Bypass Surgery Recovery

How To Get Through Bypass Surgery Recovery

Bypass surgery recovery does not simply end with your follow up doctor visit after you go home.  You will be required to make significant lifestyle changes to improve your health.  When you have your doctor visit about 10 days after you are released from the hospital, your cardiologist will go over in great detail your recovery process, fine tune any medications that you may be required to take and make recommendations to help you improve your lifestyle.

Generally, by the sixth week of your bypass surgery recovery, you will be able to resume most of your regular daily activities.  You will be able to eat out, drive a car, return to work and travel however, it is important that you do not exhaust yourself if you want the healing process to continue smoothly.

Cardiac Rehabilitation

During your bypass surgery recovery, your cardiologist will recommend beginning some type of exercise program.  This is crucial to improve your cardiovascular health.  You may decide to take a rehabilitation class.  These are very helpful in understanding why exercise is so important as well as how to get started with a routine and how to determine what your limits are.  These classes will also teach you how to control your stress, change your diet and quit smoking.  You have the opportunity to interact with other people who are in the same recovery process as you and understand what you are going through.


The importance of exercise cannot be stressed enough during bypass surgery recovery as well as throughout your future to maintain your health.  Most individuals find walking the most beneficial and convenient form of exercise to engage in everyday.  It improves your overall well-being and reduces your risk for future health problems.  Within a few weeks, you should be able to walk at least three miles in one hour.


If you don't already know that you need to quit smoking during your bypass surgery recovery, now you do.  Smoking damages your cardiovascular system.  If you continue to smoke after surgery, you are at higher risk to have your new arteries blocked much sooner than if you don't.  If you continue to smoke after your surgery, you have defeated the whole purpose of the procedure.  Additionally, secondhand smoke increases your risk as well so avoid being around anyone who continues to light up and people in your household should have to go outside to have a cigarette.


You must improve your eating habits for a full bypass surgery recovery.  This will help decrease your risk for heart disease.  Eat plenty of whole wheat foods, fruits and vegetables.  If you must eat meat, it should be lean.  It is also helpful to avoid frying anything, instead you should broil, bake, boil, roast, steam or stir-fry.  A major change in diet can be challenging at first but once it becomes a way of life, you won't miss those old unhealthy habits.



A majority of patients had high blood pressure prior to their surgery.  It is important to carefully monitor this during your bypass surgery recovery.  If you do not control your blood pressure you can worsen blockages in your arteries.  You doctor may prescribe you blood pressure medication but you should not rely on it.  You can control your blood pressure without drugs with a healthy lifestyle.

Cholesterol Control

If you do not control your cholesterol, there is an increased risk of blocking your new bypass grafts.  If your diet and exercise changes are not reducing your cholesterol levels for some reason, you may be prescribed medication.  Bear in mind that medications do come with side effects, especially when taken long-term so always try to avoid this option.