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Open Heart Surgery

Old 02-09-2018, 06:52 AM
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Default Open Heart Surgery

Hey guys looking for some advice. I have an employee who was having some heart problems and went in for open heart surgery last week. The surgery was unexpected and pretty sudden. Everything went well and he is up and moving, we are all thankful for that but everything is still pretty fresh. He has a doc appointment scheduled next week that will fill him in a little more on the recovery.

Has anyone here had O.H. surgery or directly known anyone who has been through it? We are just trying to come up with a game plan on how to move forward and how long his recovery might be. We do not really have any "light duty" work that he would be able to perform but the guy needs income too. He is not that old and has been able to perform his duties to date and they are expecting a full recovery. We are hoping to get him back to work ASAP but that will obviously be dependent on the doctors. So to you guys that have had this surgery what was your recovery time frame?
Old 02-09-2018, 07:02 AM
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My dad just went through an emergency open heart.

He is retired so work thing is not relevant.

But I can say with conviction it is a Loooong recovery. months before he can lift anything
Old 02-09-2018, 07:08 AM
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Originally Posted by rocksandblues View Post
My dad just went through an emergency open heart.

He is retired so work thing is not relevant.

But I can say with conviction it is a Loooong recovery. months before he can lift anything
I am thinking best case scenario May but realistically longer
Old 02-09-2018, 07:09 AM
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I had a 4 way 10 years ago, he will feel much better everyday and in a couple of weeks he will feel better tan he really is. they are getting better at the way they put the sturum back together,I would think if he is in reasonable shape 3 months would do it. I was back at my desk in 2 weeks.
Old 02-09-2018, 07:11 AM
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I had it way back in 1970 at NYU Medical Center. Was in the hospital for six months..


A LOT has changed since then. I understand the issue I had is treated as an outpatient type procedure now.
Old 02-09-2018, 07:18 AM
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Different ball game these days..friend had and a cousin in the past few years.

Biggest problem as stated..YOU FEEL BETTER than you ARE.

6 months no lifting.
Ride in backseat for 8 weeks.
Follow Docs orders to a T.

Rest up!!
Old 02-09-2018, 07:22 AM
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Not the same thing but s good friend of mine had a heart transplant about a year ago (he wax 45) took about a year b4 he was back to work. He's a truck driver. But he's good as new.
Old 02-09-2018, 07:38 AM
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Yeah I know someone.

My stepdad went in for a quintuple bypass, ended up getting a sextuple.

My FIL had a triple bypass.

My Aunt had a heart and lung transplant.

They are all 100% fine now.
Old 02-09-2018, 07:52 AM
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Just had one 4 weeks ago today. Still can't drive for a few more weeks. Walking over a mile a day and back to full time workouts with weights and bike riding in two months. Kind of freaky knowing they stopped my heart for hours.
Old 02-09-2018, 08:01 AM
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Depends on what they did. I was back in two months light duty, but I didn't have typical surgery. Best wishes for him and good for you for trying to understand. Does he not have short term disability?
Old 02-09-2018, 08:12 AM
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Thanks for trying to help him and his family.
As mentioned, he needs to follow recovery therapy exactly. Seems that may include letting you know what is involved.
Sit down discussions as he recovers.
Old 02-09-2018, 09:06 AM
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Had 5 bypasses done 13 weeks ago today.
Cardiac rehab started at 4 weeks.
Was able to drive after 6 weeks, riding in the backseat for 6 weeks while the wife drives you around sucks.
First 6 weeks I wasn't allowed to lift anything over 5 pounds, after 6 weeks I was limited to a gallon of milk in each hand (about 8 pounds). After 12 weeks rehab said I shouldn't have any sternal precautions but just be careful in what you do.
Rehab is walking and mild weight lifting.
Everyone is right, you will feel better than you actually are and if you happen to over do it you will know it the next day.
Rehab said I could start to swing a golf club at 12 weeks post op, half swings nothing hard, try it and layoff for 2 days to see if it hurts, haven't tried it yet.

Depending on what work he is doing he should be able to get back to work but really shouldn't be pushing or pulling on anything too heavy.

By the way I was 51, never had high blood pressure, never had high cholesterol doc said I was one of those anomalies that it happens to.
Old 02-09-2018, 09:21 AM
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had open heart 4 years ago.
The sternum needs to fuse together, it is held together after surgery with wire.
Could take 6-8 months but heavy lifting should be avoided for 1 year.

he should go easy for at least 2-3 weeks not risking ribbing the wire
Old 02-09-2018, 09:24 AM
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Originally Posted by lurker25 View Post
Hey guys looking for some advice. I have an employee who was having some heart problems and went in for open heart surgery last week. The surgery was unexpected and pretty sudden. Everything went well and he is up and moving, we are all thankful for that but everything is still pretty fresh. He has a doc appointment scheduled next week that will fill him in a little more on the recovery.

