What Are The After-Effects Of Bypass Surgery

After-Effects of Bypass Surgery

Fortunately, with the application of modern technology, major complications after a Coronary Artery Bypass Graft (CABG) surgery are now less likely to occur. However, that doesn’t erase the natural reactions of the human body to such a complex operation.

If you want to know what to expect post-surgery, information on these natural reactions might be pertinent to your overall recuperation. So, what are the after-effects of bypass surgery? And, what can you expect to do about them?

The answer to those questions can be broken down into three distinct parts, all of which we’re going to be breaking down for you down below.

Post-Surgery Hospital Recovery

A bulk of CABG-surgery recovery happens in the hospital. According to the USCF, the first 1 or 2 days are spent in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). During this time, a patient is kept in close observation, with their blood pressure, heart rate, and oxygen levels checked regularly in order to ensure improvement.

The doctor should take care to dull most of the after-effects of the bypass surgery. Usually through the following:

  • Oxygen Therapy to ensure healthy oxygen levels,
  • A pacemaker for controlling abnormal heart rhythms,
  • Compression Stockings for encouraging blood to flow more freely in the legs and feet, and
  • Bandages for keeping infection away from the point of incision.

After careful observation, you should be moved out of the ICU. However, you might find yourself being transferred to another room, to spend another 3 to 5 days recovering in the hospital before finally being sent home.

Recovering At Home

When it comes to dealing with CABG after-affects at your home, things are a little more complicated. However, instructions should be given to help you deal with said after-affects, like how you should go about changing your bandages and when you might need to call your doctor.

These instructions should also introduce the most common side-effects that you might experience within the next 4 to 6 weeks (although the period of recovering with a more traditional CABG surgery might take 6 to 12 weeks.) Including the following:

  • Itchiness or discomfort from the incision point
  • Muscle pain along the shoulders or the upper back
  • Fatigue, Depression, and Mood Swings
  • Insomnia or a Lack of Appetite
  • Constipation
  • Pain around the area of the chest

During this time, you would also be instructed to stay away from exercise and sexual activity in order to prevent any other complications.

Long-Term Recovery

In the future, other effects might require that you take medication. Specifically, medication for pain, cholesterol, blood pressure, blood clots, diabetes, and/or depression.


CABG surgery is a complex operation and it has the potential of being quite risk driven. Fortunately, most of the after-effects related to the surgery can be treated (either in the hospital or at your home.) It’s just a matter of following the instructions that are left behind by your doctor or handling physician.


  1. Hyperarts, Rob Mayfield -. “Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting (CABG).” Cardiothoracic Surgery – Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting (CABG), adultct.surgery.ucsf.edu/conditions–procedures/coronary-artery-bypass-grafting-(cabg).aspx.
  2. Harris, Scott. “Heart Bypass Surgery: Procedure, Recovery Time, and Risks.” Medical News Today, MediLexicon International, www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/322443.php.