Frequently Asked Questions
- When can I drive after heart surgery?
Patients are not allowed to drive for one month after heart surgery. If patients are still requiring pain medication past one month, they are not allowed to drive until no longer requiring pain medication.
- When can I drive after lung surgery?
Patients are not allowed to drive for two weeks after lung surgery. If patients are still requiring pain medication past two weeks, they are not allowed to drive until no longer requiring pain medication.
- When can I return to work?
Your line of work will help determine your time off from work. Commonly, heart surgery patients take off two months. Lung surgery patients take off two to four weeks. Return to work restrictions vary depending on the patient’s job.
- Do I get a handicap placard after I have surgery?
No. After any surgery it is very important to walk. All patients are encouraged to park at the back of the parking lot and walk longer distances whenever possible.
- Can I exercise after surgery?
We encourage all patients to engage in an exercise program that is part of by pulmonary or cardiac rehab path. These rehab groups guide the patient not only in an exercise program that is within their restrictions, but they provide valuable dietary and life style adjustment education.
- Is it okay to smoke or use smokeless tobacco after surgery?
No, it is not okay. Any patient with a tobacco addiction has to stop using immediately. It is okay to use nicotine patches and gum if necessary, but only as a temporary means to quit all tobacco use.
- After I have heart surgery, will I be able to shoot a gun or bow?
After heart surgery, your breast bone (sternum) requires two months to fully heal. For two months after your surgery date, you will not be allowed to lift, pull, or push greater than ten pounds. After two months, you may resume all normal activities. Initially, ease into shooting a gun or pulling back a bow. Listen to your body, and stop if it is uncomfortable or induces pain.