Coronary Artery Bypass Graft Surgery: Self-Care for Recovery - Topic Overview
Some tips for exercising after CABG
your doctor and rehab specialist to develop a rehab 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 all at once.
Although you may be weak, tired, or experiencing chest
soreness as a result of your surgery, many people with coronary artery disease
(CAD) can work their way back up to normal activity levels by participating in
a structured cardiac rehab program or by working with their doctors to
develop a home exercise program.
Making changes in your lifestyle
Your doctor probably told you that
certain aspects of your lifestyle (such as smoking, an unhealthy diet, or high
stress) make your cardiac health worse. Now that you have had your diseased
arteries repaired with open-heart surgery, you want to be sure that your CAD
does not get worse. In particular, it is important to keep your new bypass
grafts healthy. Your doctors, nurses, or rehabilitation team members can help
you take steps to quit smoking, start eating a heart-healthy diet, and reduce
the stress in your life.
Resuming sexual activity
You will be able to resume sexual activity after
you recover from surgery. Most people wait about 6 or 8 weeks after surgery.
Some people are afraid to resume sexual activity after a heart attack. They are worried that they will have symptoms such as chest pain or will not have enough energy for sex. They also worry about having another heart attack.
The risk of having a heart attack during sex is low. Sex is the cause of less than 1 out of 100 heart attacks.1 This risk is low if you can do moderate activity without having angina symptoms such as chest pain.
You can ask your doctor to help you know when your body is healed and healthy enough for sex. If you need help dealing with feelings of worry or fear, you can also try professional
When you and your partner decide to start having
sex again, it might be helpful to keep in mind the following:
- Talk honestly to your partner about your concerns
- Choose a time when you are relaxed and comfortable in
a place that will be free from interruptions.
- Wait 1 to 3 hours
after eating a full meal so that digestion can take place.
- Be aware that
anxiety on the part of either partner may
interfere with sexual arousal and performance. Talk with your doctor about any