It is imperative that a patient follows the instructions of a doctor following heart surgery, including taking pain medication and eating small, frequent meals, according to WebMD. A doctor also should advise when driving and activity can be resumed following heart surgery.
The first stage of heart surgery recovery lasts for six to eight weeks, explains WebMD. Pain relief is often the focus in the first days following the surgery, and it is not unusual to experience tightness, numbness and itching along the incision. Patients should limit activity during the first stage of healing, and standing in place for more than 15 minutes or lifting more than 10 pounds is not recommended.
A healthy diet should be eaten following heart surgery, and a doctor may recommend dietary restrictions for a patient, states WebMD. It is also not uncommon for a patient to have a small appetite during this time, but it is important that the individual eats. Patients may also experience depression or sadness following heart surgery, and it often helps to continue day to day activities such as getting dressed each day and visiting with others. Support groups are available for those who have gone through heart surgery, and patients are encouraged to share feelings with other people, though visiting should be limited immediately following surgery.