|CHANGE FOR THE BETTER AFTER CORONARY ARTERY BYPASS GRAFT(CABG)
(this also includes those who have coronary artery stenting)
If we don’t change direction soon, we’ll end up where we’re going.
It’s important to understand that bypass surgery deals with a symptom – blocked arteries. It does not deal with the cause. That’s why lifestyle changes are so important. You have probably heard the saying (I’ll paraphrase it) – you can’t expect different results if you keep doing the same things. If you want to change your risk for further heart disease, you need to change your life.
If you’re a smoker, you must quit. If you keep smoking your arteries will re-block, possibly very quickly. Not only do you need to stop smoking, you need to avoid second hand smoke.
CHANGE YOUR DIET
Eat a heart healthy diet. Reduce fats and foods that increase cholesterol to help keep your arteries clear. Lose weight to reduce the stress on your cardiovascular system.
If you’ve already started an exercise program – keep it up. If you haven’t – there’s no time like the present to get, and stay, fit.
CONTROL YOUR BLOOD PRESSURE
It’s essential to know and to monitor your blood pressure carefully after bypass surgery. Poor control of blood pressure can worsen artery health and speed up changes in your bypass grafts.
IF YOU HAVE DIABETES…
Controlling your blood sugar is always important. After heart surgery it is even more important to help keep the bypass grafts open.
Sexual problems and concerns are common, occurring in up to 50 to 75 percent of people after bypass surgery. Both men and women may have less frequent sex or feel less satisfied with their sexual activity. A variety of factors may contribute, including side effects of drugs (such as beta blockers), depression, and fears about triggering a heart attack or dying.
HOW LONG WILL MY BYPASS LAST?
Successful grafts will typically last 10 to 15 years but grafts can become diseased and re-block in the months to years after bypass surgery. Younger people with no other complicating diseases will have a greater probability of long lasting, clear grafts. Older patients have a higher probability of suffering further blockage of the arteries.
Dr Abdullah Daud