The causes leading to heart disease that requires surgery vary. Heart attacks and congestive heart failure are two common causes. Both conditions are silent and sneaky. Often individuals are unaware of either danger until their health is in dire straits. Seniors are especially at risk for congestive heart failure, as it is the primary cause of hospitalization or death for those over 60 years of age.
Successful heart surgeries are performed every day, prolonging the lives of seniors across the globe. After surgery, patients typically are directed to make life changes in order to reduce the risk of future problems. Nutritious eating habits, regular exercise, and pursuing overall optimum health top the list of recommendations. Healthy seniors have the potential to lead active lives long after having heart surgery.
The recovery period after heart surgery usually lasts six to 12 weeks. During this time, the senior and caregiver must take precautions in a number of areas.
Proper care for the incision is crucial. Upon hospital discharge, the senior will receive printed instructions for caring for the surgical wound. The instructions will describe any needed treatment or dressing of the incision, as well as instructions about bathing and showering.
Watch for signs of infection which include: fluid oozing from the incision beyond what the doctor advised to expect; separation of the incision; unusual redness, swelling and/or warmth around the wound; fever that exceeds 101 degrees Fahrenheit. The senior should notify their physician immediately if any of these symptoms are present.
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