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Do'd and Dont's After Surgery

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  • Do'd and Dont's After Surgery

    I was never given a list of dos and don'ts before I left the hospital.
    My husband is now calling me lazy and will not help me.
    He says I need to stand and do things for myself.

    Does anyone know of where I can find this list?

  • #2
    Hi Shari and welcome to the insane asylum.

    End of March surgery huh? That's about 5 weeks.

    You'll find some info in this thread, but it would more helpful to know your current condition since surgery.


    • #3
      This file may be helpful to you also.

      This link is even better:


      • #4
        I wasn't told about Do's and Don'ts except not to lift anything over 10 lbs. and no sitting in the front seat of a car if it had air bags. Its been two years, and I don't recall no one telling me I can drive or lift 10 lbs or more. I'm doing it all now, but you do have to listen to your body. It will tell you when you've had enough and need to rest.

        Oh, by the way, welcome to the forum
        Laughter is the Best Medicine
        MVR March 30/07 Carbomedics Valve - Said and done and home in 4 days


        • #5
          You need to describe how you are feeling at 5 weeks after surgery. Also it would be very helpful for all here to understand what transpired right before your surgery, i.e., what was the nature of the surgery? Was it just a valve replacement or did it also involve aneurysm repair or CABG problems or MAZE procedure? What type of valve was implanted? Do you have a pacemaker? What medications are you on post surgery? Have you yet been discharged by your surgeon? Have you had the first appt. with your cardiologist.

          How did you do during surgery. Was it uneventful, or were there problems while hospitalized?

          5 weeks is still in the early stages of recovery. Yes, you should be getting up and walking around as much as possible. But you still may have lifting restrictions. They didn't tell you at discharge that you shouldn't be lifting anything heavy? That is very, very important to proper healing of your sternum. You should not be lifting anything even as simple as a gallon of milk, and you should not be doing anything that involves twisting and lifting at the same time.

          Your sternum was split in two, and like other bones, it has to heal back together. If you cause it to open up, it may heal apart and that will cause you problems forever. Yes, the surgeon has wired you together so nothing will come apart easily, but things can still happen.

          You are probably feeling very tired still and might require naps during the day.

          You may not feel like your old self for 6 months or even longer.

          This is major, major surgery, and recovery is not the same as a simple surgery like an appendectomy.


          • #6
            Welcome to VR. Glad you found us.

            Here a link to the book my hospital gave me when I was discharged. I hope it helps.


            Best wishes and good luck.
            02/28/06 Mitral Valve Repair & closure of atrial septal defect - Dr. Tirone David
            03/24/06 Pericardial Tamponade


            • #7
              Hello Shari, and welcome.
              At 5 weeks post op I was still moping around the house, needing help to bathe, etc.
              I think that the hospital vampires took so much blood, that I was half dead for weeks. ;)
              BAV-Aortic Stenosis...AVR Oct 11, 2005 / St.Jude Regent mechanical 21mm
              INR Home testing since 2007 with Coaguchek XS...Self-Dosing


              • #8
                Hi Shari,
                Welcome. Happy you found us and hope each day you feel better.

                I agree with all the above posts. You've had serious surgery and each of us heals at different rate. What one person is able to do at 6 weeks may be very different for someone else.

                I had two OHS and I healed much faster my second than my first which was four years previously. One would think it would be the reverse but you need to listen to your body.

                On the other hand, movement is very important for healing and recovery. Each has different abilities and, of course, all motion needs to be tailored to each patient but I found the more I moved around, the better I felt.

                But, do not lift. That can't be emphasized too much. I was told no lifting of more than ten pounds for about the first month. I think my doctors may have raised it to 15 about two months.

                Hope you have a smooth recovery.


                • #9
                  I'm 14 days post op, for me they told me no lifting over 10lbs, no pushing/pulling and not to use my arms to get out of bed, rather to roll or use my stomache muscles. I would recomend speaking with your doctor as I believe most discharge plans are unique to each individual. Hang in there and get well soon.
                  Phil. Aortic Valve (Edwards 23 mm 3000TFX) and Aortic Root Replacement 4.21.09, St. Mary's Hospital, Reno, NV. Surgeon: Dr. Roumanas


                  • #10
                    Here are the guidelines from Northwestern Memorial Hospital. I also got some material from PT, but don't have a link to a pdf of it.



                    • #11
                      Do's & Don't's

                      Yes indeed, there's probably a very nice list of do's & don't's out there. While I would never encourage anyone to not pay much attention to that list, I kinda did whatever I felt like doing after my AVR surgery. Yes, there are probably folks out there who would accurately comment that I moved too fast, but I needed to and I did okay. I've always been one of those people who liked to do for myself and relying on someone else to do for me just didn't feel good.

                      If you want an accurate list of what you can and can't do, you should probably visit with your cardiologist. He can assess where you are with recovery much more accurately than anyone here.



                      • #12
                        Do you have a history of laziness? I doubt it. Has your husband had his chest cracked open? You could always hope that he gets to have that experience himself; it might change his thinking.
                        Celia, wife of Jerry (the patient)
                        AVR 2/12/02, St Jude's Mechanical
                        1 bypass
                        Pericardial Window 4/22/02
                        Cox Medical Center, Springfield MO


                        • #13
                          Welcome aboard, Shari, and sorry that your husband says you are lazy...he does not realize how major the OHS is or he is trying to push you to recovery. My advise is do not rush it and listen to your body.

                          Aortic & Mitral valves replaced with St. Jude Mechanical valves @ age 57 on 9/2/08

                          INR home tester/Coagucheck

                          Forum Rules: " .... medical opinions expressed in this forum are the personal opinions of individuals. No person should at any time
                          act on the information contained herein without the express consent of your own physician."


                          • #14
                            Do's and don'ts

                            I think you need a new husband first. Until he gets cracked open like we have and understands how weak we can be for many weeks after OHS, he should be more considerate, and pitch in and help.

                            Your body will tell you when you're on the border of doing too much. Like others have said the lifting is the thing to be careful of. Do as much walking as you like is what my surgeon told me, and that has worked fine. I am now 9 months post op and am finally feeling like myself again.

                            The only lazy one here is the husband. As the 69 year old father of 3 adult daughters I have a special place in my heart for husbands that don't step up and help when the woman needs it the most.


                            • #15
                              I am at least 36 days since I have had surgery.

                              I am having right knee joint pain when I move from a chair to my walker.

                              My sternum hurts about all the time.

                              Hubby is now realizing that I am not healing like he thought I should.