After four hours in surgery for coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CABG), Dan is admitted to the hospital to recover. The physician wants to monitor Dan for five days to see if any complications arise (such as a stroke, kidney disorders or a heart attack recurrence), and if additional tests or procedures are needed.
While in the hospital, Dan is placed on a heart-healthy diet and a daily regimen of medications that he will likely need to take for the rest of his life. In addition, he begins cardiac rehabilitation the day after his CABG surgery; which includes an hour of monitored physical activity (including cardiovascular and strength exercises) and nutritional counseling. The heart attack has left Dan with feelings of depression and anger – “Why did this happen to me?” He and Betsy, his wife, also have fears regarding what his life will be like after a heart attack. To address these feelings, Dan and his wife will attend emotional support classes as part of his cardiac rehabilitation. Dan will need to become more in tune with his body because the signs and symptoms of anxiety are similar to a heart attack. These symptoms may include: increased heart rate, shortness of breath, sweating and muscle tension.
Additional information is added to Dan’s inpatient chart.
After leaving the hospital, Dan will be off work for another two weeks to three months. Dan hopes that his auto-body business does not suffer during his recovery. He will also continue with the cardiac rehab for the next 3 – 6 months, during which he will need to complete several exercise stress tests to determine the strength of his heart. During these tests, electrodes will be placed on Dan’s chest and connected to an EKG that will monitor his heart’s activity. Dan will walk on a treadmill or pedal an exercise bike with the intensity of exercise gradually increasing. Dan will continue with the test until he is told to stop, he is too tired to continue or develops chest pain. The stress placed on Dan’s heart will be displayed on the EKG and allow the therapist to determine Dan’s heart health and next course of action.