how helpful health care clinics can be

Why You Should Consider a Structured Rehabilitation Program After Open Heart Surgery

by Bonnie Gordon

Open heart surgery only takes a few hours, but recovery from your surgery can take a lot longer. If you want to ensure your recovery goes smoothly, you may want to consider a rehabilitation program. Here's a look at some of the benefits:

1. Guidance on Exercises

After you have open heart surgery, your doctor may recommend that you take it easy for a few weeks. Depending on your current level of activity, you may no longer be able to go to aerobics classes, ride your bicycle, or jog. However, you don't want to be completely sedentary.

If you go to a rehabilitation program, they can help you find balance between these two extremes. Professionals can show you which exercises are the safest and most effective for someone in your situation.

2. Help Reducing Risk Factors

There are a number of actions that can increase your likelihood of needing another surgery. For example, drinking or taking drugs can exacerbate your heart issues and potentially lead to more problems. When you go to a structured rehab program after your surgery, you can get help with these risk factors.

3. Assistance With Wound Care

Through a rehabilitation program, you can also get help with wound care. After a heart surgery, it's very important to keep the site of the wound as clean as possible. If you notice any signs of infection, it's important to report them to your doctor. Unfortunately, it can sometimes be challenging to know whether or not you should be concerned.

Luckily, if you are going to a rehabilitation program a few times a week, you don't have to worry about noticing these symptoms on your own. If you want to ensure you're cleaning the wound right or if you have a question about something that is happening, you can simply ask the health care providers at the rehabilitation program.

4. Support With Emotional Issues

Going through an open heart surgery can be scary. For many people, it brings up stress, anxiety, or even depression. If you already struggle with these issues, they may be heightened after your surgery.

Other patients struggle with fear of death or other intense emotions. Luckily, many rehabilitation programs offer help with these issues as well. Remember, recovery is not just about your heart and your body. It's also about your mind. For example, you may get to meet with a counselor or have group sessions with other people recovering from open heart surgery.