Post-Operative Recovery for Coronary Artery Bypass Graft Surgery

Dr. Guy Fradet, MD, FACS, FRCSC, Cardiothoracic Surgeon, discusses Post-Operative Recovery for Coronary Artery Bypass Graft Surgery.

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Dr. Guy Fradet, MD, FACS, FRCSC, Cardiothoracic Surgeon, discusses Post-Operative Recovery for Coronary Artery Bypass Graft Surgery.
Video transcript

Featuring Dr. Guy Fradet, MD, FACS, FRCSC, Cardiothoracic Surgeon
Post-Operative Recovery for Coronary Artery Bypass Graft Surgery
Duration: 3 minutes, 17 seconds

So typical recovery after coronary artery bypass surgery: we can define it to acute or early after surgery and then delayed so which is usually when you go home.

Typically you will have your surgery, you will wake up more or less the same day or actually in surgery after we’re finished before you’re transferred. The following day you’ll be transferred to the ward and at that time you will have been sitting at bedside, eating.

And then the next four days it’s ambulation so the rest of the lines and tubes that you have will be removed. You will start to go to teaching class. The healthcare professional will be involved in terms like nurses, physiotherapists, dietitians, occupational therapist, to give you an exercise program.

Things that may happen during that week usually are if you’re elderly to be a bit confused. Often it can be related to the surgery but mostly lack of sleep. Being woken up for the nurse to monitor your signs, this is something that usually resolves in two days on its own or with the help of medications.

Irregular heart beat and that’s very common, 30 percent of the patients have that. It has to do with the surgery, the sort of an irritation around the heart, and again we give you medications. Usually it subsides within two months, so you go home on those medications that have been defined for you while you were in surgery.

You’re given instructions to go home. Your responsibility when you go home is to look after your wound, keep them clean. Good diet, exercise and maybe at the beginning the best exercise is just walking. And then basically increase your walking, you will be seen by your family doctor usually the week after you go home, your cardiologist three weeks, and your surgeon six to eight weeks.

At that time the surgeons will assess if your bone has healed. Typically when you go home you’re told not to use your arm for more than 10 pounds weight so not to disrupt. When the surgeon feels the bone is healed typically at six weeks those restrictions will be removed.

You’re also asked not to drive for four weeks, four to six weeks, they will also lift those recommendations. And it will take you another four to six weeks for doing normal activity for your arm for the muscle to get back into shape.

So generally about three months before you feel you’re really back to where you should be. And of course there’s a lot of other complications that can happen but 98 percent of the time they don’t happen.

Now if you’re recovering from coronary artery bypass surgery typically you will have easy access to your surgeons or to the surgical team. Those numbers usually are provided to you before discharge
But in an emergency always contact first your family physicians you may have faster access. Or go to the local emergency room, get you checked, they will reassure you if it’s not if there’s a problem they will get in touch with your surgical team.

Presenter: Dr. Guy Fradet, Cardiothoracic Surgeon, Kelowna, BC

Local Practitioners: Cardiothoracic Surgeon

This content is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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