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What to Expect After Open Heart Surgery
Here at Shipley, we want to make sure you have a good idea about what to expect after you have your open-heart surgery. Once your surgery is done, your recovery journey begins. After surgery, you will go directly to the intensive care unit. You will be on a breathing machine, usually until the next morning. It is really important that you let your family know that when you come out of the operating room, you will be attached to many different lines, monitors, and various tubes; this is all normal and they should not be frightened by this. Your chest is going to be sore from the incision, but this will improve quickly. Most patients complain about their chest muscles hurting for some time after the surgery, this is because we use a special contractor to spread your muscles during surgery so the surgeon can see your heart. Give it some time, this too will improve. After the breathing tube is removed and you're stable, we will move you to our step-down unit. Every patient who undergoes heart surgery will have several chest tubes attached to what we call a pleural-vac, these allow for drainage fluid from the chest cavity. As soon as the drainage diminishes we will take these tubes out. The tubes can be uncomfortable but we promise we will get them out as soon as it is safe and we will help control your discomfort. There are three very important things you need to do while you're recovering. One is to use your heart pillow and cough, this helps re-expand your lungs. Two, use your incentive spirometer, this helps prevent pneumonia. Three, get up and walk, this helps your overall recovery. There is no lying around on our step-down unit. Early mobilization serves multiple purposes.
1. It improves respiratory function.
2. It reduces the possibility of blood clots.
3. It clears your head after anesthesia.
4. It improves your heart fitness.
5. It improves your psychological well-being.
6. It helps reduce the risk of delirium.
There are 7 things you need to do before you can be discharged.
1. To be up and moving.
2. Chest tubes and wires are out.
3. You need to be talking and making sense.
4. Eating without difficulties.
5. There needs to be someone at home to help you over the first few days.
6. You need to be able to use the bathroom without difficulty.
7. Your pain is controlled.
At Shipley Cardiothoracic Center were dedicated to providing you with quality personalized care and we hope this video has helped educate you on your upcoming surgery.
Pages in this section
- What to Expect After Open Heart Surgery
- After Your MAZE Procedure
- Atrial Fibrillation (AFib)
- Cardiac Rehabilitation After Surgery
- Getting Ready for Heart Surgery: Smoking
- How to use the Incentive Spirometer
- Important Things to Manage Before Surgery
- Diabetes and Heart Surgery
- LAA Clip Post-Operative Instructions
- Navigating the Emotional Effects of Heart Disease
- Pharmacy Program: Common Heart Medications
- Post- Operative Extubation
- Taking Care of the Cardiac Patient at Home
- TAVR vs Surgical Valve Replacement
- Once You Get Home After Surgery
- What You Need to Know After Surgery