Definition of "open-heart surgery."
It is a procedure of opening the chest wall to operate directly on the heart and heart vessels.
A heart-lung machine acts as a pump to circulate and oxygenate the blood during surgery.
Types of surgery may include valve replacement, septal repair, aneurysm or thrombus excision, coronary artery bypass grafting, etc.
Typical post-operative instructions.
Follow activity as directed.
Perform coughing and deep breathing as instructed, splinting incision to decrease pain.
Avoid driving and lifting more than ten pounds until given permission by surgeon.
Sexual activity may be resumed when permission is given by surgeon.
Increase activity gradually with adequate rest periods.
Continue exercises at cardiac rehabilitation program if ordered.
Follow diet program as instructed by surgeon.
Eat foods that are low in cholesterol and sodium. (Provide "Decrease Cholesterol" and "Restrict Sodium" handouts.)
Wear anti-embolism stockings, if ordered, to improve circulation and decrease swelling.
Provide care to incision as directed.
Keep incision clean.
Assess for signs and symptoms of infection such as redness, warmth, drainage, etc.
Monitor weight for early detection of congestive heart failure.
Monitor fever for early detection of infection.
Follow medications as instructed, and keep follow-up appointments.
Symptoms to report immediately.
Palpitations, fast heart rate, or irregular pulse.
Dizziness or increased fatigue.
Sudden weight gain or swelling of extremities.
Shortness of breath.
Possible complications of open-heart surgery.