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kate502 12-11-2012 05:52 PM

Recovery time for open heart surgery
 
Hello, I just had an open heart surgery on 11/21/12 for ASD repair. The surgery itself was a success; however, when the breathing tube is pulled out, I threw up and accidentally swallowed my own vomit. My lung immediately collapsed. I had to stick with the breathing tube for additional 6 days. After a total of 9 days in the hospital, I finally returned home. It's been 12 days since I returned home, my neck, arms and back are feeling sore and when I inhale, my lung kind of hurts. Does anyone know how long it will take to recovery? Thanks!

kate502 12-11-2012 05:59 PM

Re: Recovery time for open heart surgery
 
I also can't really project my voice as normal and my throat is feeling itchy a lot of time not to mention that my breathing is not as smooth. Does anyone have any advice? I would really appreciate that.

RainyDays12 12-11-2012 07:15 PM

Re: Recovery time for open heart surgery
 
When I had my total thyroidectomy, I had a breathing tube in for eight hours, because that's how long the surgery took. My throat did not begin to feel right for like a month. I know some of that could have been due to the actual surgery, but I think it was the tube too.

They used a special one too, because I get acid reflux alot. I think you should ask your doctor if there is anything you can do to ease your symptoms. Like all that mucous junk left over - I never thought to try any decongestants. Not sure if those would be right in your situation though. I hope you feel better soon!!

Vyking 12-11-2012 10:58 PM

Re: Recovery time for open heart surgery
 
Any kind of open heart surgery takes a long time to recover from - the Docs will tell you 3 months but in all honesty you are looking at least 12.

Everyone is different some recover faster than others, some people breeze through without any complications, other are not so lucky.

Good Luck. :)

kate502 12-17-2012 06:19 PM

Re: Recovery time for open heart surgery
 
Thank you all. It's been 2 weeks since I returned home. I am now able to get up myself. For the first couple of days, I didn't have any pain at all. However, in the last couple of days, my right chest feels very painful...a pitching type of pain. The X-ray shows that everything is fine. Is it normal to have this type of pain? The pain is getting worse. I was able to reach 1500 when I did the breathing exercise, but today I was able to reach 1000 at maximum. Does anyone know how long it takes the chest tube to close? It gets smaller and it's now the size of a baby aspirin pill. I get scared by looking at it. :(

Vyking, when you said about 12 months, do you mean when all the pain is gone? I am planning to return to work during mid February, is it too soon?

Again, thank you both for your response. Have a wonderful evening!

kate502 12-17-2012 06:22 PM

Re: Recovery time for open heart surgery
 
Thank you all. It's been 2 weeks since I returned home. I am now able to get up myself. For the first couple of days, I didn't have any pain at all. However, in the last couple of days, my right chest feels very painful...a pitching type of pain. The X-ray shows that everything is fine. Is it normal to have this type of pain? The pain is getting worse. I was able to reach 1500 when I did the breathing exercise, but today I was able to reach 1000 at maximum. Does anyone know how long it takes the chest tube to close? It gets smaller and it's now the size of a baby aspirin pill. I get scared by looking at it. :(

Vyking, when you said about 12 months, do you mean when all the pain is gone? I am planning to return to work during mid February, is it too soon?

Again, thank you both for your response. Have a wonderful evening!

Vyking 12-18-2012 08:51 AM

Re: Recovery time for open heart surgery
 
[QUOTE=kate502;5105571]
Vyking, when you said about 12 months, do you mean when all the pain is gone? I am planning to return to work during mid February, is it too soon?
[/QUOTE]
It really depends on what kind of work you do and if your cardio/surgeon gives the ok.

The 12 months from my point of view is when you will completely feel back to normal and start to feel good about yourself. :)

Up until the 1 year mark you will have all kinds of pains, (nothing serious) just odd sensations and bouts of weakness and dizziness - I think you tend to notice these things more after the traumatic surgery you have been through.
You will also have periods of depression and anger, please see your doc and get meds to help with this.

Heart surgery is a funny thing and nobody can understand the way you feel unless they have been through it themselves - it is a mental healing as well as a physical one and family and friends just don't understand why you're not back to your normal old self after x amount of time.

You will probably notice big improvements in your healing every 3 months - it's a long hard road to recovery some people heal faster than others.

Believe me - IT DOES GET BETTER, it just takes time.

Good Luck. :)

kate502 12-18-2012 02:35 PM

Re: Recovery time for open heart surgery
 
Thanks Vyking! Haha...I've actually been asking myself in the last couple of days if I will ever get better and you've just answered my question. It sure brighten up my day. :)

I was already feeling depressed before the surgery because my cardiologist told me that I could perform the procedure instead of the surgery. When I came to see the surgeon, I was told that a surgery is a must sine the whole is quite big (2.6cmx2.8cm) and it was so closed to the valves. I then went to see the heart surgery surgeon. He told me that he will perform the a small incision on the right side under my ampit. After I woke up from the surgery, the incision was in the center of my chest. It was quite depressing. But as long as I can fully recover from the heart surgery, I do not care too much about the scar. And yes, there are times when I feel depressed and moody, especially when I home home all by myself or during bad weather days. Thus, sometimes i feel a little bit improvements while other times, i feel like i am getting worse. I hope this is normal. I also feel that people don't understand what we need to go through. My manager keeps telling me that I should be fully recovered in one or two months. I am an accountant. I work at least 8 hours a day. I feel like I've been working too hard all these year and haven't spend a quality time with my family and husband. My husband and I are married for two years. Gosh, I can't wait to get better to plan family trips!!

Vyking, I've read many of your posts even before my post. Thank you so much for giving good advices to people like me!!!:) appreciated your help.

Vyking 12-18-2012 08:05 PM

Re: Recovery time for open heart surgery
 
Your welcome, I'm glad I could help.

Seek out a support group - I'm not allowed to post links on this site, I've already been suspended twice for it - BUT..

Google the word "inspire" - you're looking for the dot com. ;)

I feel another suspension coming my way. :(

Good Luck.

kate502 12-18-2012 08:56 PM

Re: Recovery time for open heart surgery
 
Oh, no. I am not aware that there's such a policy here. You are just here to help. Why would they do that? Anyway, I hope you don't get suspended. Thanks again for your 'tips'.:angel:


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