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What precautions are required after a bypass surgery?

Thursday, 21 September 2006
Answered by: Dr. O.P. Yadava
Consultant Cardiac Surgeon, CEO
National Heart Institute and Research Centre
New Delhi
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Q. What precautions should be taken for the heart patients who have undergone open heart bypass surgery?

A.  After bypass surgery, one has to take care of all the risk factors, which originally led to blockages of the arteries of the heart. For example, if one has diabetes then the blood sugar has to be controlled well. The blood pressure has to be kept within normal limits. Regular exercises in form of walking for 4-5 kilometres in 30 minutes every day should be carried out. One should avoid smoking and also keep away from passive smoke. Stress also needs to be curtailed and in this yoga and transcendental meditation play an important role. One should also take care of the calorie and fat intake and keep the blood lipid profile under control. Nowadays, ‘lower is better’ is the dictum and the bad cholesterol (that is LDL) should be kept below 70 mg% and triglyceride closer to 100 mg%. The HDL cholesterol, which is good cholesterol, should be kept as high as possible and certainly above 40-45 mg%. One should also keep a check on the weight and abdominal obesity in form of potbelly is a poor prognostic sign for future recurrence of disease and therefore one should avoid potbelly. Besides this, one should have regular medical check up done and any specific factor, which is applicable in an individual, would obviously be communicated by the treating cardiologist.

A.  After bypass surgery, one has to take care of all the risk factors, which originally led to blockages of the arteries of the heart. For example, if one has diabetes then the blood sugar has to be controlled well. The blood pressure has to be kept within normal limits. Regular exercises in form of walking for 4-5 kilometres in 30 minutes every day should be carried out. One should avoid smoking and also keep away from passive smoke. Stress also needs to be curtailed and in this yoga and transcendental meditation play an important role. One should also take care of the calorie and fat intake and keep the blood lipid profile under control. Nowadays, ‘lower is better’ is the dictum and the bad cholesterol (that is LDL) should be kept below 70 mg% and triglyceride closer to 100 mg%. The HDL cholesterol, which is good cholesterol, should be kept as high as possible and certainly above 40-45 mg%. One should also keep a check on the weight and abdominal obesity in form of potbelly is a poor prognostic sign for future recurrence of disease and therefore one should avoid potbelly. Besides this, one should have regular medical check up done and any specific factor, which is applicable in an individual, would obviously be communicated by the treating cardiologist.

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