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After Bypass Surgery: Caring for Yourself

When you go home from the hospital after your bypass surgery, you may be concerned about how to care for yourself without the help of nurses and other healthcare providers. Rest assured. Your provider will give you specific instructions before you go home. And remember that you can always call your provider if you have questions or concerns. The tips below will also help you remember what to do.

Close up view of a man's feet on a bathroom scale.

Showering

You can shower as soon as your healthcare provider says it's OK. When you shower:

  • Use warm (not hot) water.

  • Sit on a waterproof bench or chair.

  • Keep in mind that showering takes as much energy as a short walk, so you may feel tired.

  • Consider having someone nearby to help you.

Weighing yourself

Rapid weight gain can be a sign that your heart is not pumping right.

  • Weigh yourself each day.

  • Weigh yourself at the same time and wearing the same kind of clothing.

  • Write your weight down.

  • Call your healthcare provider if you gain more than 2 to 3 pounds in 1 day or more than 3 to 5 pounds in 1 week.

Eating healthy

  • Eat a heart healthy diet.  Don't eat fatty meats or fried foods. Limit how much salt you get. Ask your healthcare provider for nutrition information before you leave the hospital.

  • Eat small meals more often if you don't have a good appetite when you go home. You may need to take dietary supplements for a while after surgery. This will help you get the nutrients you need and also help with healing. 

Getting rest

  • Get plenty of rest. It takes a lot of energy to recover from the surgery.

  • Don't worry if you aren't able to sleep through the night. Your sleep patterns will become more normal as you recover.

  • Rest after activity during the day. But try to not to nap. This will help you sleep better at night.

Online Medical Reviewer: Fetterman, Anne, RN, BSN
Online Medical Reviewer: Mancini, Mary, MD
Last Review Date: 10/1/2016
© 2000-2016 The StayWell Company, LLC. 780 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.