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Question:

What are the signs that one is recovering after heart surgery?

After heart surgery what are signs of recovery? My incisions are healing – 4 weeks. I get dizzy when I stand up. I get tired after 3 hours of walking.

Submitted by Marvin from Texas on 11/01/2014

Answer:
by J. Michael Duncan, MD

Recovery after heart surgery is different for each individual, based on his/her preoperative condition and other conditions affecting one’s health. Having said that, however, a few generalizations about ‘recovery’ can be drawn:

Evidence of healing of the sternum and the skin incisions;
Progressive tolerance of gradual resumption of activities; walking should be for brief periods, each followed by a period of rest;
Progressive resumption of a heart-healthy diet with plenty of liquids for hydration. Often, appetite may be slow to return to normal, however, remaining well hydrated is important.
At four weeks following surgery, you are still rather early in your overall recovery. Be patient with yourself, see your doctor for follow-up exams as recommended, and follow his/her advice.