Incision is basically a surgical cut done in your chest for the bypass surgery to be conducted. While the upper layer of skin heals by the time one reaches home post-surgery, your breastbone will take close a six to eight weeks to heal and hence one needs to avoid any kind of pressure on it. The scar of the bypass surgery will take at least a month to fade and one must take utmost care of it by regularly applying emolient cream/lotion.
However here are few tips one can undertake to avoid from disrupting the healingprocess of the incision following bypass surgery:•Wear loose clothes that don’t stick to your body as the surgical incision of the bypasssurgery needs air to breath.
•Women must consider shifting to sports bras or slips that are soft and not wired which may cause discomfort.
•In case you are traveling by a car following a bypass surgery within 1-2 months, ensure to stop the car after every hour of drive and walk for at least few minutes to regulate your bloodcirculation in the body. Ensure to keep a soft towel between the seat belt and your chest when in the car so that there is no pressure in case of a jerk or when the car stops. Avoid rough driving.
•Take a shower with warm water instead of hot water and ensure you do this using a mug and bucket than a shower or even bath tub as even though it is ok to let warm water to flow over your incision, submerging the wound in water or letting the water pressure of the sure hit it might cause the incision to rupture. Use mild soaps and softer towels to rub Avoid body scrubs to at least initial one month following bypass surgery till thesurgeon advices to do so.
•Clean your bypass surgery incision with medically approved lotions and solution but avoid corcosive/harsh detergents or antiseptics as it may cause discomfort and may lead to infection. Also ensure to use cotton swab to do so while cleansing it even a little amount of latter or soap left back may lead to an infection.
•Sleep straight and avoid sleeping on your stomach at least for the first month as you don’t want your fat or muscles to add pressure on the bypass surgery wound.•In case of rashes or swelling or even if you witness blood stains near the incision immediately have a doctor check it before it is too late as you bypass surgery incision may have caught aninfection.
•Patients who have undergone bypass surgery should indulge in cardio vascular exercises like walking or slow jogging and avoid straining yourself too much, this is just to avoid putting on much weight and laziness.
Dr Maj Gen Munshi Md Mojibur
Rahman (retd) MBBS, FCPS, MCPS
Consultant, Cardiac Surgery,
United Hospital Limited