Recovery After Minimal Invasive Heart Surgery
After the minimally invasive heart surgery you will be moved to the recovery area or the ICU (intensive care unit), where all your vitals will be closely watched. From ICU you are most likely shift to regular room or to special care unit. The hospital stay after minimally invasive heart surgery varies from person to person, but often 5 to 7 days are there in the hospital.
After the surgery
When you first walk up you might feel unsteady, thirsty or cold. If the breathing tube is still in place you won’t be able to talk. You will find flexible tubes in your chest to drain air, blood and fluid. Intravenous (IV) lines give you fluid and medication. Monitors record your heartbeat and the amount of oxygen in your blood.
To manage the pain a nurse is suppose to give pain medication to you. Sometimes a special pump is used for this purpose called PCA or patient-controlled analgesia pump. This pump lets you give yourself small amount of pain medication as you require them.
You will soon start moving around to improve your muscles strength and blood flow. The nurse or the therapist will help you when you first get up and walk for a small distance. You will be taught by them range of motion exercise to help you stretch and strengthen your muscles as they heal.
To keep you lungs clear deep breathing and coughing exercise is carried out. This also makes your breathing muscles stronger, and prevents further complications. The nurse or the therapist will also teach you a number of exercises before or soon after the surgery. And the exercises are supposed to be performed as instructed by them.
If you have heart valve surgery you may need to take an anticoagulants or blood thinner. How much of the medication is required by the body will take some time to adjust. Much of the adjustment will happen before you go home. Your doctor will talk with you about this and if any other medication is required by the body.
When you are going home
Before you go home you will have a short face to face meeting with doctor who will discuss the result of your surgery with you. The doctor will also review the next stage of your treatment plan and accordingly schedule your future visits. When you are about to leave the hospital, you will need to have an adult friend or family member drive you home.