After Beating Heart Bypass Surgery Coronary Artery Disease (CAD)

Overview

Beating heart bypass surgery restores blood flow to your heart. Once this life-changing surgery is over, you can start taking steps to resume your life again.


Recovery

Typically, after your surgery is complete, you will be monitored in the intensive care unit (ICU). Usually, within 12 to 24 hours, when you are stabilized and alert, you'll be transferred to a regular care unit. Patients undergoing beating heart CABG or MICS CABG may have shorter hospital stays compared to conventional bypass.1,2 How long you are in the hospital depends on how well you are doing.

Following discharge, you will likely attend outpatient cardiac rehab sessions for 4 to 6 weeks – depending on your needs. Usually you'll start feeling better in 4 to 6 weeks.


Checkups and Monitoring

Follow-up varies from hospital to hospital. In most cases, you'll see the nurse in the clinic about a week after you’ve been discharged and the surgeon a month after your surgery. Other follow-up appointments come at 4 months and 1 year.

In the majority of people who have the surgery, the grafts remain open and functioning for several years. CABG improves blood flow to the heart but does not prevent the possible eventual recurrence of coronary blockage. To help prevent coronary artery disease from returning, you have to change your lifestyle. Make changes such as quitting smoking, improving your diet, exercising regularly, and treating high blood pressure and high cholesterol.


Tips for Caregivers

  • Help out with chores and errands during recovery.
  • Remind your loved one to take his or her prescribed medications according to doctor's instructions.
  • Help get medications refilled.
  • Help remember doctor appointments and doctor instructions.
  • Keep notes about insurance and other paperwork.
  • Listen to concerns and frustrations and offer support.
  • Encourage your loved one to join a support group to share experiences and thoughts with others in the same situation. (Hospitals and community centers often have support groups.)

1

Puskas J Cheng D, Knight J, Angelini G, DeCannier A, Dullum M, Martin J, Ochi M, Patel N, Sim E, Trehan N, Zamvar V. Off-pump versus conventional coronary artery bypass grafting; a meta-analysis and consensus statement from the 2005 ISMICS Consensus Conference. Innovations. 2005; 1;3-27.

2

Subramanian VA, Patel NU, Patel NC, Loulmet DF. Robotic assisted multivessel MidCAB with port-access stabilization and cardiac positioning: paving way for outpatient in CABG? Abstract submitted at the Society of Thoracic Surgeons meeting. San Antonio, TX January 25-28, 2004.


Information on this site should not be used as a substitute for talking with your doctor. Always talk with your doctor about diagnosis and treatment information.