Two activities that can shift the edges of your
sternum apart and so should be avoided are:
- Lifting objects heavier than
5 lb (2.3 kg), including small
children, trash baskets, and bikes.
- Driving (even a minor car
accident may cause your chest to hit the steering wheel).
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 may need to 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.
You need to know:
- The names and dosages of your
- What each medicine is and what it does.
much to take of each medicine.
- When to take each
- What side effects to watch for with each
- What nonprescription medicines, vitamins, or herbal
substances you cannot take because of a possible bad interaction with your
You need to do the following:
- Take each medicine regularly and on
- Bring your medication sheet to every doctor's
- Report any side effects to your doctor.
your medicines before they run out.
- Bring enough medicine with you
when you travel.
- Keep your medicines away from children.
- Do not increase, decrease, or stop a medicine without asking your
- If you forget to take a medicine, do not double your dose.
Call your doctor's office or pharmacy for instructions.
- Check with
your doctor before taking any nonprescription medicines.
the medicines you may be prescribed after CABG surgery is an anticoagulant,
such as warfarin (Coumadin, for example). This medicine helps prevent blood
clots. You will likely need regular blood tests to check how the blood thinner
is working. If you are having home health care, your home health nurse may take
your blood test. If you do not have home health care, you will go to your
doctor's office, a lab, or the hospital for your blood test.