Give your heart some extra care post cardiac surgery to avoid complications

Did you know that people who have had a cardiac surgery can suffer a cardiac arrest? Here's how to reduce your risk.

post cardiac surgery
Give your heart some extra care post cardiac surgery to avoid complications. Image Courtesy: Shutterstock
Dr Kavita Published on: 5 December 2022, 11:45 am IST
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The daily hustle, work pressure, and infinite nerve-cracking situations put a lot of stress on your heart. An unhealthy lifestyle with low physical activities and intake of high-calorie, processed foods is the main cause of heart disease in India. Many heart ailments aren’t just cured by medicine. In extreme cases, you might have to opt for surgery.

Did you know that there are still high chances of cardiac arrest post-cardiac surgery? The incidence of cardiac arrest after cardiac operations is a grave concern among people. The studies show a reported occurrence of 0.7-5.2 per cent and a case fatality rate of 30 to 80 per cent. Postoperative hours are the most sensitive and hence patients are kept in observation for
immediate care in case of further deterioration.

How to reduce the risk of cardiac arrest post heart surgery?

Senior cardiologists have pointed out, patients who have undergone angioplasty or bypass surgery for cardiac blocks can face a cardiac arrest because of the re-occurrence of the block or weak pumping action of the heart.

Also Read: Cardiac repair surgeries in kids may lead to increased hypertension risk

A heart with a pumping capacity below 35-40 per cent has a 10-15 per cent chance of cardiac arrest. Even after angioplasty and bypass surgery, weak heart pumping and a sudden heart attack can increase the risk of sudden cardiac death”.

post cardiac surgery care
How to reduce the risk of cardiac arrest post heart surgery? Image Courtesy: Shutterstock

Here are ways to manage your heart post-cardiac surgery:

1. Health management for recuperation

Taking a break always helps, hence recuperation programs are necessary. Recuperation forms an integral part of your recovery from heart surgery to gain natural health and strength quicker. Many wellness retreat programs in India offer holistic rehabilitation programs to assist you physically and emotionally to aid healing. Therapeutic massages done at these recuperation programs with medicated oil can significantly reduce the High LDL, and prevent the hardening of arteries, thus improving the elasticity.

2. Follow a heart-healthy diet

Consult a registered dietitian and chart out a heart-healthy diet. The dietitian usually advises on helpful and harmful foods, appropriate portion sizes, total calorie recommendations, and realistic ways to change eating habits. Most cardiac rehabilitation programs have a knowledgeable and experienced dietitian advising people recovering from a heart attack.

3. Naturopathy may help

Naturopathy methods like acupuncture, local mud application, chest packs (Hot/Neutral), and hot foot immersion have proven effective in maintaining your heart health. Additionally, spinal baths and spinal sprays relax chest muscles and reduce sympathetic action hence reducing hypertension and improving cardiac output.

4. Exercise

Yoga, physiotherapy and other physical activities have consistently shown positive results to improve cardiovascular health. The mild yoga programme, meditation and relaxation exercises reduce the level of stress, pain and anxiety in patients. Physiotherapy focuses on general cardiac pumping exercise to prevent venous return and enhance cardiac output or postural correction to heal wounds. For an open-heart surgery-incentive spirometer training and ACBT technique to improve lung function.

exercise to protect your heart
Exercise to safeguard your heart post cardiac surgery. Image Courtesy: Shutterstock

5. Ayurveda therapies

Studies have shown that ayurvedic treatments can help in increasing oxygen uptake and reduce systolic blood pressure. Treatments like Hrid Basti (use of warm Herbal decoction) improve blood circulation by vasodilation (the dilatation of blood vessels) decreasing blood pressure and reducing the spasms in intercostal muscles. Certain herbal preparations containing Terminalia Arjuna increases the force of contraction and thereby improve blood circulation.

Apart from these measures, following up with your doctor and dietitian are necessary steps to know the progress of healing. Remember to follow every food or exercise routine in moderation. Additionally, in consultation with your surgeon, take precautionary measures to clean your wound and avoid infections. In case of any complications reach out to your doctor immediately

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About the Author
Dr Kavita Dr Kavita

Dr Kavita is an Ayurveda physician, a clinical pharmacologist and an oncology clinical research professional She is currently heading the clinical operations at NAMAMI Health and Wellness retreat.

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