help at home.
Here are some recommendations on how to achieve a successful cardiac rehabilitation:
Be in tune with your body. This allows you to carry out suitable activities and tolerate the prescribed exercise regimen during the recovery period. The ability to gauge one’s physical limitations are very important because heavy exertion after a heart surgery is strongly recommended against. Engage only in physical activities that are allowed by your physician and with the help and guidance of your physical therapist.
Make sure to communicate all health matters with your medical team. Contact your doctor if you experience any of the following especially during the first few weeks, post-surgery:
Fever over 100.4 F (38 C)
Increasing pain in your chest
Rapid heart rate
Redness or discharge around the incision.
Have a clear understanding of your medical condition and learn the disease process. Knowledge is power and this will aid you in making educated choices that complement your physical healing.
Be prepared to make the necessary lifestyle change such as eating a healthy diet, regular exercise, and stress management. A successful outcome is one that is sustained and carried over in time so that you can live longer and healthier.
Do not hesitate to get the help that you need from family members or hire a caregiver. They can assist you with your personal care and activities of daily living during the recovery phase. If you have Long Term Care insurance, contact your agent or insurance carrier to get information about how you can avail of your policy benefits. Being able to tap into this additional resource diminishes stress and the financial burden that such a situation creates.
Believe it or not, your attitude greatly affects your own healing process. Studies have proven that creating a positive mindset encourages the body to heal itself by reducing the release of stress hormones. “With positive thinking, the body’s immune system improves, physical energy levels increase along with mental and physical strength.”
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