Preventing Heart Attacks and Strokes After Bypass Surgery 

Preventing Heart Attacks and Strokes After Bypass Surgery 

After having gone through bypass surgery, it is important for patients to make an effort in preventing heart attacks and strokes. Preventing heart attacks and strokes after bypass surgery will require that a patient… 

Meet with their primary health care providers in order to manage through treatment therapies and medication for lowing cholesterol and thinning down blood. Much more aggressively, some patients will also need to manage other risk factors related to cardiovascular risks like diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity. 

Prescription Medication 

In order to mediate risks post-bypass surgery, patients will be provided a ‘discharge plan’ with written instructions on what medication to take.  

Most people will be provided a list of prescription medications that should help alleviate some of the better-known complications of the surgery. Some examples of medication that bypass patients might be given are listed below: 

  • Antiplatelet Therapy: Antiplatelet therapy has been proven to prevent the risk of vein failure by several comprehensive studies. As such, most patients who undergo bypass surgery are recommended to take aspirin (either with ticagrelor or clopidogrel) indefinitely. 
  • Beta-Blockers: Beta-blockers may also be recommended for those who are at a high risk of heart attack as a result of their high blood pressure and unnaturally fast heart rate.  
  • Nitrates: In addition to beta-blockers, some patients may also be recommended to take nitrates to treat and relieve chest pain. It does this by managing the flow of blood going into the heart muscles as well as the blood that returns to the heart. 
  • ACE Inhibitors: Are prescribed simply to lower blood pressure. It will not work for everyone, but just like most things on this list, there are alternatives to those who may be averse to its effects. 
  • Lipid-Lowering Therapy: Now, to manage those who are suffering from high cholesterol, lipid-lowering medication may be prescribed in order to prevent the progress of atherosclerosis (which is the build-up of plaque in the arteries.) 

These are not the only medications that you may be prescribed to take post-bypass surgery, and you may find that some will work better for you than others. However, they are chosen for the same reasons. That is, most of these medications are recommended for their ability to reduce any other risk factors (high cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity, etc.) 

Cardiac Rehabilitation 

In order to improve heart function and lower one’s heart rate, bypass patients may benefit from some cardiac rehabilitation. This form of treatment will effectively take up several hours of your week, but it is important in the process of preventing heart attacks and stroke.  

For this, a patient will be recommended to follow a rehabilitation program. The most important of which is, of course, exercise. But in addition to exercise (of various intensity), it is also important to practice stress management.  

Manage Other Risk Factors 

A large part of preventing heart attacks and strokes after bypass surgery is reliant on the patient’s ability to reduce further complications by managing other risk factors. Prescribed medication will play a large role in this, but there are other factors that may require more attention. Some forms of managing risk factors involve… 

  • Eating Healthy: A healthy diet will do a lot when it comes to managing all the known risk factors associated with bypass surgery.  
  • Quitting Smoking: Smoking has been linked to the progression of atherosclerosis, which will increase your chances of heart attack or stroke. As such, it is important that you quit while you’re ahead. 
  • Treating Diabetes: Diabetes is a condition that is closely linked to many of the same risk factors associated with heart attacks and strokes. Therefore, it is vital that you keep up with your medication and manage your diabetes appropriately. 
  • PsychotherapyStudies have shown that it is common for those who undergo bypass surgery to experience stress, anxiety, and depression. So, in order to promote better health overall, it is important to keep the mind healthy as well — not just the body. 

Conclusion: Preventing Heart Attacks and Strokes After Bypass Surgery 

There is no easy way of preventing heart attacks and strokes after bypass surgery. However, that doesn’t mean that it cannot be done. It will just require a lot more of your patience and a better understanding as to what your body needs in order to stay healthy.  

The best way to go about this is to approach a medical professional that can help you create a structured treatment and therapy plan that will work for your own unique circumstances! 

 

REFERENCES: 

  1. Solo, Karla, et al. “Antithrombotic Treatment after Coronary Artery Bypass Graft Surgery: Systematic Review and Network Meta-Analysis.” The BMJ, British Medical Journal Publishing Group, 10 Oct. 2019, www.bmj.com/content/367/bmj.l5476 
  2. Tully, Phillip J, and Robert A Baker. “Depression, Anxiety, and Cardiac Morbidity Outcomes after Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery: a Contemporary and Practical Review.” Journal of Geriatric Cardiology : JGC, Science Press, June 2012, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3418911/ 

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