How Can You Recover Faster From Heart Surgery?
If you’re scheduled for heart surgery, you probably can’t wait to be at the other end, and fully recovered. How long will it take? Recovery time among different patients varies a lot.
To shorten recovery time, you need to know what to expect after heart surgery. Understand the factors that can shorten your recovery, and do everything in your power to pursue them. This can make a big difference.
What affects recovery time after heart surgery?
If you’re planning elective heart surgery, ask your doctor if there are steps you may take beforehand to improve your health. These efforts may help shorten your recovery time.
With any heart surgery, some factors are in our control, and some less so. These include:
Your overall health. One of the biggest predictors for how long your recovery takes is how healthy you are as you go into the surgery. Someone who’s been sick for a long time prior to heart surgery will take a longer time to recover than someone who is in relatively good health.
Whether you smoke or are overweight. If smoking or excess weight are problems for you, do everything you can to work on these issues before surgery.
Type of surgery. Your recovery begins as soon as the surgery is over. Depending on the type of surgery (open-heart vs. minimally invasive, for instance), you may stay in the intensive care unit for several days. You’ll likely then follow up with several days in another part of the hospital. During this time, you’ll begin getting out of bed and increasing your activity level a little each day.