Comments on: Exercise After Open Heart Surgery | Your Guide to Getting Started Health Science Communicator Fri, 15 Jul 2022 06:27:29 +0000 hourly 1 By: Dr Bill Sukala Fri, 15 Jul 2022 06:27:29 +0000 In reply to John Reid.

Hi John,
How to “lose more weight” is a seemingly simple question but there are a lot of factors that play into this. There are plenty of gadgets and gimmicks which will happily take your money but don’t really work and, in fact, might even sabotage your efforts and leave you more discouraged in the long run. I’d highly recommend speaking to your doctor and seek a referral to both a clinical exercise physiologist and dietitian to help you with custom tailoring your approach to both exercise and eating. They can help you formulate a plan that will be most appropriate for you.
Kind regards,

By: John Reid Tue, 12 Jul 2022 09:30:50 +0000 8 weeks ago I had open heart surgery I had tryple bypass I am now recovering at home I am walking 6 miles every day I eating healthy I am 16st 8 how can I lose more weight

By: Dr Bill Sukala Mon, 31 Jan 2022 23:43:45 +0000 In reply to Vu pham.

Hi Vu,
If you’re medically stable and you have clearance from your doctor to exercise to your tolerance, depending on how you feel, you could either increase your duration beyond 60 minutes or you could try to bump up your intensity a little bit. I’m not telling you to push it to the max, but if you’re now 7 weeks into your recovery and you are feeling well and without any symptoms or discomfort, you should realistically be able to start increasing your intensity a little bit without any serious risk for concern. But again, as I mentioned above, it’s important that you’re in touch with your medical management team (doc, practice nurse etc) to ensure that you’re medically stable and there are no medical reasons (contraindications) for why you shouldn’t be going to higher intensities. If you’re currently at 2.2 mph speed then you could gradually bump it up to 2.4 or 2.5 mph and see how that feels. If you feel well and have no lingering after effects, then you might stick with that for a week or so and then see about bumping it up to 2.7 or 2.8 mph. If that feels ok, then gradually increase it back up to your 3.5mph over time. Remember that recovery is a process. By 6 months post-surgery, assuming your recovery is normal and there are no other issues getting in the way, you should be able to make a full recovery with no issues. Bottom line is to just be sure you’re doing everything little by little and not pushing yourself off the deep end by doing too much too soon. Hope this helps. Kind regards, Bill

By: Vu pham Mon, 31 Jan 2022 10:37:31 +0000 Hi Dr.
I had my triple bypass on Dec 17.
I am in 7th week of recovery.
Before operation, I used to walk briskly about 3.5 miles an hours for 10 miles every other day.
Now, I am walking indoors with very slow paces about 2.2 miles an hour for 5 miles every day.
My surgeon and PA told me you can walk as much you want as long as you can handle it.

Question to you Dr: you think I should increase the intensity and duration? Based on you chart, 60 minutes one time a day…at what speed.
I just don’t want to overdo it…worried any side effects.
Thanks Dr.


By: Jesse Sun, 29 Aug 2021 20:45:47 +0000 In reply to Alexander Avinante.

@Alexander Avinante,

I had bypass , I m bodybuilder as well , we’re you able life weight after 12 weeks continue on cycle or no

By: Dr Bill Sukala Wed, 21 Apr 2021 23:25:56 +0000 In reply to Ricky Farmer.

Hi Ricky,
The final decision would lie with your doctor but, in general, the devil is always in the dose. If you have a drink or two in moderation, more than likely this will not pose a problem. Because I’m not familiar with your medical history, it would be wise to call your doctor and at least speak with the practice nurse to get a final answer. Hope this helps.

By: Ricky Farmer Mon, 19 Apr 2021 02:10:33 +0000 Is it ok to have an alcoholic drink occasionally three months after triple by pass surgery?

By: Dr Bill Sukala Wed, 13 Nov 2019 23:57:03 +0000 In reply to James V.

Happy to help. You’ll be ok, but just be sure to use all resources available to you.

By: James V Wed, 13 Nov 2019 23:44:22 +0000 In reply to Dr Bill Sukala.

Thanks, that gives me some goals to keep in mind and some hope in my future.

By: Dr Bill Sukala Wed, 13 Nov 2019 22:37:52 +0000 In reply to James V.

Hi James,
Even if the cardiac rehab is not available until the month before you go back to work, you will definitely want to keep on track and do your own walking and stair climbing exercise (once you have clearance to do so from your cardiologist).

Once the cardiac rehab becomes available to you, I would still STRONGLY recommend you do it even if only for the final month. The reason is, they can work closely with you to help you develop ongoing strategies for maintaining your fitness and quality of life. To be honest, when it comes to exercise, there isn’t a huge difference between someone who has had open heart surgery and someone who hasn’t. The human body is still the human body. BUT, obviously you will need to make some adjustments to ensure that the exercise is safe and takes into consideration the effects of things like medications you might be prescribed, soreness/stiffness around the sternum, and any other factors which might arise from the surgery. But to be honest, most people tend to do well after their surgery.

As for the weights you lift at work, you will want to explain this to the cardiac rehab team and they can help you with the transition back into your routine. If they have a weight training set up there, then they could help you build up your strength in preparation for return to work.

Bottom line:
1) make sure you have clearance by your cardiologist to get back to exercise (walking and stairs)
2) do cardiac rehab for sure, even if only for a month
3) continue to pay attention for any signs and/or symptoms

Hope this helps. Feel free to stop back with any ongoing questions you might have.

Kind regards,