How to Recover After Coronary Artery Bypass Graft (CABG) Surgery?

Recovery following coronary artery bypass graft surgery is different for every person. However, it involves several steps beginning from time in the hospital, time at home & time spent over the rehabilitation program. Nevertheless, recovery from CABG surgery is a lengthy process during which patient experience may differ a bit than the typical course which is mentioned below.
Coronary Artery Bypass Graft Surgery

Immediately After CABG Surgery

Immediately following CABG surgery the patient will still be asleep or unconscious. Before they wake up, they are usually taken to a surgical ICU or cardiac intensive care unit which employs specially trained nurses who will closely monitor their condition. The CABG surgery patient is subsequently moved to another step-down or cardiac recovery unit when the patient does not require such close attention.

Recovery at Hospital Following CABG Surgery

Subsequently, heart transplant surgery patients would stay in the cardiac recovery room until the time it is safe for them to go back home. Before being discharged from hospital they must demonstrate that they are capable of performing the basic normal activities like sitting upright & walking. Nurses in the cardiac recovery unit will also help CABG surgery patients start their rehabilitation program & also educate them as to how to take care of themselves after they have returned home.

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Recovery at Home Following CABG surgery

Most CABG surgery patients return home after a few days stay at the hospital following operation. However, it may take several months of time for them to get back to all activities that they enjoyed prior to undergoing heart surgery. Cardiologists will help CABG surgery patients plan recovery & will also let them know as to which activities they can or cannot do during recovery after heart surgery. Since coronary artery bypass graft is a major surgery, it involves both physical & emotional aspects. Pace of physical recovery, however, depends upon the health status of the patient prior to undergoing CABG surgery. They may probably experience some pain & may also feel lonely, angry or frustrated. Nevertheless, it is important for them to receive emotional support from family, friends & nursing staff especially during the period of recovery.

Steps to be Taken during Recovery after Heart Surgery

There are many things which CABG surgery patients will have to do during the recovery period. Some of the main ones are mentioned below.

  • Caring for wounds
  • Taking medicines on time
  • Monitoring body weight
  • Improving heart health
  • Improving lung health
  • Undergoing cardiac rehabilitation program

Changes in Lifestyle Following CABG Surgery

Changes in lifestyle that are expected to keep the heart & body healthy following coronary artery bypass graft surgery include the following.

  • Quitting smoking
  • Being active
  • Consuming heart-healthy diet
  • Maintaining healthy weight
  • Losing weight if required
  • Managing health problems like high blood pressure & diabetes
  • Lowering stress level

CABG surgery patients require both, medical & emotional support in order to make changes in lifestyle. Doctors, nurses & rehabilitation team along with friends & family members can be immensely helpful in achieving them. Moreover, changes in lifestyle which are made following heart surgery will also be helpful for the rest of life.

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