Recovery Time for Pediatric Heart Surgery

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Recovery Time for Pediatric Heart Surgery

Recovery Time for Pediatric Heart Surgery

Pediatric Heart Surgery Recovery Time

Pediatric Heart Surgery – Heart surgery guides to operations conducted on the heart that requires a patient to be placed on the heart-lung bypass machine. The heart-lung bypass machine carries over the function of the heart and lungs to supply oxygenated blood to the body.

Pediatric heart surgeons treat complex genetic heart defects in newborns, children, and adolescents, as well as adults. When your child had open-heart surgery then a surgical cut was made through the breastbone or the side of the chest. During the surgery, the child also may have been put on a heart-lung bypass machine. So, after the surgery, your child is probably taken into the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU). There your child is monitored closely by the specialist nurses and doctors.

Also See: Heart Specialist for Children in Chandigarh

But how much recovery time does it take after the pediatric heart surgery and what are the steps the parents should take after the procedure. Here are some of the points to be taken care of-

Recovery Period

After cardiac surgery, children are usually transferred to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) where only close family members are allowed to visit. For a couple of days, the child will be kept under observation in PICU. Depending upon the surgery performed and the condition of the child post-surgery, the patient will be sent home accordingly.

After discharge, usually, the patient takes at least 3 or 4 weeks more weeks at home to recover. Post-surgery pain is normal, so the parents are advised not to panic. After the second day, the pain will likely decline but sometimes is managed with acetaminophen.

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Also, while in this phase, the patient will be attached to several tubes and wires which is part of the normal recovery process for children. After the recovery process is done, these will be removed later. After the patient is stable, they will be transferred to the cardiac inpatient war.

Your child will be in a very critical condition. It is very important to be careful while their recovery process. Here are some of the points to remember post-surgery-

  • Ensure that the patient/child doesn’t lift anything heavy or doesn’t do any rough physical work. Pulling or pushing should be strictly avoided.
  • The patient should also avoid bicycle or skateboard riding, roller skating, swimming, and all contact sports until the doctor says it is ok.
  • Ensure that your child is taking enough nutrients. Taking proper food and nutrients will help to heal faster.
  • Follow-up with the doctor before getting any immunizations post-surgery. Carefully give all the prescribed medication.


After the surgery, there can be certain symptoms. But do not panic and rush to the doctor.

  • Fever or sickness
  • Swelling
  • Shortness of breath
  • Reddish skin
  • Less appetite
  • Heartthrobs
  • Pain in Chest


Make sure that the child is having enough calories to heal and grow post-surgery. They should be provided with a regular and healthy diet. The doctors will provide a chart about what to eat and what not to. Proper nutrition is required as this is the healing process.

After heart surgery, most babies and infants can take as much formula or breast milk as they want. Some doctors advise avoiding drinking too much formula or breast milk. Try to limit the feeding time to around 30 minutes.

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