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.
Seek medical attention/advice if you have any of the following symptoms:
Fever, redness, or bleeding/excessive oozing from any wounds
Increasing pain levels not relieved with pain medications
Dizziness or light-headedness that does not go away on rest
Extreme shortness of breath
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.
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.
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.
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.
If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact Dr 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.