Post-Surgery Care For Cardiac Patients
- Follow-up appointments are listed on your discharge summary.
- Bring your discharge summary and all medications in the bottles with you.
- Call 210-450-0999 if unable to keep appointment.
- Take only the medications listed on your discharge summary.
- Discard old medications.
- Please review your medication list carefully and compare medications picked up from pharmacy with discharge medication list.
- Shower daily and wash incisions with mild soap and water.
- Do not soak or submerge incisions in water — no baths, swimming pools or hot tubs.
- The top layer of your skin may be sealed with surgical glue. Around 10-14 days post-surgery, you may experience flaking of the glue around the incision. The incision should remain closed.
- It is normal for your incision to be bruised, itchy, numb and/or sore.
- Do not use creams, lotions, ointments or powder on the incisions.
- Take pain medication when the pain first begins — don’t wait until you are in severe pain.
- Use your medication only as directed. If the pain does not get better or if it gets worse, call us.
- Medications taken by mouth need at least 20 minutes to take effect.
- Take pain medication before any activities that increase pain (for example: walking, using the breathing machine).
- Most pain medications will cause constipation. It is easier to prevent constipation with prune juice or a bulk laxative (examples include Metamucil or Benefiber) than to wait until it becomes severe.
- Non−drug methods such as ice, heat and relaxation can also help decrease pain.
- Many pain medications can cause drowsiness. Avoid alcoholic beverages and operating heavy machinery while taking pain medication.
Activity do's and don'ts
- Do get some light exercise daily. Walking is the best choice.
- Do NOT lift any object weighing more than five pounds for four weeks. Five pounds is approximately the weight of a gallon of milk in each hand.
- Do NOT drive for six weeks or until cleared by your physician
- Do NOT drive while taking pain medication
- Do NOT return to work or school until cleared by your physician
- Refrain from sexual activity for six weeks after surgery
- Do NOT swing a golf club, fire a rifle, wear a backpack, push, pull, lift or drag any object heavier than five pounds or participate in any activity that applies pressure to your chest or shoulders for eight weeks.
- Avoid added salt
- Decrease intake of fats and cholesterol
- Eat a balanced, healthy diet to help your wound heal
Please check your incisions every day. If any of the following occurs, call 210-450-0999. For any life-threatening emergency, call 9-1-1.
- Opening in the incisions
- Redness (a small, non−tender rim less than 1/4" on edge of incision is probably normal)
- Excessive tenderness
- Drainage (yellow or bloody, or any fluid with an odor)
- Temperature above 101 degrees