Heart surgery is a very complex procedure. Full recovery after a heart procedure takes a few weeks and even several months. And the recovery task has become more daunting with the arrival of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic. It has changed every aspect of our lives, including how patients recover from heart surgeries.

It is important for anyone recovering from heart surgery to follow the instructions strictly given to you by your surgeon. Since the pandemic can increase your risk while recovering, you need to take necessary precautions to guard against COVID-19.

Here are a few precautions that will increase your chance of a safe recovery and a speedy return to good health during this pandemic.

Avoid Infection:

Following every heart surgery, the body is in a weakened state and is less likely to fight off infections, including COVID-19. In the first place, the best way is to avoid exposure to the virus.

Wash your hands often or use a hand sanitizer as recommended by WHO. Avoid contact with people who are sick. Stay at home as much as possible. Cover your mouth and nose with a face mask if you are in a crowded place and stay at least six feet away from them. Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces you touch often.

Limit Your Caregivers:

While we understand, it is important to have caregivers around to help you during the recovery, but one should limit the number to one or two. Make sure the caregivers follow the guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Maintain Appointments and Rehabilitation:

Heart surgeries require extensive follow-ups and rehabilitation. Since the pandemic will not allow us to have in-person visits, your surgeon may schedule follow-up appointments through telemedicine.

Also, several weeks after your heart surgery, your surgeon may advise you to attend cardiac rehabilitation. This session will help strengthen your heart and increase your exercise capabilities. Rehab sessions may also be offered through telemedicine.

Know the Red Flags:

While recovering, if you experience symptoms that may seem abnormal, don't be afraid to seek medical help. Many hospitals have safety measures in place to protect sensitive patients from coronavirus exposure.

One should reach out to their surgeon if they experience the following symptoms:

- Irregular heartbeat
- Chest pain like you had before surgery
- Chills or fever
- Trouble breathing or sharp pain when taking a deep breath
- Persistent bleeding or oozing from an incision
- Sudden, severe headache

Manage Pain:

Nowadays, many of the heart surgeries are minimally invasive, hence the recovery is faster, less painful, and safer as compared to the past. But, there may exist some level of pain. Make sure to fill all your prescriptions for pain management. At hospital pharmacies, avoid exposure to COVID-19 and minimize contact with others. The best option is to fill your prescriptions online and get them delivered to your house.

Eat and Drink Right:

Having a proper healthy diet during the recovery can help your body heal faster. Make sure to have a heart-healthy diet. Fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean meats can be considered. Avoid foods high in salt, sugar, and saturated fat. Stay hydrated and avoid alcohol. If you have any questions, you can consider talking to your doctor for a proper diet recommendation.

Stay Positive:

You might experience an emotional rollercoaster post heart surgery. Unfortunately, the current pandemic may add an extra level of anxiety about your recovery. Make sure you are not watching much of the pandemic news. Adopt an exercise regime including breathing exercises and meditation/yoga. Eat healthily and get plenty of sleep. Talk to your loved ones when anxious.

Author's Bio: 

Myself Sonia and I am a health and fitness blogger. Affiliated with IndiCure Health Tours, I have been writing for the medical tourism industry as well.