Heart surgery is a big deal, but it is common, and with technology advancing, procedures are better than ever. There are a few reasons why you may need to have heart surgery, whether this is due to a blockage, or a faulty valve – whatever the reason, you’ll need to take care of yourself after the procedure to ensure you recover and get back to your normal, healthy self as carefully and efficiently as possible. If you aren’t sure what to expect from your recovery period, you could ask your heart surgeon London for more information. Below, we’ll take a closer look at some of the issues that may require heart surgery, and what to expect from your recovery.
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Reasons for heart surgery
There may come a time in your life when you suffer from a condition that requires heart surgery. This type of surgery can seem scary, but it’s sometimes necessary to help clear blocked arteries and restore blood supply to the heart, replace arteries that cannot be unblocked, or replace valves. Heart surgery is becoming more advanced, some procedures can even be done via keyhole surgery – but no matter what type of heart surgery you have, you’ll have to take an adequate amount of time to recover properly, so your body can get back to how it was, and you can feel like yourself again.
What to expect from recovery
Going into an operation can be worrying, especially when it involves your heart, so knowing what to expect when it comes to downtime and recovery is key so that you know what you’ll be working towards. The time that you spend in the hospital after heart surgery will depend on what type of surgery you’ve had. For most types of heart surgery, you will be expected to stay in intensive care immediately after, and then you’ll be moved to another ward in the hospital whilst you recover further. Immediate recovery times spent in hospital can differ, whereas full recovery may take up to around 12 weeks.
Tips for Recovery
If you’re not sure what to expect from your recovery when you’re finally out of the hospital, try not to worry, you can ask your doctor whatever you need to know to help you get back to full health. Here are a few tips that could help you through your recovery period.
Listen to what your doctor recommends
Your doctor knows best – and it’s so important that do what they say and take their advice when it comes to recovery. After surgery, your doctor will discuss your recovery with you, and ensure that you know exactly what you should and shouldn’t be doing – they will likely leave you guidelines to refer back to so that you know what to expect.
Listen to your body
There is no better indicator than your body, listen to its signals. It can take time to get back to your full strength after a major operation such as heart surgery, so listen to your body and take it slow. For example, you may not be able to walk up the stairs without getting out of breath – that’s normal. Take it slowly and only do what feels comfortable, ignoring your body’s signals could mean that your recovery takes longer, and you may hinder your progress.
Check your pulse
Checking your pulse is a great way of ensuring that your heart is healthy. You should do this one every day as a precaution to check that your heart is functioning as it should be – you could always ask your doctor what a healthy heart rate is for someone that’s recovering from your surgery, this can be a good indicator of whether there is something wrong and can help you to identify whether there’s an issue.
Warning signs and symptoms
With surgery like this, there is always a risk that something will go wrong throughout the recovery period, so knowing the signs to look out for can help you identify whether you need a doctor. If you have any adverse issues, like pain that’s not from your incision site, sickness, or shortness of breath, you should contact your doctor for a second opinion – it’s always best to be safe.
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