Managing Pain After Cardiac or Thoracic Surgery

Posted by Heart Hugger on Mar 30, 2016 1:22:00 PM

Close up of male patient holding chest, chest pain concept after surgery

The difficulties of managing pain after surgery can be a stark reality, especially after undergoing cardiac and thoracic surgery. Suddenly, simple tasks turn into painful endeavors. Who knew that making the bed could hurt so badly? We often end up resorting to minimizing our movements to keep from feeling all of those aches and pains.

But why limit your mobility when you don’t have to? With a Heart Hugger, you can get back to doing those everyday tasks without being punished with pain.

What is Heart Hugger?

Heart Hugger is a sternum harness that relieves pain by providing extra support around the rib cage. Patients experience extreme pain when doing something as simple as coughing or sneezing because the bone and tissue around the incision need time to heal. Because of this, any movement will aggravate the wound and frustrate the patient. Even worse, it discourages patients from wanting to move around any more than what’s needed.

Since maintaining mobility is extremely important for a successful post-surgery recovery, we wanted to provide a way that encourages this recovery process. A sternum harness protects the wound from being pulled apart so that you can remain supported with every movement, freeing you from the painful repercussions.

Furthermore, Heart Hugger is an excellent replacement for those who fear that medicinal pain relievers, such as opioids, can have addictive side effects.

How Can Heart Hugger Help You?

When creating a device for managing pain after heart surgery, the Heart Hugger design emphasizes keeping the chest compressed through a leverage system. Post-surgery pain will spike each time the rib cage separates, so this leverage system allows the patient to grip their chest closer together when performing strenuous activities.

3 ways that Heart Hugger helps to reduce pain

  • Respiratory Therapy: After surgery, proper deep breathing exercises and coughing maneuvers help patients release fluid buildup in the lungs. Those without Heart Hugger hesitate to do these exercises for fear of the pain associated with them. Heart Hugger substantially reduces that pain so you can quickly get on the road to recovery.

  • Sternal Wound Complications: There’s always a risk of wound infection after any surgery, and cardiac surgery is no different. Heart Huggers have been designed to circle the patient’s rib cage with uniform pressure and support. When the handles are squeezed together, it forces the surgical wound together and provides sternal stability and support. Because of this, the risk of wound infection is significantly reduced. Stabilizing an injury has never been easier!

  • Ambulatory Exercises: Heart Hugger makes walking, sitting, and reaching exercises more comfortable through the added support benefits. These exercises are crucial for rebuilding muscle strength to perform normal day-to-day activities.

How Much Pain Will it Relieve?

A study conducted at Hospital Maria Middelaresse revealed that out of a score of 10, a sternum support device scored very high for pain relief by patients. The results were as follows: a 9 for pain relief during coughing; an 8.5 for pain relief when getting out of bed; another 8 for pain relief when standing up from a chair and getting out of a car; 8 for both respiration and revalidation practice; and a 7.5 for pain relief when climbing stairs.

These are life-changing results when it comes to giving you the ability to maintain your everyday life after major heart surgery.

How Long Should You Wear It?

It’s recommended that you wear a Heart Hugger for 4-6 weeks, beginning with your hospital stay during the recovery process. Although, you can wear it for as long as you feel that you need the support! It should be worn both day and night and can be re-adjusted to fit your everyday clothing after your hospital stay.

Relieve Pain Today with Heart Hugger

Although pain medication can provide some relief, why settle for a bit of relief when you can nearly eliminate pain with a device that’s free from medicinal side effects? Heart Hugger puts patients back in control of their recovery and provides full-time wound stability, sternal support, pain management, and fewer wound complications after a sternotomy.

If you’re worried about managing pain after heart surgery, you don’t have to be! Contact us to learn more!

Heart Hugger

Written by Heart Hugger

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