Psychological Aspects Of Heart Disease Surgery Recovery


There’s no denying that heart disease surgery is a significant life event. If you’ve undergone it or have plans to do so in the future, you should understand the psychological aspects of the recovery process. Below, with Minimally Invasive and Bloodless Heart Surgery with Dr. Ciuffo, we’ll go over what they are and what you can do to cope with them so you can stay positive and keep your emotions in check. 

Heart Surgery Can Be An Emotional Roller Coaster

Many patients experience a variety of emotions before, during, and after heart disease surgery. These may include but are not limited to fear, anxiety, and depression. In some cases, they may also be excited and relieved once the procedure is over. It’s important to understand that recovery is different for everyone, and there are a number of factors that may impact psychological health as you recover, such as:

  • Pain: Regardless of if your post-surgical pain is constant or occasional, it can cause frustration and take a toll on your mental health.
  • Complications: If you’ve experienced any complications after the procedure, you may face anxiety and uncertainty, both of which can hinder your emotional well-being. 
  • Pre-Existing Conditions: Pre-existing conditions prior to the surgery and recovery process can make you even more vulnerable emotionally. 
  • Medications: The over-the-counter and prescription medications you take during recovery can impact your mood and emotions.
  • Financial Stress: Healthcare expenses plus time off work as you recover may lead to feelings of stress and anxiety.
  • Lifestyle Changes: If you’re unable to perform many of the activities you were able to do in the past, you may feel restricted and struggle mentally.

How To Improve Psychological Health During Heart Disease Surgery Recovery

Fortunately, there are many ways you can cope with your emotions and achieve a better state of mind as you recover from heart disease surgery. Here are several suggestions.

1. Be Realistic 

In a perfect world, you’d be able to do everything you did before your surgery. Since this is unlikely to be the case and you’ll have to take it easy, it’s vital to set realistic expectations early on. Realize that it may take time before you can get back to all of your regular activities. Accept the fact that you might need help from your spouse, children, or caregivers as you recover. 

2. Get Fresh Air

It may be tempting to stay in bed or lay on the couch all day, especially if you’re not feeling well. However, going outside to get some fresh air can do wonders for your emotional wellbeing. You can simply sit on your porch or walk to the mailbox. A change of scenery and some sunshine may instantly put you in a better mood. 

3. Connect with Others

When you go through the recovery process, it’s all too easy to isolate yourself from loved ones. By keeping in touch with them, however, you’ll be able to think and talk about things other than your surgery and the recovery. You’ll also be reminded that there are people who love you and look forward to seeing you fully recover. 

4. Practice A Safe Exercise Routine

Contrary to popular belief, you can exercise after heart disease surgery. In fact, doing so can help you recover quicker. Consult your doctor or physical therapist about safe exercises that you may do in the comfort of your own home. You can always switch to higher impact workout as you build strength and get further along in the recovery process. 

Have Questions About Heart Disease Surgery Recovery? Contact Minimally Invasive Heart Surgery Today

If you or someone you love has gone through heart disease surgery, don’t hesitate to contact us or call (702) 333-7200 to speak with a team member. We’d be more than happy to provide you with the information and resources you need to achieve and maintain optimal mental and emotional health throughout the recovery process.  For additional information about our practice, please visit Nevada Heart and Vascular or University Medical Center.

A picture of Giovanni B. Ciuffo, MD wearing his Mercy One doctor attire.

About the Author

Giovanni B. Ciuffo, MD Director is an expert in Minimally Invasive Heart Surgery and Bloodless Heart Surgery is the outcome of his commitment to the development and improvement of both of these techniques. He runs a Cardiothoracic Surgery practice and manages Minimally Invasive and Bloodless Heart Surgery Program where he cares for patients from all over the country and locally. Click here to learn more about Dr. Ciuffo.

Board Certified:
American Board of Surgery
American Board of Thoracic Surgery