What Lifestyle Should A Heart Patient Adopt After Heart Surgery?

Heart Surgery

According to iData Research, over 900,000 heart surgeries are performed yearly in the United States. Even after heart surgery, not many people are lucky enough to survive many years as the mortality rate is between 13-28% up to 3 years after the surgery. As heart surgery is a major event in a person’s life, it is essential to make lifestyle changes to maintain optimal health and reduce the risk of future heart problems. This blog will discuss the lifestyle changes a heart patient should adopt after heart surgery.

Consume a Healthy Diet

Consuming healthy food after heart surgery is vital to avoid the risk of heart disease and maintain overall heart health. For heart patients, doctors advise consuming simple and less oily food. Below are the foods that a heart patient can consume after surgery. 

Fruits: Apples, berries, oranges, bananas, pears, grapes and prunes

Vegetables: Leafy green vegetables, carrots, broccoli, canned and frozen vegetables low in sodium and butter

Protein Rich Foods: Fish, lean meats, eggs, nuts, seeds, and legumes 

Whole Grains: Brown rice, oatmeal, whole-grain bread and tortilla

Fat-Free or Low-fat Dairy: Including milk, yoghurt, cheese 

Heart-healthy Oils: Olive, corn, canola, sunflower, and peanut oil 

Additionally, heart patients must avoid taking processed foods, saturated fats, and added sugars. The suggestions below should be kept in mind regarding foods to avoid for heart patients. 

Fried Foods: French fries, fried chicken and other fried foods

Baked Items: Pizza, cake, pastries, cookies, muffins etc

Processed Meats: Salami, sausage, hot dogs

White Foods: White rice, white bread, white pasta, anything made from white flour

Added Sugars: Sweetened drinks, snacks, sweets 

Alcohol: Wine and other alcoholic drinks 

Continuous Monitoring of Blood Pressure and Cholesterol

High blood pressure and cholesterol are the significant factors causing heart disease in most patients. So, patients must regularly monitor their cholesterol and BP to maintain their heart health. Besides this, they should regularly get their EKG test done to remain up to date with their heart condition. Any abnormalities in ECG or EKG test must be discussed with the doctor immediately for timely treatment

Getting Help with Stress and Anxiety 

Many heart problems can be triggered by minor stress, including insufficient blood flow to the heart muscles. Long-term anxiety and stress cause blood clotting, making the blood thicker and increasing the chances of strokes. Thus, managing stress is much more important for patients to remain healthy after bypass or heart surgery. They should practice relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, or yoga to manage stress.

Quit Smoking 

If you are a heart patient and a smoker as well, this combination will not end well in your favor. It is indeed one of the crucial factors leading to heart attacks. So, if a patient is recovering after heart surgery, he should quit smoking as soon as possible. For this, they can take help from a health care provider or also join cessation programs to quit smoking. The outcome will definitely be in your favor and help you live healthily. 

Indulge In Some Physical Activities 

Heart SurgeryRegular exercise is crucial for maintaining heart health. Patients should aim to engage in at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise daily or thrice weekly. However, consulting with a doctor before starting any exercise program is essential. You can choose any of the following physical activities as per your choice. 

  • Fast walking or jogging
  • Swimming 
  • Playing tennis 
  • Cycling
  • Hiking

Final Thoughts 

After heart surgery, patients need time to recover and regain their strength. Even after recovery, they must take good care of themselves to live healthy and risk-free life. That’s why opting for a healthy lifestyle after heart surgery, or disease is mandatory. Consult with your healthcare provider regularly and follow the above guidelines to stay active and healthy. 


How long does the healing process usually take following heart surgery?

Depending on the procedure and the patient, recovery time following heart surgery can vary. However, most patients should expect to recover from surgery in 4-6 weeks.

What can patients do during the healing process following cardiac surgery to encourage healing and avoid complications?

Patients can promote their recovery and avoid complications by adhering to their doctor’s recommendations for rest, activity, and medication administration. In addition, they should maintain a nutritious diet, avoid smoking and excessive alcohol use, and show up for all follow-up sessions with their medical team.

What are some common complications that can develop following heart surgery?

Typical post-heart surgery complications include bleeding, infection, arrhythmia, and fluid accumulation around the heart or lungs. Combining medicine and rest can help manage these issues. Patients should monitor their symptoms and contact their medical team if they notice any worrying changes in their health.

Dr. Abbas
Dr. Abbas Raza Mian, MD, is an experienced health care provider primarily located in Watauga, Fort Worth. He has specializes in Internal Medicine, Other Specialty, and Hospital Medicine. Dr. Mian is affiliated with a regional medical center.

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