Has anyone here had O.H. surgery or directly known anyone who has been through it? We are just trying to come up with a game plan on how to move forward and how long his recovery might be. We do not really have any "light duty" work that he would be able to perform but the guy needs income too. He is not that old and has been able to perform his duties to date and they are expecting a full recovery. We are hoping to get him back to work ASAP but that will obviously be dependent on the doctors. So to you guys that have had this surgery what was your recovery time frame?
His doctor should provide this information to you with your employee's permission. That's the only source I would use and the only way I would let him come back to work.
Old 02-09-2018, 09:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Rags View Post
had open heart 4 years ago.
The sternum needs to fuse together, it is held together after surgery with wire.
Could take 6-8 months but heavy lifting should be avoided for 1 year.

he should go easy for at least 2-3 weeks not risking ribbing the wire


They glued mine. Still nothing heavier than a gallon of milk for several months.
Old 02-09-2018, 09:29 AM
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Originally Posted by REMfish7 View Post
They glued mine. Still nothing heavier than a gallon of milk for several months.
and even lifting a gallon of milk hurts like hell
Old 02-09-2018, 09:52 AM
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Originally Posted by lurker25 View Post
Hey guys looking for some advice. I have an employee who was having some heart problems and went in for open heart surgery last week. The surgery was unexpected and pretty sudden. Everything went well and he is up and moving, we are all thankful for that but everything is still pretty fresh. He has a doc appointment scheduled next week that will fill him in a little more on the recovery.

Has anyone here had O.H. surgery or directly known anyone who has been through it? We are just trying to come up with a game plan on how to move forward and how long his recovery might be. We do not really have any "light duty" work that he would be able to perform but the guy needs income too. He is not that old and has been able to perform his duties to date and they are expecting a full recovery. We are hoping to get him back to work ASAP but that will obviously be dependent on the doctors. So to you guys that have had this surgery what was your recovery time frame?
Many good perspectives so far. Those recently living through it have the best tales to tell.

Keep in mind, as others have presented, recovery varies with what actually was done. Valve patients may be much sicker than coronary patients. Coronary patients may have had a vein removed from the leg, and hence a very long wound on the leg may slow them down. Will he be on blood thinners? (Valve surgery sometimes necessitates this)

The sternum must heal completely. A nonunion or infection of the sternum is a disaster requiring additional surgery. (A huge deal)

You might "help" this employee by giving him a list of things his employer expects him to satisfactorily accomplish while on the job. This will assist his physician, any physical therapist, and the patient in defining his absence from work, and his chances of employment.

Months, not weeks, and that's if everything goes well. Those that speak of driving restrictions should give an employers a sense of recovery time.
Old 02-09-2018, 02:22 PM
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I had a triple bypass 15 months ago. I work at a very physical job. I was off for 16 weeks. My return was a graduated program of light duty and short days to full time over 5 weeks.

I have a pretty high tolerance for pain, but I will honestly say my return was too soon and I was not ready for the rigors of pulling wrenches in an industrial setting. I can tell you that I was not back to a comfortable level for at least 8 or 9 months. I was very lucky that my employer and coworkers carried me through this process.

Everyone recovers differently and it really depends if you buy into the "change of lifestyle" thing. I now walk 2.5 - 3 miles or bike 7- 10 miles 3-4 times per week. Even now, my stamina for heavy lifting and pulling is not what it was before the surgery. I guess it may never be.
Old 02-09-2018, 02:32 PM
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This is what my wife does for a living. Without looking at the chart and knowing the history, and as long as the job isn't strenuous, she's thinking 3-4 months. I know, lots of caveats, but she deals with it every day.

But the prognosis is good, especially with today's technology.
Old 02-09-2018, 02:59 PM
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Thanks for all the info, guys. As a Type II diabetic, I have more than a 50-50 chance that i will eventually experience this surgery.

Thankfully a bypass is getting to be must a regular every day surgery for the best surgeons. They get better at doing cardiac surgery all the time.

I'm the meantime, I chose to be on an insulin pump and I am watched closely by an endocrinologist and a cardiologist. I am very stable and trying to take care of myself.

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