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PREVENTIVE HEART CARE: RECOVERY FROM HEART SURGERY DURING PANDEMIC (COVID-19)

Recovery from heart surgery
  • Sep 17
  • Cardiac Surgery

If you have just had heart surgery, take heart and you’ll soon be able to get back to normal. Remember that, as in all surgeries, complete recovery after heart surgery takes a few weeks. If it was a complex operation, it could take a number of months.

However, you must be cautious at all times. It can help you recover better if you follow a few more precautions than usual, especially in these pandemic times. We tell you how.

Care against infections

After any surgery, the body becomes weak and is vulnerable to infections of any kind. It’s the same when you have just had heart surgery. With the COVID-19 virus and its different variants still around, you need to be extra careful. 

At Fortis Hospital: 

While you’re in the post-operative unit at our hospital, your steady recovery is a priority. Our exemplary and stringent infection-controlled environment and our highly qualified health staff ensure you are protected against any type of health intrusion. Your visitors, including your caregiving family, are thoroughly screened for any infections including COVID-19 and have limited or restricted access to meet you.

At home: 

Just as people with underlying health conditions are at higher risk of complications if they contract the virus, those with heart ailments too are in a delicate condition. By safeguarding yourself with a few extra precautions, especially during this pandemic, you can recover safely and steadily at home following your heart surgery, to get back to your healthy self sooner. Remember the saying ‘Prevention is better than cure’?

The best prevention of any infection is to avoid any kind of exposure to any type of virus including COVID-19. This means keeping far away from people as much as possible. So, it’s perfectly fine to be ‘unsociable’ to be safe. 

Here are some tips to strictly follow:

For You

  • Stay at home as much as possible and restrict your movements to within your room
  • Avoid meeting people outside of your family
  • Wear a double mask when you are around others, including your family, and maintain at least 6 feet distance from them
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • Disinfect objects and surfaces that you use often

For your care-givers

Following your surgery, you will still be in a vulnerable condition. You will need all the help and support at home while you are recovering. To keep you away from infections of any sort including the air-borne and quickly transmissible COVID-19, caregivers need to follow the strictest hygiene protocol such as:

  • Wearing a double face mask and gloves when they are in your room or around you
  • As far as possible, wearing a fresh mask and gloves with each visit
  • Keeping a safe distance of at least 6 feet when they interact with you
  • Frequently sanitizing your room and the objects and surfaces in it including the doorknobs, tables, window sills, etc.
  • Disinfecting the bathroom and keeping it ventilated
  • Keeping aside your dedicated cutlery and crockery and ensuring cleanliness at all times
  • Assigning another caregiver if the one assigned to you is sick

Doctor follow-ups

As you recover, your heart health will be consistently monitored by your doctors at Fortis Hospital. You will require follow-ups with your cardiologist. Do enquire with your doctor if it is necessary for you to visit the hospital or you could do it through a video call. If your doctor feels you need a physical check-up, Fortis Hospital will ensure it is done in utmost safety following all the stringent health protocols.

Home Rehabilitation

Eight weeks following the heart surgery, your cardiologist may recommend you attend a cardiac rehabilitation program to make your heart strong and increase your capacity for exercise. If an in-hospital cardiac rehab is not possible due to the ongoing pandemic, your doctor could prescribe home-based rehab programs. In this case, you may need specific exercise equipment which you could purchase online, or make do with household objects. Your doctor might conduct the rehab sessions through video calls too if you’re comfortable with telemedicine technology.

Safe medications

While you are recovering, you will be under strict medications to help you regain your heart strength. Though most surgeries these days are minimally invasive - which means they are safer, faster, and painless – there could be some degree of pain. In order to relieve you of any pain following your heart surgery, your doctor will prescribe medications. In order to avoid any human contact while buying medicines, the safest option is to upload your doctor’s prescription and buy them through online pharmacies which deliver them to your doorstep. 
Relax, keep stress away

It is natural to be anxious before and after heart surgery. The present pandemic would have added to your worry. For your own health and that of your family, it is required that you stay relaxed at all times during the recovery phase and after. 

  • Try meditation, deep breathing, and light exercises with your doctor’s advice
  • Keep yourself cheerful and happy by listening to music or playing a musical instrument
  • Play fun board games at home with the family that do not exhaust you
  • Eat a healthy diet prescribed by your doctor and drink plenty of water
  • Sleep well and stay rested because it can help in faster recovery

Most importantly, keep in constant touch with your cardiologist and inform her/him if you experience any abnormal symptoms such as chest pain, bleeding from the surgery spot, breathlessness, etc.

On your road to recovery to a strong heart once again, all it takes is a strong will to make it work against all odds including COVID-19.

About Fortis

With 28 hospitals across the nation and over 4000+ beds, Fortis Healthcare Limited is a leading integrated healthcare delivery service provider in India. For over 26 years, Fortis Hospitals have been committed to the cause of getting people back to their lives faster and stronger.

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