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8 measures you must take after an open heart surgery

Saturday, September 7, 2019

/ by Hadiqa Ahmed

8 MEASURES YOU MUST TAKE AFTER AN OPEN HEART SURGERY

Cardiac surgery is one of the most complex surgeries practiced by the medical profession. Like all other high risk surgeries, an open heart surgery carries a lot of weight when it comes to precautions. Following a successful surgery, members of the cardiac rehabilitation team work effectively to help the patient in returning to his previous normal condition.

Here, we gathered around 8 measures which must be taken to avoid a relapse of the unfortunate event of cardiac attack.

Picture source: https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/heart-attack/treatment-of-a-heart-attack/cardiac-procedures-and-surgeries

1. Keep the wound dry

Extensive surveys are carried out to keep a check on the development of surgical wound infection. Surgical sites are the second most common reservoirs of infection (first site is the respiratory tract involving 45.7-57.8% cases of infection).

Caretakers enlist a series of instructions for ways to keep the wound dry till it heals to its maximum capacity. Deep tissue incisions, such as those performed during a major cardiac surgery, have a substantial risk of developing a surgical site infection. Research data found that deep wound infections make up about 27.7% of the cases of surgical site infections.

Hence, a series of important measures are advised to the patient regarding effective care of the wound. Failing to do so, might increase the chances of acquiring an infection, which can turn fatal if not treated promptly.

2. Take rest to reduce undue stress on your heart's activity

A regulatory mechanism in the human's body ensures that any stress faced by the heart, is manifested in the form of symptoms.
Symptoms that denote a negative response of the heart to physical exertion, are as listed below:

1.     Pain
2.     Difficulty in breathing
3.     Easy fatiguability
4.     Deep inspiration and expiration
5.     Dizziness

These signs of increased stress on the heart, must not be ignored. Any physical activity contributing to this stress, should be stopped until the condition normalizes.

3. Refrain from driving without consulting the doctor

Being on the road with an endless heavy traffic, is a dangerous stunt in its self. Choosing to drive immediately after gaining recovery from an open heart surgery, must be avoided. Subsequent to cardiac surgery, the optimum period in which driving must be abstained, is about 4 weeks.

After the completion of these 4 weeks, patient is required to take approval from the doctor before resuming to drive.

4. Work for a balanced diet plan

As they say: "You are what you eat", a diet rich in cholesterol and low in healthy nutrients, can lead to an episode of cardiac arrest. Cardiac Rehabilitation teams function to council patients on striving towards changing their harmful lifestyle choices.

A diet with abundant amount of fruits and vegetables, is loaded with antioxidants and nutrients essential for functioning of the heart.
Patients who have undergone cardiac surgery, are made to consume food which reduces the chances of encountering another cardiac arrest.

5. Eliminate risk factors of cardiac arrest

Poor lifestyle choices can have a drastic effect on the health. Hence, patients with card open heart surgery, are expected to eliminate the contributing risk factors that pose a threat for a recurrent cardiac attack episode.

According to a research based on the number of sudden cardiac deaths, as high as 300,000 to 450,000 casualties annually, were reported in US alone.
A complex etiology is involved in the mechanism of cardiac malfuncion. Some of these are preventable and the other are non preventable.

Preventable Etiologies:
Smoking, High fat diet, diabetes

Non-Preventable Etiologies
Age, Congenital heart disease, male sex, heredity

6.  Avoid unnecessary exertion when climbing up the stairs

Climbing up stairs utilizes greater energy than walking. With the increasing demand of energy, the heart's activity becomes diminished. Signs and symptoms that showcase an exhausted heart, are given above.

Physical exertion must be ceased as soon as any of the signs listed, are experienced.

7. Psychological therapy makes an integral part of  recovery

Often, high risk surgeries can have a significant effect on the psychological health of the patient. Mental stability should be taken as a priority during the recovery time.

A cardiac rehabilitation team is appointed to cater to the improvement of both physical and mental health of the patient. This is practiced, based on the guidelines of cardiac physical therapy.

Besides seeking help from a professional, care takers at home must ensure that the recovery strategy prepared by rehabilitation workers, continues to be a part of the patient's lifestyle.

8. Adherence to healthier lifestyle choices

Majority of open heart surgeries fail due to negligence on the patient's part. Post operative care can be practiced by the medical staff, to a limited extent only. 

Continuation of activities beneficial for the heart is dependent on the patient.
Any irresponsible behavior can trigger the recurrence of cardiac arrest, which can sometimes be irreversible.

Therefore, make sure to continue thriving for a better lifestyle and avoid the risk of experiencing another heart attack.





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