Cardiothoracic surgery involves surgery of the chest cavity. This can include heart, lungs, or any other organ inside the body.  Surgeons with this specialty can also be divided into specialties such as cardiac, cardiovascular, general thoracic, and congenital heart surgeons.

Cardiothoracic surgery Brooklyn does this type of surgery often, but it is normal to feel some apprehension about the procedure. The surgery takes three to five hours, depending on individual cases, and there is a rather long recovery process.

After the surgery, you will spend about 24 hours in the ICU, and then you will be moved back to your room to continue recovery.

One of the first things the recovery team will have you do after surgery is coughing and breathing exercises. You will be given some medication as well, to help break up congestion and mucus that forms after surgery. Getting rid of that mucus is important to recovery as it is an area where an infection could develop according to Cardiothoracic surgery Brooklyn.

It is also important to move as soon as you can, and move as much as you can. Each day walk more, and walk three to five times a day, as far as you can.  Of course, you should have someone with you especially at first.

Many patients feel some depression after this type of surgery. Realizing this is normal, and expecting it, helps people deal with it more effectively.

Most patients stay in the hospital four or five days after surgery, but will still face four to six weeks of recovery at home. For the first week at home, you should have someone with you always. There are lots of things you will be told not to do for four to six weeks while you recover. Remember there are some things you absolutely should do, such as breathing and coughing exercises. Moving around some each day is also important, and walking as much as you can will speed the recovery process.

Pay attention to your weight. If you gain five pounds in less than a week, you should contact your doctor as you may be retaining fluid. If you have a temperature of 101 or higher, you should also contact your doctor.

You will get a detailed list of things you should do or not do. One obvious one is no driving for several weeks. Also you will need to take extra precautions with your chest bone area. Avoid all strenuous activity, and don’t lift more than five pounds for a few weeks.

Take rest as you need it. Realize it takes six to eight weeks to recover your energy level, though you may feel good enough to move around some after just a week or two.

By Skyler West

Piper Skyler West: Piper, a sports medicine expert, shares advice on injury prevention, athletic performance, and sports health tips.