Sternum Support for Reducing Postoperative Complications

Posted by Heart Hugger on Oct 25, 2018 11:28:00 AM

man recovered from heart surgery

One of the most important goals of patients and healthcare providers after surgery is avoiding postoperative complications. After heart surgery, this goal is especially critical given the nature of the operation and recovery and because up to half of patients have a high risk of complications.

Postoperative complications can be costly, so patients and surgeons alike look for any and all tools to prevent them. One device that is non-invasive and proven to be effective is sternum support harnesses such as Heart Hugger.

Here’s a look at a few of the key ways Heart Hugger reduces complications.

Wound Stability

Reducing the strain on sternal wounds is crucial to overall recovery and pain management. Heart Hugger works to stabilize the wound at all times, as patients wear the harness round the clock. By supporting the wound during movements and adding additional protection for instances like coughing or sneezing, wound stability is easy and effective.

Patient Control

The patient’s role in their recovery has been the focus of much research over the years. There’s no question that a patient who feels in control of pain management and recovery has a better chance of avoiding complications than one who does not. Heart Hugger provides that opportunity for control by giving patients a tool to help themselves and treat their pain.

Reduced Pain

Keeping pain levels manageable is important for comfort and long-term recovery. Heart Hugger’s design helps keep patients more comfortable during recovery which can have a positive effect on their overall recovery times. And, having more options for managing pain at home reduces the risk of patients having to seek medical care during recovery because of intolerable pain levels.

STUDY That Reveals The Importance

At Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, NC, an important study took place--one that might just change the lives of cardiac patients for years to come. Experts realized that readmissions after heart surgery were too often due to sternal wound dehiscence and other complications--so they started studying sternum support in high-risk patients. Individuals with large chests or a weight greater than 250 pounds were given sternum support devices and sent home for rehabilitation.

The results? Out of the 19 patients involved in the study, only two were readmitted to the hospital, staying an average of three days--while the control group had four out of 19 return to the hospital for up to three months.


So how did something as simple--but important--as sternum support change the game when it comes to cardiac rehabilitation? Here's a quick look, straight from the sternum support experts!

  • Support. They call it "sternum support" for a reason. Patients often feel uncomfortable moving, coughing, or doing deep breathing exercises, and sternum support provides the security and comfort necessary for these tasks to be simple again.
  • Compliance. Another big factor when it comes to sternum support is compliance. Patients who worry about pain or discomfort won't be quite as willing to follow your recommendations--but with a sternum support device, they will be confident in their ability to move and even cough comfortably.
  • Features. Sternum support is for everyone--which means that the devices need to be for everyone, too. With a wide range of features including different sizes, handles to squeeze when coughing or moving, and adjustable parts for use over street clothes, sternum support is as easy to use as it is important.

Helping Any Patient

Sternum support doesn't just make patients more comfortable; it actually speeds healing and limits the risk of complications. That's why sternum support devices are such a crucial part of the healing journey. The best part is that there is a perfect device for every patient, which means that the advantages of sternum support can really be universal. Don't just take our word for it, though -- here are a few real benefits of sternum support that any patient can enjoy.

  • User-friendly: In order for sternum support devices to help everyone, they have to be easy to use--and they were designed with the patient in mind. This means that they're easy to learn and easier to use, which, in turn, means patients have quicker access to comfort.
  • Comfort over time: Since it's recommended to wear sternum support devices from the time a patient gets out of surgery all the way through rehabilitation, it's a huge benefit that these devices are comfortable enough to wear under clothing.
  • Garments for everyone: Most sternum support devices come in different versions for men and women, meaning that any patient of any size can be comfortable and speed the healing process.
  • Pain relief: The biggest benefit of sternum support devices is that they offer pain relief for any patient. By supporting the incision area without restricting all movement, patients are allowed to move, breathe, and cough comfortably--which means they can heal faster.

Heart Hugger helps patients and medical professionals meet the goals of reducing postoperative complications. To learn more about how we do that, please contact us today!

Learn More about Heart Hugger in Hospitals

Heart Hugger

Written by Heart Hugger

Please Leave a Comment: