A coronary artery bypass surgery adds more years of happiness and joy to your life, it makes you free and corrected from the life-threatening blockages in your heart arteries thereby improving your cardiovascular health.
Getting life back on track after undergoing a bypass surgery is a life changing experience. The roadmap to recovery may be long, because recovery isn’t just physical but also psychological, that helps you gets back to your normal life.
Long-term recovery after a bypass surgery will involve managing the various risk factors that contribute towards further cardiovascular problems. Some risk factors can’t be changed such as any family history, but other factors such as dietary and physical activities can be efficiently managed. There are various medical professionals and support groups available to help you make things happen for a sooner recovery. This support can be for a short time, later on it is you who has to be by your side.
Read on to know the steps you have to take to improve your heart health after a bypass surgery. Always remember that the disease that caused blockages in your heart was progressive, and so will be the recovery. You will have to follow proper guidelines provided by the medical professionals for returning to your normal life that includes medication, physical activities and other lifestyle changes which you will have to take post surgery.
At the time of discharge, you will be prescribed with various medications that aims to promote sooner recovery and healing from surgery and reducing all the possible risk factors for further disturbances. After a bypass surgery you will probably receive a prescription that includes medication
● To reduce cholesterol
● Antiplatelets and Aspirin to prevent blood clots
● Beta-blockers and ACE inhibitors to lower blood pressure
● Nitrates to control chest pain
2) Smoking Cessation:
Smoking causes severe damage to the walls of arteries and contributes directly to creation of many coronary blockages in the arteries. Bypass surgery may have saved your life or lessened or stopped pains, but it did not cure the heart disease process, which is progressive. If you continue smoking, then quitting is essential to slow down further damage to your heart. Various support tools and resources can help you to quit smoke.
3) Eating a Healthy Diet
As with smoking, an unhealthy diet will continue to contribute to your cardiovascular disease. Your physician will design a plan for a heart-healthy diet which is low in cholesterol with saturated and trans-fats that can slow or stop the buildup of plaque inside the artery walls.
4) Physical activities:
The bone in the middle of your chest (sternum) which was opened during your bypass surgery will usually take about 12 weeks to heal.Your physician will provide some exercise guidelines after the surgery. There are some activities you will need to limit before you heal completely. These include carrying anything heavier, bending or vigorous swimming. Once you are through the initial recovery period, you can get back to all your regular activities. As you return to physical activity, walking is an excellent choice for gradually rebuilding your activity level.
5) Sexual activities:
It is obvious to feel shy when asking your doctor regarding sexual activity after bypass surgery. Your doctor’s directions will be tailored to your health and circumstances. But, once you have been cleared by your doctor for physical activity, sexual activity is also approved. It is also essential to note that 50 % to 75 % of patients, experience sexual problems after any heart event due to heart disease, side effects from medications, fear of straining the heart or depression.
6) Diabetes Management
Diabetes contributes a major portion of any cardiovascular disease, and bypass surgery is often advised over other alternative treatment for diabetes patients with blockages in multiple arteries. If you are diabetic, managing your diabetes in conjunction with your healthcare providers, plays a significant role in recovery.
7) Stress Management
Learning how to manage your stress is part of a heart-healthy lifestyle because stress and heart disease create a vicious cycle. Continuous stress appears to be a risk factor for heart disease, and a diagnosis of heart disease is stressful. In order to manage your stress:
● Make positive face-to-face connection with other people a priority
● Move your body frequently—don’t sit for more than an hour
● Reduce your intake of alcohol, nicotine, and caffeine
● Do something you enjoy every day
● Get all the restful sleep that you need to feel your best
● When you can’t change the stressor, learn to avoid, alter, adapt, or accept
● Learn more by reading the related articles
You will have to visit your doctor frequently after surgery for periodic checkups to track your progress. During the visits, tests may be done to see how your heart is working. The tests may include Electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG), echocardiography, stress testing, and cardiac CT.
Your doctor may prescribe medicines to manage pain during recovery, lower cholesterol and to maintain proper blood pressure, decrease the risk of forming blood clots, manage diabetes or treat depression. Taking medicines on time as prescribed also is an important part of care, after surgery.