YOUR CLINIC FOLLOW−UP APPOINTMENTS ARE LISTED ON YOUR DISCHARGE SUMMARY

  • Bring your discharge summary and all medications with you.
  • Call (210) 450-0999 if unable to keep your appointment.

WOUND CARE

  • May shower and allow incision to get wet. Blot dry.
  • No need to keep the incision covered.
  • Do not soak the wound (i.e., do not take a bath or sit in a hot tub) until the wound is healed (usually two to three weeks).
  • Avoid application of lotions or ointments to the wound.
  • Eat a balanced, healthy diet to help your wound heal.

PAIN

  • Take your pain medication and try to cough and deep breath.
  • Work with personal incentive spirometer at least three times per day.
  • Do not try to be a hero and not take your pain medicines, because then you will not feel like getting up and walking and coughing and deep breathing = all things that hurt but also are important in your getting well.
  • If the pain does not get better or gets worse, call us.
  • Most pain medicines will cause constipation. It is easier to prevent it with prune juice or Metamucil than to wait until it becomes severe.
  • Avoid drinking alcoholic beverages while taking pain medicines.
  • Many pain medicines can cause drowsiness.

ACTIVITY DO’S AND DON’TS

  • No heavy lifting (more than 5 pounds = a jug of milk) with the arm on the same side as the incision.
  • Avoid any activity that requires your own strength or reflexes to keep either yourself or others out of harm’s way (e.g. driving a car, operating machinery, climbing up step−ladders, running across a busy intersection, swimming in the deep end of the swimming pool) for six to eight from the date of surgery.
  • Walking is GOOD! Do lots of walking, but do not find yourself tired and far away from help…pace yourself and have someone with you.

PLEASE CHECK YOUR WOUND EVERY DAY. IF ANY OF THE FOLLOWING OCCURS

  • Swelling
  • Excessive tenderness
  • Redness; (a small non−tender rim less than 1/4″ on edge of incision is probably normal)
  • Drainage (yellow or bloody, or any fluid with an odor)
  • Opening in the incision.
  • Temperature above 101 degrees.

CALL (210) 450-0999 AND ASK FOR THE CARDIOTHORACIC SURGERY RESIDENT ON CALL OR FOR ANY LIFE THREATENING EMERGENCY CALL 911

MEDICATION LIST: Please review it carefully and take only the medicines that are listed unless instructed by a physician to make a change.