Postoperative Care After Open Heart Surgery

Patient must start exercises upon discharge from hospital

During exercise if patient experiences any of below>>>> then he must consult his doctor. :

  • tiredness in excess
  • pain in jaw
  • chest pain
  • headache
  • vomiting
  • shortness of breath
  • Do as advised by physiotherapist.
  • Exercise moderately at a moderate pace.
  • If one feels tired during exercise, then take a break and resume again later.
  • Don’t exercise immediately after eating, but after one hour or so after meals.
  • If one has to get up from lying down position, then turn on one side laterally and get up with support of your hands.
  • Drink plenty of water>>> 2 to 4 litres— as advised individually.
  • wear loose clothes during exercise.
  • Walk indoors if weather does not permit walking outdoor.
  • Jogging may be started after two months following surgery.



  • lie down on back.Inhale deeply. Abdomen bulges. hold for 2 seconds. Exhale slowly. Relax. repeat this for 3 times.
  • lie down on back. keep hands on sidechest. inhale deeply. expand chest.hold for 2 seconds. exhale slowly. relax. repeat this for 3 times.
  • lie down on back.keep hands on upper chest. inhale deep. expand chest.hold for 2 seconds. exhale slowly. relax. repeat this for 3 times.
  • lean forward on a desk.hands near head. inhale.expand chest. hold for 2 seconds.exhale. relax.repeat this for 3 times.
  • sit on bed. do spirometry. inhale. keep up the balls for 2 seconds. let go. relax.repeat this for 3 times.


  • lie down flat on back. keep elbows straight.lift hand up and down then sideways. breathe easy. repeat 3 times.
  • sit up straight. join hands behind head. now join both elbows in front . then move out the elbows apart. repeat thrice.
  • sit up straight. shrug shoulders up and down , front-back rotate them. repeat thrice.


  • lie down on back. move toes up-down, sideways then rotate them. repeat thrice.
  • lie down on back. bend your knees. again extend. repeat 3 times.
  • lie down flat. without bending knees, take legs sideways outside then again inside.repeat thrice.
  • sit on a chair.lift your leg up extending knee. alternate legs. repeat thrice.


  • Sit up on a chair. move your neck up-down, sideways and rotate around both sides. repeat thrice.


  • Stand up keeping a distance of one foot between feet. Twist back right and left. bend sideways bothways. repeat thrice.
  • In above manner, bend forward and backward slowly. repeat thrice.


Mental health :
Postoperative depression is common for a few days.Anxiety and anger is common.Insomnia and mild memory disturbances are common. Do not despair. All will be well after 6 weeks.

Alcohol :
Avoid drinking alcohol. Only rarely if your doctor permits, you may consume liquor occasionally. Opiates, analgesics and many drugs have a cross reaction with alcohol so beware.

Smoking :
Do Not Smoke.

Weight :
Manage your weight close to ideal standards as per medical advice. Excess weight will cause fatigue and shortness of breath.

Diet :
Eat a healthy diet as adviced by the doctor and dietician. Initially your appetite will reduce, then it will be normal.

Medicines :
Consume your medicines regularly. Do not reduce or increase dosage without consultation of a qualified doctor.

Stitches :
itching is common for a few days after surgery. swelling at site of stitches is common and resolves after 6 weeks.

Sex :
when the patient can climb two flights of stairs comfortably, then the patient can be allowed sex.
Also the sternum and ribs heal after six weeks, so two months is the safety period after surgery.

Shower :
One can bathe after the stitches are removed. Avoid rubbing the area of stitches.

Staircase :
Climb stairs after one week. Slowly number of stairs climbed will increase with time. One can rest if one feels tired while climbing, then resume again.

Travel :
Do not travel in bus or rickshaw for at least three weeks. One can travel in a train or aeroplane after two weeks. wear a chest belt while travelling. Take multiple breaks when travelling long distance in a car. Move your limbs and neck.

Household work :
Avoid household work for 4 weeks. Do not lift weights, tables, chairs