Immediately after the heart surgery, you will be transferred to the intensive care unit (ICU). You will be usually with a breathing tube still in place. Your anesthesia will still be showing signs. So first when you wake up you will wake up in ICU.
While you are in ICU the staff and nurses looking after you will keep on monitoring all the vital signs of breathing status, chest tube drainage, lab test results and pain level. When you wake up you will be kept on the breathing machine for few more hours. After your vitals signs are stable and also depending on the ICU policy for visitors you probably will be seeing few of your family members.
After your breathing is stable the tube is removed, it’s called extubation. Delays in execution are not necessary concerning, it depends on the cause. Every patient wakes up in their own time the variation sometimes can be expected when there are other physical attached to the patients like heart function problems.
Once you are excited you will be given breathing exercise that should be done regularly. As during the operation, the patients are out on heart-lung machine during the procedure. It is very important that you should be able to inflate and deflate the lungs with your full capacity thus; you are prescribed with this procedure. It will prevent you suffering from pneumonia or fluid built-up around them. After that, you will be helped by a nurse to do some walking. All these small measures that are taken later keep you away from complications like pneumonia, a blood clot in your legs and muscles weakness.
When the surgeon feels that you are ready you will be transferred from ICU to a normal room of the hospital. For another few days, you will be working on recovering in the hospital. The goal is steady forward progress every day until you are comfortable enough and strong enough to leave the hospital. The hospital recovery includes
A urinary catheter will be removed so that you can use the washroom yourself. However, you may feel constipated after the surgery. This could be because of the medicines, your anesthesia and not having a proper diet. But after 3-4 days you will have a proper bowel movement.
Once you are breathing well and have stable lab result you are allowed to go home. Also, you should be able to walk without assistance.