STATE-OF-THE-ART SURGICAL TREATMENT FOR PATIENTS WITH HEART AND LUNG FAILURE

Information

 

Patient Care

 

It's normal to wonder what your life will be like after heart or lung surgery. How will things change? Will you be able to do the things you enjoyed before your operation? Here you will find answers to frequently asked questions, and tips to maintaining your post operative well being.

 

It is important to remember that each person is different. Every person has an individual disease process, has had a specific surgery to fit their needs, and therefore responds differently to surgery and post operative activity. Please use this page as a general guideline for post operative care.

 

Please also remember that we are happy to answer any questions that aren't covered here, and know that we are here for you to help you through this stressful time.

Insurance

 

FACT Surgery is participating MEDICARE and MEDICAID providers.  We accept most insurance plans.  Please call our office at (813) 844-3228 and we will be happy to contact your insurance company to verify benefits.

New Patient Paperwork

 

What To Expect

 

It will take 4 to 6 weeks to start feeling better.

 

It is normal to experience a decrease in appetite. Many patients also notice a diminished or absent sense of taste. These symptoms should subside a few weeks after your operation.

 

Some swelling is also normal, especially if there is an incision in your leg. Elevating your leg frequently and wearing compression stockings during the day will help to reduce swelling in your legs.

 

You may have difficulty sleeping. A good night's sleep will help your body to rest, and make the next day much easier. Stay active during the day, and take a pain pill before bed if you are having trouble falling asleep.

 

Constipation is also very common after surgery. This can be caused by your pain medications. It is important to continue taking your pain medications if you are having pain. Take a stool softener or laxative of your choice, and add more fruit, fiber, and juice to your diet.

 

Muscle pain or tightness in your shoulders and upper back between your shoulder blades is also common. This will resolve over time. This discomfort is related to the opening of your chest during surgery, which allowed exposure to your heart or lungs.

 

Lumps located at the top of your incision will also disappear with time.

incision care

 

It is safe to wash your incisions with mild soap and warm water on a daily basis. Avoid hot water and vigorous scrubbing.

 

Seven days after discharge you can remove any tape that is left on your skin.

 

Avoid direct sunlight to your incisions. Incisions may sunburn easily, so be sure to protect them from overexposure to sunlight during the first year after your surgery. Your incision's scar will also darken with sun exposure.

 

Check your incisions daily, and notify your physician if you notice an increase in tenderness, redness or swelling of the incision site. Also notify your physician of drainage from your incision, or if you experience a persistent fever.

 

FOR LEG INCISIONS

Care for them as described above and follow these guidelines:

 

• Avoid crossing your legs, this impairs circulation.

 

• Avoid sitting in one position or standing for prolonged periods of time.

 

• Elevate your leg on a stool or coffee table when sitting.

 

• Check your leg daily for swelling. Swelling should decrease when you elevate your leg, however it may return when standing. If you continue to have leg swelling, or the swelling becomes worse, notify your physician.

 

• Wear compression stockings while awake for at least two weeks after discharge. The stockings help decrease swelling and increase circulation.

 

• Remove your stockings at bedtime and wash them with mild soap and water daily.

Activity

 

After surgery you will feel like you have no energy at all. It is important to push yourself to be active. Some patients benefit from Cardiac Rehabilitation, a program that provides medically supervised exercise. Other patients gradually increase their level of activity on their own. It is important to regain confidence in your ability to do things.

 

It is vital that you stop any activity immediately if you feel short of breath, dizzy, faint, have chest pain, or notice irregular heartbeats. Rest until these symptoms subside. If they do not subside within 20 minutes, go to the closest emergency room or call 911.

 

A general rule is to do what feels comfortable.

 

It is okay to shower. Avoid extremely hot water, and avoid soaking in baths for approximately 2 to 4 weeks after surgery.

 

Wear comfortable, loose fitting clothing. Do not wear clothing that puts undue pressure on your incisions.

 

Find a balance between rest and exercise. Rest between activities and take short naps as necessary. Rest at least 30 minutes after meals before exercising.

 

Any form of aerobic exercise, like walking, is excellent for your postoperative recovery. It increases circulation throughout the body and to the heart muscle. It is important to increase your activity gradually. Walk at your own pace. Stop and rest if you get tired. Remember, cardiac rehabilitation is always an option. Don't compare yourself to others who had surgery, because each person progresses at a different rate after heart surgery.

 

It is preferable that you do not climb stairs in the first few weeks following your discharge. Climbing stairs will cause you to become tired very easily. If you do use stairs, use a slow pace and stop and rest if you tire. Always use the assistance of a handrail, but do not pull yourself up with your arms. This will put pressure and stress on your sternum (breastbone) wound.

 

You can resume sexual activity when you feel comfortable. For many people this is about 2 to 4 weeks after discharge.

