Home Care after Microwave Maze Surgery Only
This handout will help you learn how to care for yourself after surgery. A nurse will go over this with you before you go home.
- Leave the dressings in place for 48 hours after the chest tubes are taken out. Remove the dressings on _________________.
- After the dressings are removed, you may shower or wash the incisions daily with an antibacterial soap.
- Do not put lotions, powders, or antibacterial ointments or creams on the incisions.
- Do not soak in a bathtub, hot tub, or go swimming until your incisions have fully healed.
- Look at your incision each day. Signs and symptoms of infection are:
- Increased redness
- Pus-like drainage
- A large increase in swelling or bleeding
- Temperature over 100°F taken two times 4 hours apart
- There should be little to no drainage from your incision. Any drainage should stop in 1-2 days. A Band-aid® or small dressing should be worn until the drainage stops. The dressing or band-aid should be changed daily.
- You should resume walking 3-4 times a day.
- You should not lift more than 5-10 pound for 3-4 weeks.
- Do not drive for 2 weeks if you had the minimally invasive surgery.
- For open heart surgery, you cnnot drive for 6 weeks.
- You should not drive as long as you are taking narcotic pain medicines.
When to Call the Doctor
- Signs of infection, such as:
- Increased redness, warmth, or swelling at the incision sites
- Increased drainage
- Increased pain not relieved by pain medicine
- Sudden onset of sharp chest pain
- Onset of shortness of breath or worsening of shortness of breath
- Feeling a rapid heart beat
- Fainting or near fainting
- A large amount of bleeding from an incision or elsewhere in your body
Cardiothoracic Surgery Clinic: 608-263-1530
Weekends, holidays, and after 4:30 pm during the week, the clinic phone is answered by the hospital paging operator. Ask for the cardiac surgery resident on call. Leave your name and phone number with the area code. The doctor will call you back.
If you live out of the area, please call 1-800-323-8942.
The information provided should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
Last Updated: 04/01/2013
Copyright © 03/29/2013 University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#6511
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