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Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery and or Valve Surgery

Going home after Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery and or Valve Surgery

General Information

  • We recommend that you do not live alone for the initial few weeks following your surgery.
  • Continue to wear your compression stocking for 14 days after your surgery or per your surgeon’s advice.
  • Eat a healthy diet and drink 1-1.5L fluid to prevent constipation. Over the counter aperients are available, please do not strain.
  • Eating a healthy diet high in protein and low salt is recommended to help your body heal, reduce your risk of complications, and enable you to recover.
  • Further information is available on the heart foundation website: https://www.heartfoundation.or...
  • You may experience changes in your mood over the first few months following surgery. These changes can affect you in different ways, for example: feeling depressed or unusually irritable – it is important to remember these changes are temporary and will gradually improve. Please speak with your GP if you are concerned about ongoing depression.
  • If you have had heart valve surgery, please advise your dentist and/or surgeon if you have any scheduled dental procedures in the future as you may require a course of antibiotics.
  • Driving: The RTA enforces no driving of private vehicles for a minimum of 4 weeks and 3 months for commercial vehicles.

Follow Up Information

  • Your surgeon will contact you within the first 7-10 days following discharge from hospital.
  • Expect to see your surgeon in their clinic in 6 weeks.
  • Please arrange to see your cardiologist 4-6 weeks after discharge.


  • Your medications may have changed while you were in hospital. Nursing staff or the Pharmacist will go through them with you.
  • If you are prescribed warfarin, please ensure you are aware of your dosing requirements and subsequent blood tests.
  • A medication profile will be given to you on discharge and a copy will be sent to both your cardiologist and GP.

Wound Care

  • Your wound/s will be exposed on discharge. Shower as normal and gently pat dry. Do not apply lotions directly to the wounds until it has completely healed, and the scabs have fallen off.
  • Do not soak in the bath or swimming pools for a minimum of 6 weeks or as advised by your surgeon
  • If you have sutures/staples, please arrange to see your GP 3-5 days after discharge so they can be removed.
  • Some swelling and redness are normal – if you notice an increase in redness, swelling, tenderness or ooze develops, please contact your local doctor. It is normal for the skin on both sides of the leg and chest wound to feel slightly numb.

Pain Management

The amount of pain experienced after surgery will vary from person to person but expect to experience some discomfort. We advise you to take paracetamol regularly for the first week after discharge.


Gentle walking is the best form of exercise after surgery, we advise you to walk as much as you like as long as you feel comfortable.

Our physiotherapist will guide you on the types of exercises that you should undertake at home. It is important to remember to avoid any activity which puts any undue strain on your chest over the first 12 weeks, such as lawn mowing.

Cardiac Rehabilitation Program

After discharge we strongly recommend you attend a Cardiac Rehabilitation Program. The aim of cardiac rehabilitation programs is to help you resume your normal activities, regain your confidence, improve your fitness and assist you in identifying and controlling particular risk factors.

You will also meet other people who have been through a similar experience.

Your nurse will advise you on your nearest Cardiac Rehabilitation Centre and go through this with you before discharge.

Preferred Rehabilitation Providers

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact Dr Arjun Iyer’s rooms on 0475 130 949 during business hours.
Afterhours contact the Critical Care Nurses in the Coronary Care Unit on (02) 9579 7733.