Did you know famous actor and comedian Sunil Grover has undergone heart bypass surgery four times? Even the celebrities are not spared when heart diseases strike! But why do heart diseases happen? How to treat them? We have had answered all these questions in our previous blogs.
In this blog, we will talk about Precautions To Be Taken After Heart Bypass Surgery. Also called coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CABG), heart bypass surgery is a major medical procedure that requires extra care.
Keep on reading to know more!
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Heart Bypass Surgery
Sometimes it is inevitable to control diseases, especially heart diseases. When the artery of the heart is blocked, another passage is made for a proper blood flow, this method is called Heart Bypass Surgery.
A heart bypass surgery is a surgical procedure where the surgeon creates a graft using a vein from your leg to bypass the blockage in the artery. Coronary artery bypass surgery creates a new path for blood to flow around a blocked or partially blocked artery in the heart.
Other names for this surgery are:
- Coronary artery bypass grafting
- CABG — pronounced, “cabbage.”
- Coronary artery bypass graft surgery
Why Is Heart Bypass Surgery Done?
There are several reasons for undergoing heart bypass surgery, such as:
- A blockage in the left main heart artery
- Severe narrowing of the main heart artery
- Severe chest pain caused by the narrowing of several heart arteries
- More than one diseased heart artery and your lower left heart chamber don’t work well.
- A blocked heart artery that can’t be treated with coronary angioplasty
- An angioplasty with or without a stent that hasn’t worked
Tests You Need To Go Through Before The Heart Bypass Surgery
There are certain tests you may need to undergo before a heart bypass surgery, such as:
- Electrocardiogram (EKG): It uses electrodes to study heart’s electrical happening.
- Blood Tests: CBC is used to check blood regulations and problems like anemia, bleeding disorders etc.
- Pulmonary Function Tests (PFTs): This test detects the functioning of lungs, whether the exchange of gases is proper or not. A spirometer is used as the measuring device.
- Carotid Ultrasound: It is to examine the carotid arteries whether they are narrow or/and blocked or not. If so, then risk of heart attack increases.
- Computed Tomography Scan (CT Scan): In this test the aorta is examined, whether there is any aneurysm.
- MRI: The MRI gives a clear view of the heart, its size and functioning of the pumping chamber.
- Urine tests: This test gives an overview of the bladder infections, kidney and even diabetes.
Precautions To Be Taken After Heart Bypass Surgery
Heart bypass surgery is a major surgery, requiring extra care. The patient would need to follow a certain diet prescribed by their dietitian, be mindful with their physical activities and much more. Below are some precautions that you should follow post your heart bypass surgery. following these precuations will helo you lead a healthy and blissful life sans complications.
The precautions are:
1. Quit Smoking:
To stop smoking is the first towards a healthy lifestyle post your heart bypass surgery. When burned, cigarettes create more than 7,000 chemicals. At least 69 chemicals are known to cause cancer, and many are toxic.
Smoking thickens the blood and increases the chances of blood clot formation in the blood vessels. Smoking also harms the gastrointestinal lining, resulting in ongoing blood loss. It also impairs the body’s iron absorption from food and contributes to deficiencies in vital nutrients like vitamin B12 and folate, crucial for the production of red blood cells.
Smoking can also interfere in the oxygen absorption process by increasing the levels of carbon monoxide in the blood. It also reduces the blood supply to tissues which can slow down the healing process of the body.
Smoking raises blood pressure and heart rate, increasing the workload on the heart. After bypass surgery, maintaining healthy blood pressure levels is essential for the long-term success of the procedure.
2. Maintain A Healthy Diet
Having a healthy and balanced diet is essential for proper healing. A balanced diet also reduces the risk of post-operative complications that tends to arise due to improper palliative care. Incorporating fruits, vegetables, wholegrains, nuts and seeds in your diet can reduce the chances of complications and enable you to recover well. You can also include lean meats like fish in your diet.
Cut fat, salt and sugar from yoru diet. For this, its best to completely avoid processed meats, fast food and junk food.
Foods like liver and organ meats, eggs, whole milk, butter, cream, whole-milk cheeses, fried foods, and palm oil are high in saturated fat. In addition to luncheon meats, canned soups, canned spaghetti sauce, TV dinners, snack foods, and smoked fish are also high in salt. When choosing a diet after heart surgery, say no to these foods.
In general, heart patients should follow a low-fat, low-cholesterol, high-fiber diet.
3. Avoid Long Showers
While showering is essential to maintain hygiene, long showers after your heart bypass surgery can do the opposite. Prolonged exposure to shower can soften the skin and make it more susceptible to bacteria, hence, increasing the chances of infections.
Long showers can also lead to rapid fluctuations in the blood pressure, which can even include a drop in the blood pressure. This can be risky for individuals who have recently undergone heart surgery, as it may affect the stability of their cardiovascular system.
It can also lead to excessive heat and sweating, leading to dehydration. This is not advisable as your body would need the hydration and strength to recover from the operation.
4. Don’t Stand For More Than 15 Minutes At A Time
Standing for a long time after your heart bypass surgery can have adverse effect on your cardiovascular health, leading to complications. Prolonged standing can lead to reduced blood circulation in the lower part of the body. Moreover, your body would have to pump harder as it would be working against the gravity. In individuals who have recently undergone heart bypass surgery, maintaining healthy blood circulation is essential for overall recovery.
Risk of blood clots can also increase due to a decrease in the blood flow. These clots can be dangerous if they dislodge and travel to the lungs, causing a pulmonary embolism. After heart surgery, the risk of blood clots is generally higher, so it’s important to minimize factors that contribute to clot formation.
Standing for long hours can also lead to muscle fatigue and discomfort, which could hamper the healing process.
5. Indulge In Light Exercises
Light exercises like walking promotes weight loss and healthy blood circulation. This is crucial for preventing blood clots, reducing swelling, and enhancing the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the healing tissues. Deep lung exercises can aid in clearing mucus from lungs and reduce the risk of infections like pneumonia.
Light exercises, on a long-term, also strengthen the muscles which can become weak during the recovery period. Strengthening the muscles in the legs and upper body can make everyday activities easier.
Other precautions include:
- Don’t move your arms too much as it may cause pain or tears.
- Stay emotionally balanced by doing things that make you happy.
- Avoid travelling for long distances as it may stress your body.
- Never skip your medicines to keep the symptoms or other possible complications under check.
- Make sure you are attending each and every follow-up with your doctor to monitor your condition.
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