Managing Pain After Open Heart Surgery

Posted by Heart Hugger on Jul 24, 2017 12:07:00 PM

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Pain management is an important part of any surgery recovery, but heart surgery has some additional factors that complicate things a bit. To start with, the idea of heart surgery is very scary, so patients have to deal with additional worries leading up the surgery. Post-op, patients have to contend with caring for their incision while doing ordinary things like breathe, cough, and sneeze. 

Pain relief for heart surgery recovery requires more than whatever your doctor prescribes. It's crucial that patients understand that recovering well takes some well-thought-out planning for daily activities. Let's take a look at how you can conceive of pain management after heart surgery. 

The Challenges of Heart Surgery REcovery

It may seem as if everything leading up to heart surgery is the journey, and the procedure itself is the destination--but in reality, the destination is regaining health. Heart surgery is really just one leg of a much larger journey to good health; recovery, rehabilitation, and rest are more legs of the same journey, and these have their own challenges.

For example, how can you manage pain after open heart surgery? How can you continue exercising without causing damage or discomfort? How can you help your body heal and recover? These are all parts of the recovery part of a heart surgery journey, and, with your healthcare team, you will be able to overcome them.

Management Heart Surgery Beyond Meds

Your doctor will talk with you about any prescription pain relievers and other medications that you will be given when you go home. In addition, however, there are other aspects of pain management beyond the bottle. 

So, what does aftercare look like, aside from your prescriptions? Here's a quick look!

  • Sternum support. One of the most important tools you'll need on your recovery journey is a sternum support device. These devices help to minimize pain, and they make breathing and moving easier and more comfortable. Your device will come in handy especially when you sneeze or cough after surgery. 
  • Breathing. It seems strange to think so much about breathing, an action we usually do unconsciously--but after heart surgery, breathing easily is a journey of its own. You will be given a "breathing machine" to help exercise and strengthen your lungs; follow your doctor's directions to get the most benefit.
  • Thinking. The recovery journey requires more than just physical healing: it takes mental work, too. It is very important to try to remain positive. You will likely face negative feelings--depression, anger, guilt--but these will pass. Focus on your healing, on your life now, and things will start to seem easier.

Interested in more tips on managing Pain After Open Heart Surgery? Contact us today!

Heart Hugger

Written by Heart Hugger

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