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Cardiac Surgery

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Frequently Asked Questions

Cardiac Surgery FAQs

Staten Island University Hospital

 What is the recovery process like after Cardiac surgery?

 
  • This can take anywhere from 6-8 weeks depending on the surgery
  • Follow the specific guidelines your doctor has given you before leaving the hospital
  • Take your medication as instructed
 
What if I miss my medication?
  • Don’t skip, double or stop taking your medicine without checking with your doctor or nurse practitioner.
  • Never take another person’s medicine.
  • Talk to your doctor or nurse practitioner about taking the medicines you took before surgery.
 
Are there certain things I shouldn’t be doing while I am recovering?
  • Don’t skip, double or stop taking your medicine without checking with your doctor or nurse.
  • Don’t lift anything greater than five pounds or perform any heavy or hard activity that involves your arms or a lot of upper body strength.
  • Don’t sleep on your side or chest for two weeks, as this may interfere with the healing of your incision.
  • Don’t use lotion, cream, oil, ointment or powders on your chest or leg incision.
  • Don’t add salt to your food – check food labels for sodium.
  • Don’t eat processed foods like canned and frozen items which are very high in salt and sodium.
  • Don’t smoke, and avoid second-hand smoke.
  • Don’t drive until your doctor approves.
 
When should I call my doctor?
Call your doctor if you have any of the following symptoms:
  • Shortness of breath
  • Weigh yourself daily, and report a two-pound weight gain.
  • Dizziness or weakness
  • If you have chest pain, possibly call 911, depending on the severity of the pain
 
 
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