Most children recover from heart surgery in about 5 to 7 days. They are generally back to their usual routines in about 4 to 6 weeks.
Possible complications include:
An irregular heart rhythm.
Infections of the chest wound.
Memory loss or trouble thinking clearly, which often improves within six to 12 months.
Heart attack, if a blood clot breaks loose soon after surgery.
Your child’s comfort is our priority; however, some degree of pain is expected with any surgery. Your child will likely be given pain medications continuously through their IV; some children also get pain medications while in the OR that last for a longer time. The nurse may also give extra doses of medication if your child appears uncomfortable.
Infants and small children need to be lifted by “scooping” (supporting the neck and shoulders and lifting under the buttocks). Continue to lift this way for 4 weeks after surgery to avoid stress on the incision.
Your child should avoid lifting, pushing, or pulling anything heavy (such as a gallon of milk) for 6 weeks after surgery. This includes mowing the lawn, or walking the dog.
pain that is not relieved with prescribed medicines
not urinating at least every 8 hours
breathing faster or harder
pale or bluish color
increasing swelling, redness, or warmth at the incision or the area around it
drainage from the incision
incision is not healing
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