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Doctor insights on: Scar Tissue After Open Heart Surgery

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How do I get an open-heart surgery scar to disappear?

How do I get an open-heart surgery scar to disappear?

Not possible: A plastic surgeon can sometimes revise a skin wound in order to make it less apparent. ...Read more

Dr. Frederick Tibayan
358 doctors shared insights

Heart Surgery (Definition)

Open intervention on the heart to correct congenital cardiac anomalies, repair replace heart valves, ascending aortic dissection repair, coronary bypass, heart transplant, surgical removal of heart tumors, ventricular assist devices, cox maze procedures to cure atrial fibrillation, repair of trauma to the heart. Repair of iatrogenic injuries to heart, heart-lung ...Read more


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How can I get an open-heart surgery scar to appear better?

How can I get an open-heart surgery scar to appear better?

Scar Revision.: Go and see a reputable board certified plastic surgeon who will evaluate the scar and revise it if it is necesary. ...Read more

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I had open-heart surgery as a baby, but I am all grown up now and want to get rid of the scar.?

I had open-heart surgery as a baby, but I am all grown up now and want to get rid of the scar.?

Reduce not Remove: There may be many options to reduce the appearance or visibility of the scar but unfortunately there is no way to remove or regenerate normal skin at this point in medicine. Discuss your options with a plastic surgeon. ...Read more

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My 14 week old daughter had an avsd open-heart surgery repair which went well. Now has a red rash around her scar. What could this reddening be?

My 14 week old daughter had an avsd open-heart surgery repair which went well. Now has a red rash around her scar. What could this reddening be?

Multiple Causes: This depends on when the surgery was done. Reddening could be a sign of infection. It could also be part of the normal healing, or simply an irritant rash. Please review this with your child's cardiologist. ...Read more

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2 questions:can i now start using neosporin on my scar? What do you think of trying to conceive 6 months after open heartsurgery? I am 24 years old and I had open-heart surgery called the ross procedure on november 2nd, 2011 due to my bicuspid aortic valve

2 questions:can i now start using neosporin on my scar? What do you think of trying to conceive 6 months after open heartsurgery? I am 24 years old and I had open-heart surgery called the ross procedure on november 2nd, 2011 due to my bicuspid aortic valve

2 answers: There is no real benefit to applying neosporin, vitamin e, mederma, etc to your scar. It is advisable to use sun block when outside. Pregnancy is certainly possible after a ross procedure but should be carefully monitored by your cardiologist and obstetrician. Remember, even after successful heart surgery, you require lifelong monitoring by a cardiologist. ...Read more

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My husband had open-heart surgery at 57 for a mitrial valve repair. At 66, he needs his aortic valve replaced He is in excellent health. Can he have a third operation when that tissue valve wears out?

My husband had open-heart surgery at 57 for a mitrial valve repair. At 66, he needs his aortic valve replaced He is in excellent health. Can he have a third operation when that tissue valve wears out?

Sure: The suggestion would be to cross the bridge when you get there. Since he's in good health he probably won't need any more surgeries... There are other minimally invasive valve procedures being developed... So when the time comes for third — he may be a candidate for that. ...Read more

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I had open-heart surgery n may this year to replace my pulmonary valve. With a bovine tissue valve. When would it be safe to start trying for a baby?

I had open-heart surgery n may this year to replace my pulmonary valve. With a bovine tissue valve. When would it be safe to start trying for a baby?

Depends : This depends on other factors like your heart function, other valve problems etc. But assuming everything is well, you could likely start trying now. But again, your safety depends on many other factors so please discuss this with your cardiologist. ...Read more

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Is it rare to heal quickly after open-heart surgery?

Is it rare to heal quickly after open-heart surgery?

NO.: Standard midline sternal approaches take two months to heal completely. Less invasive approaches may heal more quickly and allow for quicker return to activities and work. ...Read more

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After open-heart surgery rashes around the wound? Why?

After open-heart surgery rashes around the wound? Why?

