When you take warfarin, you need to take extra steps to avoid bleeding problems.
- Get regular blood tests.
- Prevent falls and injuries.
- Eat a steady diet, and pay attention to foods that contain vitamin K.
- Tell your doctors about all other medicines and vitamins that you take.
For more information, see the topic:
- Warfarin: Taking Your Medicine Safely.
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 developing blood clots within 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
Based on your health and rate of
recovery, your doctor will recommend that you enroll in a cardiac
rehabilitation (rehab) program to help you recondition and strengthen your heart.
Usually, the program will start 4 to 6 weeks after your surgery. This type of
cardiac rehab program is known as a phase II program. (A phase I
program refers to any rehab steps you begin right after your CABG
In the phase II program, a specially trained nurse will
help you improve your heart's strength and overall health in sessions of
supervised exercise using a treadmill or a bike. In addition, you will also
receive education about healthy eating and lifestyle habits each week. For more
information, see the topic Cardiac Rehabilitation.
Some tips for exercising after CABG
your doctor and rehabilitation specialist to develop a rehabilitation plan. The
following is a general guideline for increasing your exercise:
- Take several walks each day. Spread the walks
throughout your day.
- Don't overdo it: Stop and rest if you get
- Gradually increase the distance and duration of your walks.
Add one city block to your walk each week.
- Do not walk by
- Take stairs at a slow pace.
- Don't pull on the
banisters with your arms to avoid straining the surgery site.
do too much at once.