If you have a leg incision, you mayÂ have swelling. This is to be expected. After removingÂ one of the veins to the leg, blood must findÂ other veins to return from the legs to the heart.Â These veins gradually dilate to handle the increasedÂ flow, and your swelling should improve. Keep your legÂ elevated when not walking. If you have swelling in a leg where thereÂ are no incisions you should see your doctor.
It is normal to have a poor appetite after surgery. This isÂ the fate of a combination of factors including anesthesia, medicationsÂ and surgery. Foods may taste strange and this may last for one or twoÂ months. Do not force yourself to eat. Your appetite will return.
It is common to experience some irregularity in yourÂ bowel habits. These will gradually normalize. Feel free to use nonprescriptionÂ laxatives as necessary.
Numbness Over the Left Chest
If you have a mammary arteryÂ bypass, you may feel numbness over the left chest. This is the areaÂ where the artery was removed from behind the breastbone.
Numbness/Tingling in the Little Finger of the Hand
You may experienceÂ some sensations in the little and ring fingers of your left or rightÂ hand. This is a result of positioning on the operating table and stretchingÂ of nerves as the chest is opened for surgery. This will graduallyÂ resolve.
Many patients will have a low grade fever (99Â°-100Â°)Â for a few weeks after surgery. If you have a temperature greater thanÂ 101Â°, call your physician.
It is not uncommon to have difficulty returningÂ to a normal sleeping pattern, or to have nightmares. Sleeping difficultiesÂ are secondary to a number of factors. They will improve overÂ time. It is best to establish a routine. Do not nap excessively duringÂ the day. Go to bed at a regular time.
Chest Wall Pain
It is normal to have discomfort in the chest wall fromÂ your incision. Following the use of the internal mammary artery for bypass,Â there may be some discomfort along the left border of the chest. InÂ addition, patients frequently complain of pain between the shoulder bladesÂ or may be just generally sore. These are all expected after surgery. However,Â if you feel any discomfort which seems similar to angina, then youÂ should contact your physician immediately.
You have just come through a very difficult experience. It isÂ normal to have some degree of depression. Donâ€™t hesitate to express theseÂ feelings to your family or physicians.Â Notify your physician if you have any chest pain, shortness ofÂ breath, temperature greater than 101Â°, redness, swelling, or increasedÂ drainage from the incision sites.