Activity After Surgery
The next morning after surgery, you will be sitting in a chair. You are
to sit for all three meals.
You will also be given an Incentive Spirometer, a small, hand-held device
used to measure how well you are filling your lungs. The Incentive Spirometer
also encourages you to circulate air in your lungs. You should use the
Incentive Spirometer 10 times every hour while awake. This helps improve
breathing and prevents an infection in your lungs. Deep breathing and
coughing are also important to remove any leftover fluids out of the lungs.
You will be given a heart pillow to splint your chest area while coughing
or deep breathing. This helps to decrease pain and allows the sternal
bone to heal.
Pain is something that can’t be avoided with open-heart surgery,
but it can be alleviated by various techniques including:
- Using a heart pillow to splint the chest area when coughing, deep breathing or moving
- Relaxation techniques
Pain is an individual experience for each patient. In order to alleviate
pain it takes communication and teamwork between the patient and the clinical staff.
Transfer Out of the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (CICU)
Once you are stable and the lines in your neck and wrist have been removed,
you will be transferred to the Telemetry Unit located on the fourth floor
of the hospital. You will have more independence while on the Telemetry
Unit, which will prepare you to return home.
Telemetry Unit Visiting Hours
Visiting hours on the Telemetry Unit are from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Please limit
visitors and they need to make visits short. You need rest in preparation
to return home. If one family member would like to spend the night, they
are allowed to do so.
Once on the Telemetry Unit you will be expected to start walking in the
hallway six times a day until discharge. The first couple of walks should
be with the nurse and physical therapist. As the nurse feels appropriate
you will be allowed to walk independently in the halls.
While on the Telemetry Unit, you will continue using the Inventive Spirometer
and continue deep breathing exercises with the heart pillow.
Pain will decrease as time passes. If the pain is not being controlled
please let the nurse or physician know.