Sleeping Positions After Open Heart Surgery

Sleeping positions after open heart surgry


On one hand, where health care services have become more approachable and easily accessible to people of all age groups and socioeconomic statuses; on the other hand, there has been a sharp rise in the incidence and prevalence of cardiovascular diseases making them the leading cause for deaths worldwide.


A research was conducted to study the change in the pattern of cardiovascular diseases in India from 1990-2016. Through this study it was observed that:

  • Cardiovascular diseases were responsible for about 28% of the total number of deaths as compared to 15% of total deaths in 1990.
  • 23.8 million Prevalent cases of ischemic heart diseases were seen which was 2-3 times as that of in 1990.
  • 53.4% deaths in 2016 due to cardiovascular diseases occurred in individuals less than 70 years of age.
  • Deaths due to ischemic heart diseases are more common in males than in females.


Certain identifiable risk factors or causes for cardiovascular diseases were

  • Dietary Factors - Limited intake of fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds and whole grains and increased intake of harmful foods such as red meat, trans-fatty acids and sodium.
  • High Systolic Blood Pressure - 140 mm of Hg or more in persons above 30 years of age
  • High Total Cholesterol Levels - 200 mg/dL or more in persons above 30 years of age
  • High Plasma Fasting Glucose Levels - 126 mg/dL or more in persons above 20 years of age
  • High BMI (body mass index) and Obesity
  • Tobacco Use - In persons 10 years or above

Undergoing a cardiac surgery can be physical, mentally and emotionally tasking, not just for the patients, but also for the close relatives. Recovering from heart surgery depends largely on the pre-operative health status and preparation of the patients along with post-operative care.


Sleeping Positions After Open Heart Surgery

Difficulty in sleeping is a common complaint after open heart surgery. After open heart surgery, it is important to sleep in a way that enables the patient to breathe properly and also avoids any kind of pressure over the chest wall.

Sleeping Upright In Bed

This gives ample time for the breast bone to heal after surgery. A neck pillow should be placed to support the neck and spine.

Sleeping On Back

This allows head, neck, and spine to be aligned as compared to the upright position and also allows the back and chest to be in a relaxed position.

Sleep On Right Side

Sleeping upright and on the back for a long time can become uncomfortable. Therefore sleeping on the right side is generally recommended after open heart surgery.


Some Tips To Help Getting Better Sleep

  • If the bypass graft has been taken from a large vein of the leg, it is important to sleep with legs elevated over two pillows and avoid crossing of legs.
  • The doctor may also advise the use of compression bandage or stocking for legs while sleeping.
  • Avoid sleeping for long durations during the day to avoid being restless at night.
  • Avoid consuming too much of caffeine especially towards evening.

Author:

Dr. Himanshi Purohit

Dr. Himanshi is a Homeopathic consultant currently working as a lecturer in Post-graduate faculty of Homeopathy, Parul University, Vadodara.