Bypass surgery is believed to increase a patient’s life expectancy. But, how is life actually like after a Bypass Surgery? Are there any after-effects to be wary of or aftercare that needs to be met? Well…
Even though a Coronary Artery Bypass Graft (CABG) surgery treats the major arterial blockages in your heart, the condition remains. It’s not meant to be a cure, just a method of keeping the condition from resulting in mortal risk.
It’s up to the person in question in order to act progressively in order to keep the condition from spreading.
Immediate Post-Surgery Recovery
Immediately after the days or weeks (based on whether your surgery resulted in any complications) after coming home from the hospital, you will need to begin your personal recovery. In the beginning, the most present tasks would be making sure that your incision point(s) are kept clean and free of infection.
But things don’t end here. Your doctor should have provided a list of instructions that you will have to follow in order to make sure that your condition is kept from progressing into either a stroke, a heart attack, Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD), or Renal Artery Disease.
Long-Term Post-Surgery Recovery
Instructions on how you might want to proceed with your long-term post-Bypass Surgery recovery will probably be listed as following:
- Smoking Cessation: Smoking is one of the studied causes of atherosclerosis (plaque build-up in the arteries), thus, it is vital that you quit immediately. Of course, that is easier said than done, but support should be available if you need it.
- Medication: Medication for preventing the progression of your condition can take many forms. There are antiplatelets (for preventing blood clots), nitrates (for chest pain), beta-blockers/ACE inhibitors (for blood pressure), and more. Patients are also tasked with managing their cholesterol and diabetes (if present.)
- Dietary Changes: A healthier diet is one of the most effective ways of preventing cardiovascular disease. If only because of its ability to manage other known risk factors (like your cholesterol levels.)
- Exercise: Although there are limitations as to how physical you can be post-surgery, there are exercises that can be done in order to help you manage your blood pressure, cholesterol levels, etc.
Outside of the standard instructions, patients are also recommended to seek help in case they experience stress, insomnia, mood swings, and depression as these are known after-effects of Bypass Surgery and could lead to further complications.
Conclusion: How is Life After a Bypass Surgery?
Life after any surgery, nevermind one so complex as a Bypass Surgery is always difficult. There’s medication to contend with and major life improvements required that will definitely change how you go about your daily life. In the end, you’ll have to decide whether those changes are worth the extra years or decades spent with your friends and family.
- van Domburg, R T, et al. “Smoking Cessation Reduces Mortality after Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery: a 20-Year Follow-up Study.” Journal of the American College of Cardiology, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Sept. 2000, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10987614.
- Piscatella, Joseph C. “Thirty-Three Years after Bypass Surgery: a Heart Patient’s Perspective.” Proceedings (Baylor University. Medical Center), Baylor Health Care System, July 2010, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2900982/.