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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Surgeries and Procedures > Heart Bypass Surgery: Home Care and Complications
      Category : Health Centers > Coronary Artery Disease

Heart Bypass Surgery

Alternate Names : Coronary Artery Bypass Graft Surgery, CABG, Coronary Revascularization, Coronary Bypass

Heart Bypass Surgery | Preparation & Expectations | Home Care and Complications

What happens later at home?

The recovery time at home will last for about 6 weeks. During this time, the incision will heal slowly, with some redness, tenderness and swelling present for several months. The person will be advised to:

  • have a check-up with the surgeon about 10 to 14 days after the surgery
  • take showers instead of baths for the first 2 weeks
  • begin a walking program
  • avoid lifting and straining for 4 to 6 weeks
  • not drive for 3 to 4 weeks
  • resume sexual activity as desired after the first check-up with the surgeon
  • rest twice a day for the first few weeks, and get 8 to 10 hours of sleep at night
  • expect some constipation if pain medication has been used often
  • This is a good time for a person to start thinking about changing his or her lifestyle and addressing any coronary risk factors that may have contributed to his or her heart problem. For instance, a person should:

  • quit smoking if he or she smokes. Smoking after heart bypass surgery increases the risk of the bypass artery clogging again.
  • control his or her blood pressure. If medication is prescribed, it should be taken as directed.
  • follow a diet low in fat, cholesterol, and sodium.
  • lose weight, if needed
  • walk or do other exercise each day
  • What are the potential complications after the procedure?

    Potential complications after a heart bypass operation are:

  • infection
  • irregular heart beat, or arrhythmia
  • bleeding
  • clogging or blockage of the graft

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    Heart Bypass Surgery: Preparation & Expectations


    Author: Gail Hendrickson, RN, BS
    Reviewer: Adam Brochert, MD
    Date Reviewed: 08/07/01

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