Post-op Care at Home


After the discharge your doctor will prescribe oral medication. The prescription may include any or some of the medication listed below, depending on their need for the continued treatment.
Blood-thinner: Aspirin, Warfarin (Coumadin etc.). Blood-thinners help decrease the embolism risk.
Cardiac medication: These agents will strengthen your heart and regulate the pace.
Stool softeners: These medications eliminate constipation by facilitating the normalization of bowel movements.
Diuretics: Enabling you discharge more liquids, diuretics eliminate edema and excessive liquid accumulation.
Using the prescribed medication as instructed (on a regular basis and at the right dose) is crucial for the success of your treatment.


You may lose appetite after the operation. This is a temporary state and you are expected to regain your appetite within a couple of weeks. Therefore, do not go on a diet in the first month following the operation.
You may also feel like you have a poorer sense of tasting for a couple of weeks.
Try to include meat, vegetables, fruits along with carbohydrate- and protein-rich foods, pulpy foods in your diet. Try to limit your salt intake.


After having undergone cardiac surgery, walking will be a very beneficial activity.
Your doctor will tell you when to start taking walks on a regular basis.
Maintain a balance between the activity and resting time. Do not start walking, at least for 30 minutes after a meal.
Exercise and walk regularly as suggested by your doctor. The healing of the operation area lasts 6-8 weeks on average, during which you will have to avoid driving, certain moves like pulling and pushing things, and lifting more than 4 kg, in order not to push the operated body.
Check your weight everyday at the same time of the day.
After the operation you can go back to work 6-12 weeks, on average. You will have to consult your doctor for opinion.
You must limit your visitors to a minimum for 3 weeks.


You may feel pain, tenseness etc. in the operation area. These complaints will fade in time. In the 1-week examination following the operation, your doctor will control the sutures and remove them. In the meantime, you must avoid applying any products like lotion, oil, powder etc. on the incision area.
After the discharge you can gently wash the scar area with water and soap. Avoid brushing or rubbing the scar harshly.
In order to prevent swelling and edema on the incised leg try to keep it up and avoid crossing legs for a while.
You can perform your breathing-coughing exercises comfortably by supporting the thoracic scar with a small cushion.
In case of special circumstances, you must take advise from your doctor and follow his/her instructions.


You may have pains on your shoulders, back and thorax after the discharge. You may feel tenseness in the incision area during your daily activity. Since you may feel pain due to the pressure created during your breathing-coughing exercises, feel free to support your thorax with a cushion.
You may also take a painkiller prescribed by your doctor.


If you observe and signs and symptoms of infection around the scar area, you must contact your doctor. These symptoms are: sensitivity, rash, swelling, any new discharge/secretion from the scar or any increase in the current discharge.


After the discharge do not take a bath in a bathtub until the scar is healed. Take quick showers instead.


Following your doctor’s instruction, you have to put on varicose socks up to 4-6 weeks in the early post-op term.
The best and most beneficial time of putting the socks on is before you stand up from bed.
Before you put your socks on make sure your feet are dry. Do not put the socks on if your feet are wet or damp.


After a cardiac surgery, you have to wear a chest corset for 6 weeks on average, in order to support the thorax and facilitate the healing of the sternum.


After the discharge, you may get back to sex life in 4-6 weeks on average.
In case of special circumstances, you must take advise from your doctor and follow his/her instructions.


In case you have one or more of the following complaints, you should contact your doctor.
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea- vomiting
  • Palpitation
  • Fainting
  • High fever (37.5°C – 38°C)
  • Sensitivity, rash, swelling, secretion on the scar
  • Difficulty in urination, dark urine, pain during urination
  • Sudden and rapid weight gain
  • Swollen hands and feet
  • Fast and irregular pulse
  • Any bleeding
If you have any questions in mind, feel free to contact your doctor or nurse.
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