5 Things You Shouldn’t Do After Undergoing Heart Surgery

A doctor with a clipboard advises a female patient in a hospital room while a heart monitor reports her vital signs.

After you undergo heart surgery, you need to pay careful attention to your body’s needs and limitations. For women who have recently undergone cardiac surgery, understanding what not to do is just as important as knowing the right steps to take toward recovery. Read on to learn about five things you shouldn’t do after undergoing heart surgery.

Overwork Your Body

The first rule of your recovery time is not to overexert yourself. Your body has gone through a significant ordeal and needs time to heal. Engaging in strenuous activities or pushing yourself too hard can lead to complications, delayed healing, or even additional heart strain.

Listen to your body’s signals and prioritize rest. Gentle walks and light activities approved by your health-care provider can be beneficial, but always stay within comfortable limits.

Go on an Airplane

If you’re thinking about flying to a tropical climate once the hospital releases you, think again. One important tip for safer air travel after heart surgery is not to do it hastily.

The conditions on an airplane can threaten your health and recovery. Furthermore, the stress and exertion involved in navigating an airport can be more taxing than you realize. Avoid going too soon—your dream destinations will always be there.

Pick Up Very Heavy Objects

Lifting heavy objects is a definite “no” following heart surgery. This activity can significantly increase your heart rate and blood pressure, putting undue stress on your heart and the surgical site.

Avoid lifting anything heavier than 10 pounds for as long as your surgeon advises. This precaution helps prevent the risk of incisional hernia and ensures that the healing process remains uninterrupted.

Sleep Too Long During Daytime

While adequate rest is vital, getting too much daytime sleep is another thing you shouldn’t do after undergoing heart surgery. This can disrupt your normal sleep-wake cycle, leading to sleep difficulties. Establish a regular sleep schedule, reserving the night for uninterrupted sleep.

Drive a Car

Driving a car involves physical exertion that might be too much too soon and places you in a situation where sudden movements could harm your healing heart. Steering and operating pedals also require more effort than many realize, and the risk of an accident could seriously affect your recovery. Health-care providers will advise most patients to wait until their doctors clear them to get back behind the wheel.

During your recovery time, take extra care of yourself while focusing on healing and regaining your strength. Avoiding these five activities will minimize the risk of complications and allow a successful return to your regular life.

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