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After Bypass Surgery: Driving and Social Activities

As you feel stronger, you can go out and do more. At first, keep activities to about an hour. And remember that it's OK to leave early or ask visitors to go home so you can rest.

Man and woman doing jigsaw puzzle.

Here are some social activities you could choose:

  • Do crafts, such as painting or knitting

  • Play cards and other table games

  • Take a walk with friends

  • Go to a shopping mall

  • Attend religious activities

  • Go to a movie, play, or sports event

Stop any activity if you have shortness of breath, chest pain, irregular heartbeat, or dizziness. If your symptoms don't stop within 20 minutes, call your doctor right away or as directed by your healthcare provider.

Talk with your healthcare provider about when you can safely return to sexual activity. In general, you can resume sexual activity by 2 to 4 weeks, depending on your situation. Your provider will give you instructions that are best for you.

A word about driving

For your own safety and the safety of others, don't drive until your doctor says it's OK. In general, expect not to drive for 4 to 6 weeks after heart surgery. There are several reasons for this:

  • Your reaction time is slower until you regain your strength. The medicines you take may also slow your reaction time.

  • If you are taking medicine to keep your blood pressure low, you could become dizzy or pass out behind the wheel.

  • If you were to be in a crash, hitting the steering wheel could damage your breastbone. 

Online Medical Reviewer: John Hanrahan MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Jonas DeMuro MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Lu Cunningham RN BSN
Date Last Reviewed: 8/1/2019
© 2000-2019 The StayWell Company, LLC. 800 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.