It’s no wonder that physical therapy after bypass surgery is important. How long does it take one to recover from the surgery? What side effects can I expect? Those are just some questions a patient, or their family, may have after they or a loved one undergoes bypass surgery.
Bypass surgery has become the most common form of heart surgery in the United States. Surgeons perform coronary bypass on approximately 200,000 patients per year. As a result, we now have reams of data on bypass surgery and the best way to recover from it. The results are encouraging, particularly with respect to physical therapy.
Physical therapy after bypass surgery
Physical therapy after bypass surgery is an integral part of any cardiac rehabilitation program. Suggested by leading medical providers, physical therapy includes several forms of low-impact exercises that strengthen the heart and other muscles. Patients will also undergo exercises to condition the body and heart to better process oxygen. These exercises can include walking, bike riding, stair-stepping, and even light strength training.
Recovery period after bypass surgery
The recovery period after bypass surgery depends on the age and overall physical health of the patient. While some can expect to fully recover in less than twelve weeks, others may have to wait longer while their body recovers from the trauma of surgery. Physical therapy and other forms of cardiac rehabilitation can help shorten this timeframe.
For those who are in less than peak physical condition before the surgery, including those who are elderly, cardiac rehabilitation can be of particular help to prevent complications and reduce the risks inherent in recovering from major surgery.
How physical therapy helps
Supervised physical therapy helps patients recover from bypass surgery by slowly reconditioning the heart and other muscles. Training can include cardiovascular, flexibility, and strength conditioning exercises. This kind of physical therapy is designed to promote recovery and reduce the risk of injury in the future.
As in virtually all areas of life, exercise can greatly improve outcomes after bypass surgery and assist with the quality of life of the patient.
How serious is this surgery?
While it is certainly considered major surgery, coronary bypass surgery is now quite commonplace, and complications are relatively uncommon. Every surgery carries risks but most heart surgeons are well-versed and trained in the procedure, which further reduces the risk of complications. A careful program of cardiac rehabilitation, including supervised physical therapy, further lowers the likelihood of complications after the surgery. Keep in mind that only trained therapists should guide the patient through physical therapy after a major surgery like a coronary bypass.
Haym Salomon Home’s physical therapists
At Haym Salomon Home for Nursing & Rehabilitation in Brooklyn NY, we offer some of the best professional physical therapists to help your loved one, or you, return to their greatest potential after bypass surgery. Our expert team of in- and out-patient therapists will work with the patient to achieve optimal outcomes in the shortest amount of time that’s safely obtainable.