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Recovery after Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting (CABG)

Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting (CABG), commonly known as Heart Bypass Surgery, is a procedure to correct narrowing of the arteries that provide oxygen and blood to the muscles of the heart.

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Recovery in Hospital

During CABG, the body has undergone a lot and requires sufficient time for recovery and regaining strength. Typically, the patient is moved to intensive care unit (ICU) immediately after the surgery and vitals are monitored. Most patients regain consciousness in 2 to 4 hours. During ICU stay, a ventilator is used to ensure proper breathing. Several tubes that are attached to perform necessary body functions, are removed a day after the surgery.

On first day after the surgery, the patient is made to sit up on the bed, given clear liquids and made to do breathing exercises. Most patients are moved to a regular room in a day. On second day, the patient is expected to walk 3 to 5 steps and eat semi-solid food. Typically the patient is mobilized in the hospital and allowed to go home within 7 days after the procedure.

During the recovery period, patients are encouraged to join a cardiac rehabilitation program. A cardiac rehab is a well-planned exercise program that increases the physical activity level under supervision of experienced medical professionals. The program aims at improving the recovery time and ensuring that the patient adopts “Heart Healthy Lifestyle ”

Recovery at Home

After discharge, the patient can perform simple day-to-day activities like using the washroom, eating and dressing-up. Generally, complete recovery takes around 30 to 60 days. The patient is advised to refrain from activities like lifting weights, driving, bending over etc. until complete recovery. During the healing period, the patient is required to keep all follow-up appointments with the doctor and take prescribed medications.

Lifestyle Changes

It is important to know that Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting (CABG) addresses blockages in the coronary arteries, however, is not a complete cure for the coronary artery disease. Certain lifestyle changes are advised to prevent the condition from recurring and long-term recovery. The required lifestyle changes include regular light exercising and leading a more active lifestyle, eating low cholesterol and low trans-fat diet, handling the stress and carefully managing diabetes.

Read about Lifestyle Change for a Healthy Heart

According to Dr. Bhaba Nanda Das If a patient keeps these pointers in mind and religiously follows the advice of the doctor, then the recovery after CABG can be managed easily and gives the patient another chance at leading a healthy life.


Dr Bhaba Nanda Das

Dr. Bhaba Nanda Das is a well-known Cardiac Surgeon at Indraprastha Apollo Hospital, New Delhi since its inception in 1996 and currently associated as the Coordinator of Cardiac Surgery Department. Dr. Das is one of the pioneers in Beating Heart Surgery and usage of Multiple Arterial Graft in Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting (CABG). He was also involved in 1st heart transplant in India and planning to start with Heart Transplant Program in Indraprastha Apollo Hospital New Delhi.



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