Your arm or leg
or leg incision may be swollen and painful. This results not only from the
incision that cut through your skin and muscle but also from losing a blood
vessel in your arm or leg that would normally circulate blood in the area of
the incision. It will take a little time for your arm or leg to adjust to the
missing vessel and for your incision to heal.
To help your arm or
leg recover faster and more comfortably, you can:
- Keep your swollen arm or leg
- Wear special supportive hose (available from your
Taking your medicines
You will take medicines after your CABG surgery. Your doctor or nurse
will give you written instructions for taking your medicines before you leave
the hospital. These new medicines may be in addition to or instead of the
medicines you were taking before your surgery. Make sure that your doctor or
nurse explains very clearly to you what medicines you should be taking.
For tips on taking medicine see:
- Taking Medicines as Prescribed
Watching your weight
It is important to watch your weight very closely after your surgery. A
sudden increase in your weight is often a sign of fluid retention. This fluid
retention can point to a problem, such as worsening heart function
and kidney failure.
To monitor your weight, you should:
- Weigh yourself at the same time every
- Keep a record of your weight.
- Bring your
weight record with you when you visit your doctor.
- Call your doctor
if you gain 3 lb (1.4 kg) or
more in 2 to 3 days.
Improving your heart and lung functions
While you are recovering from your CABG surgery,
you will need to work on increasing your physical activity or exercising. You
need to become more physically active, because you need to restore your full
lung function. You also need to improve the blood circulation throughout your
body. This will help your body heal properly.
If you do not
exercise, you risk getting blood clots in the blood vessels of your
legs. This is a painful condition that can cause several complications,
including blockage of a blood vessel.
Walking is an excellent
exercise after CABG surgery. Walking is safe and someone else can easily walk
with you. Your leg will be sore if your surgeon removed blood vessels from your
leg to use during your surgery. Despite this pain, it is important to your
recovery that you continue to walk.
Attending cardiac rehabilitation
Cardiac rehabilitation (rehab) programs can start in the hospital or soon after you go home after surgery. Cardiac rehab helps you recover and teaches you how to be more active and make lifestyle changes that can lead to a stronger heart and better health. Cardiac rehab can help you feel better and lower your risk of future heart problems.
A cardiac rehab team often includes a doctor, a nurse specialist, a dietitian, an exercise therapist, and a physical therapist. The team designs a program just for you, based on your health and goals. Then they give you support to help you succeed.