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December 10, 2019

All About Heart Health: What to Do After a Heart Attack or Heart Surgery

If you or your loved one has suffered from a heart attack, you likely have a lot of questions. Even heart surgeries, whether they’re preemptive or not, can cause concern if you don’t have all the information you need. How long will I need to recover? How do I prevent another heart attack? What does a cardiac care plan look like?

In this blog, we will address what you can typically expect to do after a heart attack or heart surgery.

1. Prevent Another Heart Attack from Happening

If you’ve suffered a heart attack, taking steps to improve your heart health should be priority one on your list. Participating in a cardiac rehabilitation program is a great start. These programs are available in many facilities and locations all around the nation, especially where heart problems are prevalent. For example, there are complex cardiac programs in the Rio Grande Valley because there is such a great need there. In 2015, it was found that around 1,555 people die every year to heart disease in the Rio Grande Valley. Along with a cardiac rehabilitation program, it’s important to take any medications you’ve been prescribed, eat a diet that focuses on heart health, and exercise regularly. A few heart-healthy foods are leafy green vegetables, whole grains, and fish oil. Cutting down on sodium (salt), dairy, and red meat can also help improve heart health.

 

2. Allow Yourself Time to Rest

Whether you’re recovering from a heart attack or heart surgery, it’s important to follow your physician’s directions and rest for as long as they have prescribed. Although it varies case by case, the first part of recovery after heart surgery can last from six to eight weeks. Your physician may even suggest that you receive in-patient rehabilitation care. This is a great way to ensure you receive an adequate recovery plan to get you back to the best health possible and prevent the need for another heart operation or the possibility of a second heart attack.

 

3. Get Support

It can be scary to go through heart problems, and it’s normal to feel lost or confused. Seeking support from loved ones and health professionals is a great way to stay educated and motivated to improve your heart health. If you get confused when your doctor or physical therapist talks to you about your health, ask a loved one to come with you to help you understand. Remember that it’s your health and your life, so always ask questions to the medical professionals who are caring for you. They will be more than happy to answer any questions you have.

 

Completing a cardiac rehabilitation program, eating a heart-healthy diet, and staying educated about heart health are all key steps to take after you’ve had a heart attack or heart surgery.

 

Resources: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK543609/pdf/Bookshelf_NBK543609.pdf

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