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.
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