What to Expect After Heart Surgery?


Even with minimally invasive surgical techniques, heart surgeries are complex procedures that will have an extensive recovery process. Understanding what you can expect following your heart surgery will help you better prepare for the procedure and follow your doctor’s guidelines for a successful and complete recovery. This video features MountainView Hospital surgeon Dr. Arnold Chung, who explains the diet and lifestyle changes you can anticipate after your procedure. Keep reading for a more in-depth look at these changes and the more immediate recovery process that will be necessary with your surgery.

Hospital stay and recovery at home

The initial goal following surgery is to get patients home 7-10 days after the procedure. After this period, there is a varied timeframe for recovery to the point where you will feel back to normal. When you do return home from the hospital, your dietary restrictions will be fairly minimal, since it is important to maintain a consistent caloric intake to support your recovery. You will also need to minimize physical activity involving the upper body so that the chest is not under extra stress.

Extended recovery and cardiac rehab

Once you overcome the initial recovery period , you may begin to get back to a more consistent daily routine. In this stage, cardiac rehabilitation will be important for helping you make a gradual shift back to daily life with the right changes in your eating habits, physical activity, and medical care.

Long-term lifestyle changes

As Dr. Chung explains, the leading cause of recurring heart disease after bypass surgery is high cholesterol, which makes diet and lifestyle changes essential to your long-term health. You might expect to eat a low-fat, low-cholesterol diet once you are more stable in your recovery. Exercise will become an integral part of your life as well, and it will be easier to design an effective workout routine with the support of cardiac rehabilitation.

For a second opinion on your need for heart surgery or primary cardiac care in Las Vegas, connect with MountainView Hospital at (702) 233-5300. Our registered nurses are available 24/7 to take your call, provide physician referrals, and offer answers to your questions about our cardiovascular care.

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