Posted by Heart Hugger on Feb 22, 2018 6:34:00 PM
"Complications" is one word you never want to hear--especially when it comes to recovery after heart surgery. The truth is that complications can be a concern, but when you're armed with the right information, a good healing plan, and a little bit of support, it's much easier to avoid problems like sternal dehiscence.
What You Need to Know
Healing is always a journey, which means that it can be a long and winding road sometimes. The good news is that you've got allies on your side. Your doctors and nurses will always give you clear instructions for at-home care, details on what you can and can't do, and explanations for what to expect.
One thing you want to look out for is sternal dehiscence, a condition where the sternum begins to separate. It's a considerable concern in the medical community, but as long as you know what to do, you shouldn't need to worry about it. Sternum support devices can help you feel more comfortable and confident during this healing journey--but that's not all you can do. Here are a few quick tips for keeping your body healthy and happy during recovery.
- Have a plan for pain control. After heart surgery, pain in your chest is a given, especially when you're moving or coughing. (Sternum support devices are a big help here). Remember, the pain should dissipate when you've stopped moving--and it's important that you take your medications exactly as prescribed. This will help minimize complication risk.
- Ease into activity. Your doctor will provide specific guidelines for getting back into daily activities and exercise, but in general, you can expect to be doing normal things--standing, dressing, sitting at tables--early on, though you'll want to avoid handling anything over ten pounds for awhile.
- Eat healthy. Diet is a crucial part of healing and can help you avoid sternal dehiscence by giving you the support your body needs. Eat foods low in fat, cholesterol, sugar, and salt, and eat desserts in moderation.
You're not alone on your healing journey. For more information on avoiding sternal dehiscence and using sternum support devices, contact us today!