you may need about 6 to 8 weeks of healing time before you can return to your normal routine. Your doctor or healthcare professional will provide you with post-operative instructions to follow. In general, these instructions may include:
- Contact your physician if you experience any chest pain.
- Observe the incisions daily. Notify your doctor of any redness, swelling or drainage at the site of your incisions.
- Avoid heavy lifting (greater than 10 pounds).
- Avoid straining to move your bowels, pushing/pulling heavy objects or working with your arms overhead. These activities place an added strain on a healing heart incision and may also elevate your blood pressure.
- Take a rest period at least once a day. Resting helps your body to heal.
- Avoid driving a car for 4 to 6 weeks after surgery.
- Bathing is permitted. Warm showers are encouraged; however, tub baths are usually discouraged for 4 to 6 weeks. Hot water should be avoided as it may cause you to feel dizzy or weak.
- Walking is the recommended exercise. Begin slowly, and increase your distance as tolerated. Stair climbing is also permitted. Consult your physician about resuming other physical activities.
- If your saphenous vein was used as a bypass graft, swelling may occur in the leg. Your healthcare professional may recommend you wear the elastic support stockings provided by the hospital for a period of time.