Cardiac Surgery Rehabilitation

Posted by Heart Hugger on Apr 15, 2020 12:00:00 AM

cardiac stethoscope

After your heart surgery, your doctor may discuss cardiac rehabilitation for your recovery. This is a blend of exercise and care that is meant to help your heart health and long-term recovery. 

Why Cardiac Rehab?

Your rehab plan will be tailored to your specific needs and abilities. It is designed from a medical perspective to ensure you recover well and reduce the risk of problems down the road.  

What Cardiac Rehab Will Focus On

Many cardiac rehab plans unfold over a few months. Each stage of the rehabilitation process will be focused on where you are and where you need to be. By the end, you'll be set up to maintain your heart health and wellness.

Here are some of the components of cardiac rehab and what you might expect. 

Exercise 

Exercise is one of the most important aspects of rehabilitation. It's good to start exercising as soon as possible, avoiding anything that requires you to lift more than five pounds. Your healthcare team will give you guidelines and let you know how often to exercise and what types will be most beneficial.  

Sleep 

Cardiac rehab includes education and guidelines about key health considerations. Sleep is crucial, and your doctors will want you to make sure you're getting plenty of rest. 

Medications 

Medications are important to your cardiac surgery rehabilitation, but they can often seem a little overwhelming. All you need to focus on is learning why they have been prescribed and how they help, and, most importantly, taking them according to your doctor's instructions.

Food 

You may not have a full appetite for the first few weeks of your rehabilitation, but you must establish a strong diet that can last a lifetime. You're likely to lose some weight. You also may need to take some iron supplements as recommended by a doctor.

Testing 

Your vitals and blood are going to need to be tested regularly. For now, your healing is being monitored--but this is a lifelong journey, and checkups and tests will become common for you.

Lifestyle

Overall, cardiac rehab is about helping you live a lifestyle that will be kind to your heart. Much of your rehab will be focused on learning: What to eat, what changes to make, how to manage going forward. Be prepared for big (but necessary) changes, and know that they will help you live a long, healthy life after heart surgery. 

What You Might Experience

Cardiac surgery rehabilitation comes with some emotional baggage too. You're likely to be anxious, stressed, depressed, and more--but it's important to remember that the worst is behind you.

Managing pain is one of the biggest challenges of healing, and one of the biggest enemies of cardiac surgery rehabilitation. The simple truth is that you are likely to experience pain for a few weeks after the surgery. It is important to consult your doctor concerning the use of pain pills, but it's also good to keep in mind that you'll eventually need to minimize your reliance on medication.

Looking for more information on cardiac surgery rehabilitation? Contact us today!

Heart Hugger

Written by Heart Hugger

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