Skip to content

Heart Disease Health Center

Font Size

Coronary Artery Bypass Graft Surgery: The Recovery Process - Topic Overview

Each person's recovery from coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery is a little different. Your road to recovery has many steps, including time in the hospital, time at home, and participation in a rehabilitation program.

You will hear a common theme during your recovery: Everyone heals at a different pace. Recovery from CABG surgery is a long process. And your experience may be a little different than the typical course discussed below.

Recommended Related to Heart Disease

The Facts About Cardioversion

If you have an irregular heartbeat (called an arrhythmia), your doctor might suggest a treatment called cardioversion to help get your heart back into a normal rhythm. If your heart beats too fast or unevenly, it can be dangerous. Your heart may not be pumping enough blood to meet your body's needs. An irregular heartbeat also can lead to a stroke or a heart attack.

Read the The Facts About Cardioversion article > >

The first few days after surgery

After your CABG surgery, you will still be unconscious, or asleep. You will probably be taken to the cardiac intensive care unit (CICU) or surgical ICU before you wake up. This unit has specially trained hospital staff that will watch your condition very closely.

When you no longer need to be watched so closely, you will be moved to another area of the hospital called a step-down unit or cardiac recovery floor.

In the hospital before going home

You will recover in the step-down unit of the hospital until your doctors feel it is safe for you to go home. You must demonstrate that you are capable of performing basic daily activities like walking and sitting upright. Staff in the step-down unit will also help you begin your rehabilitation and educate you on how to take care of yourself when you return home.

At home

You may return home a few days after your CABG surgery. But it may take several months before you can return to all of the activities you enjoyed prior to surgery. Your doctor will help you plan your recovery and will also tell you what activities you can and cannot do during your recovery.

Recovery from major surgery has both physical and emotional aspects. How fast you recover physically will depend on your health before CABG surgery. You will probably have some pain. You may also feel frustrated, angry, or lonely. It is important that you have emotional support from friends, family, and medical staff during your recovery.

What you have to do during your recovery

There are several things you have to do while you are recovering from CABG surgery, including:

  • Caring for your wounds.
  • Taking your medicines.
  • Monitoring your weight.
  • Improving your heart and lung health.
  • Attending cardiac rehabilitation.
  • Making changes in your lifestyle.
    1|2
    Next Article:

    Coronary Artery Bypass Graft Surgery: The Recovery Process Topics

    Today on WebMD

    x-ray of human heart
    A visual guide.
    atrial fibrillation
    Symptoms and causes.
     
    heart rate graph
    10 things to never do.
    heart rate
    Get the facts.
     
    empty football helmet
    Article
    red wine
    Video
     
    eating blueberries
    Article
    Simple Steps to Lower Cholesterol
    Slideshow
     
    Inside A Heart Attack
    SLIDESHOW
    Omega 3 Sources
    SLIDESHOW
     
    Salt Shockers
    SLIDESHOW
    lowering blood pressure
    SLIDESHOW