Harvard Heart Letter

Recovering from bypass surgery

Ask the doctor

recovering bypass- heart-health-hospital-bed
Image: Monkey Business Images/Thinkstock

Q. My husband is having quintuple bypass surgery. What advice do you have for his recovery at home?

A. Coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery is a major operation, and the recovery can be challenging. After coming home from the hospital, most people feel tired and weak during the first week and gradually regain energy over the next four to six weeks.

Your husband will probably get a small pillow (most hospitals provide these) to hold against his chest to prevent discomfort when he coughs or breathes deeply. It's important that he do both to lower his chances of developing lung problems.

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