 

Do not drive for 4 to 6 weeks, especially if you are driving by yourself. Early after surgery your reflexes may be limited or slow, and this can impair your reaction time. Irregular heart rhythm is also very common up to 6 weeks following surgery, if this happens, you could become dizzy and get into a car accident. When traveling, be sure to stop frequently. Get out of the car for a short stretch and walk to prevent blood clots forming in your leg veins.

 

Avoid lifting, pushing, or pulling anything heavier than 10 pounds for at least 6 weeks after surgery.

 

FOR 4 TO 6 WEEKS AFTER SURGERY, FOLLOW STERNAL PRECAUTIONS.

These precautions will protect your sternum (breastbone) wound, and help prevent pain:

 

• Do not push or pull with your arms. (e.g., When getting out of bed).

 

• Do not flex or extend your arms above 90 degrees.

 

• Avoid reaching too far across your body.

 

• Avoid twisting or deep bending.

 

• Do not hold your breath during activity.

 

• Brace your chest (with a pillow) when coughing or sneezing.

This is vital during the first two weeks after discharge.

 

• Avoid long periods of over the shoulder activity. (e.g., brushing

your hair. • Bring your head down to your arm). If you feel any pulling

or stretching in your chest, stop what you are doing. Do not repeat

the motion that is causing this feeling.

 

• Report any clicking or popping noise around your sternum

(breastbone) to your surgeon right away

diet

 

Begin making changes to your diet when your appetite returns to normal.

 

Follow a low fat, no added salt diet after discharge.

 

This may reduce your risk of a heart attack in the future, as well as your risk for requiring angioplasty or surgery again.

 

•  Avoid adding salt during cooking or at the table. Sodium attracts and holds water. An increase in water in the body can cause the  heart to work harder.

 

• Try to have less than 30% of your calories from fat. The fat in your diet should be from "good" fat like omega 6 or omega 3 fatty acids. These are found in canola oil and fish oil. "Bad" fat is saturated fat, otherwise known as trans fatty acids. This type of fat is found in most packaged food as hydrogenated oil.

 

• Avoid foods high in cholesterol such as butter, eggs, and fried foods. Check your nutrition labels.

 

Try to control your weight. Weigh yourself daily, at the same time each morning, after you urinate, and before you eat breakfast. Use the same scale every day, and keep a record of your daily weights. If you gain two pounds or more overnight, notify your physician.

medications

 

It is very important to take your medication exactly the way your physician prescribes.

 

Keep a current list in your wallet or purse, detailing your medications, dosages, and time of day each medication is to be taken.

 

Do not take other medications without telling your physician, and call your heart surgeon if you have any questions regarding your prescribed medicine.

 

It is important to understand that medications can cause side effects.

 

You shouldn't hesitate to go to the nearest emergency room or call 911 if you experience any of the following side effects, or if you are not feeling well in general after your discharge.

 

• Excessive nausea, diarrhea, constipation or stomach pain

 

• Vomiting

 

• Dizziness or lightheadedness when standing

 

• Confusion

 

• Tingling in hands and feet

 

• Extremely slow or fast pulse

 

• Skin rash

 

• Unusual bruising or bleeding

THE HEART OF WHAT WE DO.

At FACT Surgery, we provide comprehensive surgical treatment for patients with heart and lung disease. We are experienced in complex surgeries on high risk patients and pride ourselves on our expertise and knowledge of our advanced cardiothoracic procedures.

 

© 2013-2017 FLORIDA ADVANCED CARDIOTHORACIC SURGERY. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

 

The information contained this web site is provided for your general information only. FACT Surgery does not give medical advice or engage in the practice of medicine. FACT Surgery under no circumstances recommends particular treatment for specific individuals and in all cases recommends that you consult your physician or local treatment center before pursuing any course of treatment.

 

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patient info

Information

 

Patient Care

 

It's normal to wonder what your life will be like after heart or lung surgery. How will things change? Will you be able to do the things you enjoyed before your operation? Here you will find answers to frequently asked questions, and tips to maintaining your post operative well being.

 

It is important to remember that each person is different. Every person has an individual disease process, has had a specific surgery to fit their needs, and therefore responds differently to surgery and post operative activity. Please use this page as a general guideline for post operative care.

 

Please also remember that we are happy to answer any questions that aren't covered here, and know that we are here for you to help you through this stressful time.


 

 

Insurance

 

FACT Surgery is participating MEDICARE and MEDICAID providers.  We accept most insurance plans.  Please call our office at (813) 844-3228 and we will be happy to contact your insurance company to verify benefits.

 

 

 

 

New Patient Paperwork

 

To download our patient forms, we recommend you use a laptop or desktop, as the forms will be to large on mobile and tablet devices.

 

 

 

 

about your surgery

 

Click links below to learn more about care and precautions.

What To Expect

Incision Care

Activity

Diet

Medications