Guidelines on how to recover from heart surgery

It would be a sensible decision to opt for the top heart hospitals in India as it appears to be a complex surgical procedure. The health care team would monitor your progress after the procedure and figure out whether you are ready to leave the hospital. The phase of recovery is individual and could serve you for around 6 to 10 weeks. How much time you need to spend at the hospital would depend upon your general health and the progress you have gone on to show in the hospital.

The moment you are discharged you will be able to take frequent walks around the hospital and without any supervision you can have a shower. The golden rule to follow is that do everything in moderation under guidance. Once you are discharged from the hospital you are going to hardly need any medical care. If it is all required it has to be figured out before you are heading home from the hospital.


One can start driving 4 to 6 weeks after the surgery. You will be a passenger at an initial phase but do sit at a place where there is an air bag. Just check out with the insurance company on where there are any specific guidelines or not. Drive in the local areas and avoid highways for a certain period of time. When you are on a longer trip take some time to rest and stretch your body.

You need to wear your seat belt and this would not harm the incision in any way. A small pillow or towel could prevent rubbing of the incision. At the same time you are going to face some chest stiffness when you are turning.

How to plan for discharge

While returning from the hospital you need to arrange your transport facilities well in advance. When you are about to be discharged it is suggested that you ask some close friend or relative to pick you up. But do expect delays from the view point of paper work and results of final tests. It is better to ask someone to be there beside you after the first few weeks of discharge. They can help you with housekeeping, shopping, other preparations etc. Patients often resort to the nurse for any help in relation to pain medication before they are heading home from the hospital. When you are travelling long distances by car it is suggested that you stop in between. You can have a snack and stretch your legs in between. As far as possible wear loose tight clothes.

Once the surgery is over you can make a way back home within 4 days so as to continue with the process of recovery. There are sometimes situations where the recovery might not be on the anticipated lines and you are going to need additional resources or therapies.


Once you have had your surgery medications may be subject to change. The day you are discharged a new prescription will be given over to you and it is advisable to opt for those medicines unless your doctor has a different point of view. The nurse is going to review all the medications before you head home. If there are further any questions you might have to discuss with your doctor. There are some important pointers that you need to be aware before opting for medications

  • Be aware of the purpose of the medication
  • Know when you need to take the medication and for how long it has to be consumed
  • Be aware whether any side effects are there and if so the reasons
  • The exact amount of medication as prescribed by the doctor should be taken
  • If you are missing a dose of medicine, do not compensate it by taking double the dose. Just opt for a regular dose at the next time
  • On your follow up visits review the medications with your doctor.
  • The medications should be taken at the same time everyday
  • Before you are purchasing non subscription medicines you can discuss with your doctor
  • As far as possible stick to one pharmacy
  • An updated list of medicines in your wallet needs to be there
  • At no point you should alter or stop your medicines without discussing with your doctor.

How to manage pain and discomfort

For each patient the pain as well as discomfort in a different way. Once the heart surgery is over some degree of discomfort in the chest for some weeks would be part of your healing process. This pain could even stretch to your arms, back or the shoulder. This is illustrated by the patients as a pulling sensation and with pain medication you can expect timely relief.

The moment you are in the hospital you will have to take pain medication in a routine manner as you are going to experience pain or discomfort during the route of recovery. Once you are going to feel better, you are going to need less amount of pain medication. The pain medication is going to be prescribed and it allows you to be active with minimum amount of discomfort. In fact if the medication does not provide proper relief it is better to get in touch with your doctor.

As a result of pain medication constipation, reduction or iron levels or your activity levels are seen. Do ensure that you increase the intake of foods that are rich in fibre. Examples would be cereals and whole breads. Do ensure that you increase the intake of water on a recurring basis. You should not strain. If you really feel that constipation is an issue you might have to discuss it with your doctor or pharmacist.

As already discussed do choose the top hospitals of the country. The reason being that these hospitals have successful outcomes with almost zero chances of complications. In addition some of the best surgeons of the world have gone on to be part of these hospitals.