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After Bypass Surgery: Caring for Yourself

When you go home from the hospital after your bypass surgery, you may be concerned about how to care for yourself without the help of nurses and other healthcare providers. Rest assured that your provider will give you specific instructions before you go home. And remember that you can always call your provider if you have questions or concerns. The tips below will also help you remember what to do.


You can shower as soon as your healthcare provider says it's OK. When you shower:

  • Use warm (not hot) water.

  • Sit on a waterproof bench or chair.

  • Gently wash your incisions with mild soap. Avoid vigorous scrubbing.

  • Keep in mind that showering takes as much energy as a short walk, so you may feel tired.

  • Consider having someone nearby to help you.

Weighing yourself

Rapid weight gain can be a sign that your heart is not pumping right.

  • Weigh yourself each day.

  • Weigh yourself at the same time and wearing the same kind of clothing. (A good time to weigh yourself is after you first urinate in the morning.)

  • Write down your weight.

  • Call your healthcare provider if you gain more than 2 to 3 pounds in 1 day or more than 5 pounds in 1 week.

    Closeup of man's feet on bathroom scale.

Eating healthy

  • Eat a heart-healthy diet. Don't eat fatty meats or fried foods. Limit how much salt you get. Avoid foods that are processed or packaged. Fresh fruits and vegetables will help with healing and the fiber will help prevent constipation. Ask your healthcare provider for nutrition information before you leave the hospital.

  • Eat small meals more often if you don't have a good appetite when you go home. You may need to take dietary supplements for a while after surgery, as directed by your healthcare team. This will help you get the nutrients you need and also help with healing. 

Getting rest

  • Get plenty of rest. It takes a lot of energy to recover from the surgery.

  • Don't worry if you aren't able to sleep through the night. Your sleep patterns will become more normal as you recover.

  • Rest after activity during the day. But try to not to nap. This will help you sleep better at night.

Online Medical Reviewer: Mary Mancini MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Ronald Karlin MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Stacey Wojcik MBA BSN RN
Date Last Reviewed: 7/1/2022
© 2000-2024 The StayWell Company, LLC. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.