Rash : Most likely for the tape or dressing. Redness may be just normal healing or inception. It needs to be serially followed. The incision needs to be washed with soap and water. ...Read more

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Is it ok to play ball after open-heart surgery?

Is it ok to play ball after open-heart surgery?

Yes, but...: You need to wait at least a couple of months for the sternum to heal completely. Early activity can lead to sternal dehisence (the breastbone splits open) which can have deadly consequences. After everything has healed, you can do everything you did before surgery. ...Read more

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How to prevent infection after open-heart surgery?

How to prevent infection after open-heart surgery?

Multiple: Well cleaned preop
bactrian nasally
excellent prophylactic antibiotics given on time
careful prep of skin
excellent surgical technique and tissue handling and careful closure
?ll are standard practices but there is still an incidence if infection:
diabetes
obesity
contamination
etc. ...Read more

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Does the sternum fuse together after open-heart surgery and how long does it take?

Does the sternum fuse together after open-heart surgery and how long does it take?

Yes, like bone fract: The sternum is a bone & heals like any other bone. It is "fractured" (cut) at the start of open-heart surgery. At the end of surgery, the sternum is usually "sewn up" using metal wires to hold the 2 parts together. Further, bone healing (fusion) occurs over the course of 3-6 months (eg, as with a broken arm). Wires hold the sternum together in that time & fuse with bone as it heals. Ask surgeon. ...Read more

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After open-heart surgery about 5 weeks now is it normal to be experiencing pain and stiffness in neck, head, shoulders and heart?

After open-heart surgery about 5 weeks now is it normal to be experiencing pain and stiffness in neck, head, shoulders and heart?

Depends: On your problem. How u- important it may look bring to the attention of your doctor (s). Your doctor will make sure is not procedure related. ...Read more

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After open-heart surgery. When will i be able to lift heavy weights again? And do people usually lose significant weight after surgery?

After open-heart surgery. When will i be able to lift heavy weights again? And do people usually lose significant weight after surgery?

3 months & yes: I typically restrict lifting, pushing and pulling for 3 months following heart surgery thru standard incision. 1 month for min invasive approach. I keep them to 10 lbs for 6 weeks and 25 lbs for another 6 weeks. Weight loss. I usually tell patients to expect to lose 10 to 30 pounds over 2-3 months after surgery. Unfortunately they often gain it all back w/in a yr. ...Read more

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I feel dizzy spells after open-heart surgery?

Have it checked: After surgery, you may have anemia (low blood count) or hypotension/ dehydrtation, etc.
You should have it checked by your cardiologist or pcp. Could need something as simple as adjusting medications. ...Read more

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What is best to eat after open-heart surgery?

What is best to eat after open-heart surgery?

Low cholesterol diet: To slow down the atherosclerotic process, a low cholesterol, low sodium diet with fish instead of red meat and polyunsaturated instead of animal fats is ideal. ...Read more

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Will I lose weight after open-heart surgery?

Will I lose weight after open-heart surgery?

Likely be advised to: People tend to lose weight after heart surgery more so because of being advised that their bad food habits have to change for them to have a chance of a prolonged life. So if you are having surgery at age 36 then your doctors will definitely talk to you about getting cholesterol under control and any other medical issue like diabetes, stopping cigarette smoking and adding exercise to your routine. ...Read more

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Why would seroma develop after open-heart surgery?

Why would seroma develop after open-heart surgery?

Where?: Any incision may have some bleeding- -and a hematoma may develop. This can become a seroma over time as the blood is resorbed.
Or some lymphatic s are disrupted and fluid escapes into tissue.
Tissue juices and serum can remain in a wound as well.
Most are temporary.

All are resolvable. See the surgeon. ...Read more

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How long will sundowning continue after open-heart surgery?

How long will sundowning continue after open-heart surgery?

