The Do’s and Don’ts of Preventing Sternal Dehiscence

Posted by Heart Hugger on Nov 28, 2017 12:35:00 PM

lying in bed after heart surgery

Recovering from surgery requires care and consideration. In the case of open heart surgery, the sternal bone is cracked to access the heart and then sewn together with wires. Such a sternal wound has a few post-surgery consequences. One such complication is sternal dehiscence or the reopening of the sternal wound. Here are the do’s and don’ts of preventing sternal dehiscence.

What to Avoid Post-Surgery

It’s important to remember that it takes time to ease back into everyday activities. Refrain from returning to regular exercise routines if they include strenuous movement. Lifting heavy weights can cause excessive tension on wound openings. Holding back from asking for help can also negatively impact your recovery. Enlist the help of one dependable family member or friend in the first week or two. Preventing the sternal wound from opening should be your primary priority and will benefit from outside help.

How to Improve Recovery

Caring for your wound takes form in a couple of different shapes. First, you should properly attend to the area of surgery itself. Your doctor will recommend how to clean and bandage the wound. Next, be prepared to take care of your whole body. This means eating foods that promote heart health and attribute to a healthy immune system. Allow yourself to relax and try not to force yourself to fill a productivity need. Another impactful way to improve recovery is to support your sternum. This can be done with a sternal support device, such as a Heart Hugger. When you sneeze or cough you run the risk of causing damage to your wound closure. A Heart Hugger device will act as a brace and minimize pain.

Recovering from surgery is a process that should be taken slowly and thoroughly. Preventing sternal dehiscence will relieve you from unnecessary extended pain and allow you to jump back into your regular routine.

To learn more about the Heart Hugger and to utilize it after surgery, contact us today!

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