Recovering from heart surgery

Here's what to expect once you're home from the hospital.

Every day, thousands of people in the United States undergo open-heart surgery. This major operation leaves them with a long chest incision — and a lengthy recovery. The time it takes to fully heal will depend on the person's age and overall health and the complexity of the operation.

The most common is coronary artery bypass grafting, which uses a blood vessel taken from another part of the body to bypass a blocked heart artery. Open-heart surgery is also done to repair or replace a faulty heart valve or to repair damaged or abnormal areas of the heart.

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