It varies: If indeed it is sundowning, and not something else (medications, hypoxias, infections, metabolic, etc), it should improve within days as the brain recovers and a more normal routine is instituted. Sometimes, recovery is not complete until the patient is home amidst more familiar surroundings. ...Read more

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When can I drink coffee after open-heart surgery?

When can I drink coffee after open-heart surgery?

Ask surgeon: If you are the individual with the heart surgery, I am concerned of a more complex cardiac history. A 33-year-old having undergone significant cardiac surgery should directly discuss all these matters with both surgeon and cardiologist. Diet after any surgery is discussed with specific surgeon. Coffee is often started with regular diet. ...Read more

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Why are arteries closed after open-heart surgery?

Why are arteries closed after open-heart surgery?

Many reasons: There are many reasons why arteries are closed after coronary artery surgery. Remember that surgery "bypasses" and does not remove blockages. Most importantly surgery does not chnage the medical problems which caused the blockages (such as cholesterol, diabetes, hypertension, smoking, obesity, and sedentary lifestyle) and unless these are addressed the arteries will continue to close. ...Read more

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Docs, usually how long is recovery after open-heart surgery on an infant?

Varies: Some operations are more complex, tedious, and complications.
Simple ones lead to speedy recovery in infants.
They are pliable and quick to heal. ...Read more

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After open-heart surgery are you able to lay in the tanning bed? If so how long after surgery?

Longer is better: Surgical incisions remodel for months. Going to a tanning bed too early risks hyper pigmentation (in addition to the usual tanning risks). Wait at least six months, even longer if possible. As always, tan responsibly! ...Read more

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Its normal if after open-heart surgery to retain water in longs and in heart and for how long?

Its normal if after open-heart surgery to retain water in longs and in heart and for how long?

Water retention: After open-heart surgery it takes some time for the kidneys to eliminate the excess fluid. It tends to build up in the lungs and legs. Your cardiologist will be giving you a diuretic to eliminate the fluid. It may take several days. ...Read more

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Could there be calf soreness after open-heart surgery?

Blood clot in vein?!: This is not a common symptom following heart surgery. Of course, anyone can have any symptom, especially if you have been in bed and not using your muscles in one part of the body and they have atrophied. But one thing to rule out is dvt, i.e. Blood clot in veins of the legs. This is not uncommon in people following major surgery, cardiac included, due to inactivity and stasis of blood in the veins. ...Read more

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Is it normal to cough up some blood after open-heart surgery? Post op day 3

Is it normal to cough up some blood after open-heart surgery? Post op day 3

On call surgeon: If you had open-heart surgery & are coughing up blood, you should contact the on-call surgeon immediately. ...Read more

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Would you still have numbness in the sternum area ten months after open-heart surgery?

Would you still have numbness in the sternum area ten months after open-heart surgery?

Possibly: Scar tissue stays numb. Particularly if an artery in your chest (the left internal mammary artery) was harvested as part of your surgery, you can expect numbness for many months. ...Read more

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After open-heart surgery what are some challanges people usually face with a broken sternum? I just want to know what to expect

After open-heart surgery what are some challanges people usually face with a broken sternum? I just want to know what to expect

Limit use of arms: There is so much you do with your arms without thinking. You push off with hands on thighs to stand. You use arms to adjust yourself in chair or bed. All of this puts pressure on sternum. I limit patients to 10 lb 6 wks then 25 lb for another 6 weeks. And no pushing or pulling for 3 months. Coughing and sneezing can be uncomfortable as well. ...Read more

Tissue (Definition)

The body is composed of tissue that are classically described as beiing derived from three basic embyonic layers known as the endoderm, mesoderm and ectoderm that then differentiate into the structures that compose the body such as skin, soft tissues, bone, muscle, organs, etc. Stem cells are not differentiated and have the potential to ...Read more


Dr. Barry Press
1,970 doctors shared insights

Scarring (Definition)

A scar is the result of the body healing. It is the end product of a long cascade of signals and cellular repair that takes approximately a year to complete, and a lifetime to maintain. It is a normal process that occurs whenever ...Read more