Recovering after heart surgery is separated into phases. The first stage lasts between six and eight weeks, starting after the patient's discharge from the hospital. This step focuses on patients’ immediate physical and emotional health.
One of the biggest concerns involves proper maintenance of the wound. The incision must stay clean and dry, and it can only be cleansed with soap and water. Warning signs that people should look for include increased oozing, redness around the wound, higher-than-normal body temperature, and a feeling that the sternum is moving.
Patients should also restrict their daily activities until doctors approve them to perform more intensive actions. However, they can build up their tolerance by regularly increasing the amount of effort they exert each day. Pushing and pulling heavy objects and lifting objects greater than 10 pounds are not recommended. Additionally, every-day tasks such as getting dressed, walking, and engaging in hobbies can improve mental health by bringing people back to their regular routines.