You had minimally invasive coronary artery bypass surgery on one or more of your coronary arteries. Your surgeon used an artery from your chest to create a detour, or bypass, around arteries that were blocked and could not bring blood to your heart. A 3- to 5-inch-long incision (cut) was made in the left part of your chest between your ribs. This allowed your doctor to reach your heart.
You may be able to leave the hospital 2 or 3 days after surgery. You may also be able to return to normal activities after 2 or 3 weeks.
After surgery, it is normal to:
You may want to have someone stay with you in your home for the first week.
Learn how to check your pulse, and check it every day.
Do the breathing exercises you learned in the hospital for the first 1 to 2 weeks.
Weigh yourself every day.
Shower every day, washing your incision gently with soap and water. Do NOT swim, soak in a hot tub, or take baths until your incision is completely healed. Follow a heart-healthy diet.
If you are feeling depressed, talk with your family and friends. Ask your provider about getting help from a counselor.
Continue to take all your medicines for your heart, diabetes, high blood pressure, or any other conditions you have.
Stay active during your recovery, but start slowly. Ask your doctor how active you should be.
Be careful how you use your arms and upper body when you move around for the first 2 or 3 weeks after your surgery. Ask your provider when you may return to work. For the first week after surgery:
You may be referred to a cardiac rehabilitation program. You will get information and counseling about activity, diet, and exercise.
Call your health care provider if:
Minimally invasive direct coronary artery bypass - discharge; MIDCAB - discharge; Robot assisted coronary artery bypass - discharge; RACAB - discharge; Keyhole heart surgery - discharge
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Gopaldas RR, Chu D, Bakaeen FG. Coronary insufficiency. In: Townsend CM Jr, Beauchamp RD, Evers BM, Mattox KL, eds. Sabiston Textbook of Surgery. 19th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2012:chap 60.
Vandvik PO, Lincoff AM, Gore JM, Gutterman DD, Sonnenberg FA, Alonso-Coello P, et al. Primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease: Antithrombotic Therapy and Prevention of Thrombosis, 9th ed: American College of Chest Physicians Evidence-Based Clinical Practice Guidelines. Chest. 2012;141:e637S-e68S.
Updated by: Michael A. Chen, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Medicine, Division of Cardiology, Harborview Medical Center, University of Washington Medical School, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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