Heart Surgery Recovery

heart surgery recovery

If you or your loved one has undergone heart surgery, it is important to know what the recovery timeline will be. We will discuss some important guidelines about heart surgery recovery. Not only this, but we will also offer advice on how to handle each stage of the process. 

When heart surgery is done, it needs time to heal so be sure not to overexert yourself during the recovery process! We will help you understand what happens after heart surgery and how long your healing process will last.

Do's and Don'ts after Heart Surgery

After heart surgery, it is important to follow the doctor's orders and take things slow. Here are some do's and don'ts to help in your recovery:


  1. Follow your doctor's orders closely. This includes taking all of your medication and following dietary restrictions
  2. Rest as much as possible. If you do not feel like lying down, rest in a chair.
  3. Keep your heart rate as low as possible by avoiding strenuous activity and work. If you need to walk around the house for any reason, pace yourself slowly – no running! Also, avoid heavy lifting – ask another person or even use a device if needed.
  4. Eat heart-healthy foods that are high in fiber and protein but low in salt and sugar. Avoid fried or greasy food because they can cause heartburn. Instead of having three big meals per day, eat smaller meals every few hours so your body has time to digest properly without working too hard on its own. Aim for six small meals each day instead.
  5. Drink plenty of fluids, especially water. This will help flush toxins from your body and keep you hydrated
  6. Stay positive! Believe that you can do this and have the strength to recover!


  1. Smoke or drink alcohol – both of these habits will slow your heart rate down and delay your recovery
  2. Take over-the-counter medications without checking with your doctor first – some pain relievers can interfere with heart medication or other treatments you might be taking. Ibuprofen (Advil) is a good example of something to avoid if possible
  3. Stress out about anything – this will only make things worse for you physically and emotionally
  4. Rely on someone else for absolutely everything – you will need to do some things like cooking, cleaning, and laundry even if your heart surgery was extensive. Do what is manageable when possible but don't push yourself too hard or try something new until you are ready

Open Heart Surgery Recovery

Recovery in the hospital usually takes about three to five days. So, stay patient! Make sure you follow any instructions given by your doctor when they release you from the hospital. If they say not to drive or do any strenuous activities, then it is best that you listen.

After your open heart surgery, recovery can take anywhere from six weeks to three months. The steps below are an example of what you might experience when recovering at home after open-heart surgery:

  • Avoid stairs if possible until cleared by medical staff
  • Limit physical activity for six weeks after surgery
  • Hold off on returning to work until advised by the surgeon
  • Follow any dietary restrictions given by doctors
  • Take all medications as prescribed with food, unless otherwise instructed

The recovery process varies from person to person, so be sure to ask your doctor if you have any questions about the timeline of recovery. It is common for people who undergo open-heart surgery to feel tired and weak after their procedure; however, it will get better over time! 

How long will shortness of breath last after open-heart surgery?

Shortness of breath is a common side effect after open-heart surgery. It can last for several weeks or months, depending on the individual's recovery. Some shortness of breath may be permanent, but most will improve over time. Speak to your doctor if you are having difficulty breathing. They can provide tips and advice on how to manage shortness of breath and improve your quality of life.

What to expect after open-heart surgery?

Many open-heart procedures, such as coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) or valve replacement surgery, are complex and lengthy operations. Even with minimally invasive techniques, recovery from open-heart surgery can take a few weeks. Over time you will likely return to your normal activities. However, it is important that you follow the advice given by medical professionals on what level of physical activity is safe for you at this time during recovery. You should not drive until advised by your doctor because this increases the risk for complications after open-heart surgery.

Be open and honest with your family, friends, and co-workers about what to expect after open-heart surgery. Many people report that they feel isolated during the recovery process because others do not understand what they are going through. The more open you can communicate with those around you, the better able you will be to reach out for help when needed.

How to help someone recover from open-heart surgery?

There are several ways that you can help people recover from heart surgery, however, it all depends on the person and what they feel comfortable with. When someone has just come out of an operation, their body will be extremely weak so every effort to help them should be made in order for them to get better quickly.

Stay positive

If someone is feeling down or upset about something then this could delay their recovery process, therefore, it's important that everyone around them tries to keep a good frame of mind. This might mean spending more time together doing other activities or perhaps trying not to bring up certain topics when they're present if they know these would cause stress.

Helping with daily tasks

After their open-heart surgery, there may be some everyday tasks that become difficult, for example, getting out of bed or taking a shower. If the person is unable to do these things by themselves then it's important that you help them as much as possible. This can be anything from making their bed to giving them a bath.

Providing food and drink

It's also crucial that you provide your loved one with plenty of nutritious foods and drinks after surgery; this will help their body to heal and recover faster. Some good options include soups, broths, fruits and vegetables, lean protein sources such as chicken or fish, and whole-grain toast or cereal.

Checking in on how they're feeling

Finally, make sure to check in on how your friend or family member is doing both physically and mentally. Ask them how they're feeling if there's anything you can help with and how often they need help from someone else (if at all).


Your recovery time after heart surgery will depend on a number of factors, including the type of surgery you have and your overall health. However, most people should be able to resume their normal activities within six to eight weeks. Be sure to follow your doctor's instructions closely during your recovery, and ask any questions you have along the way. With patience and diligence, you'll soon be on your way to a full recovery!

heart surgery recovery

Our mission is to help you recover and get back to life as quickly as possible. Reboundwear’s adaptive clothing line is particularly designed to help those recovering from heart surgery. If you are an active adult and getting back quickly is important to you, we have got the best adaptive wear waiting for you. 

Check out our heart surgery clothing. Click here.


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