Heart Surgery Recovery
Whether you have open-heart or minimally invasive heart surgery, it’s important to plan for your recovery time. At the Henry Ford Heart and Vascular Institute, our heart surgery teams guide you through preparations for your recovery and care after surgery.
Recovery in the hospital
Your recovery begins in our cardiac intensive care unit (CICU), designated specifically for heart surgery patients. The CICU’s dedicated team of cardiac intensivists, ICU nurses and respiratory therapists closely monitor your care.
After one to two days, you transition from CICU care to intermediate care, either in the same room or another room on the same floor. Under the heart team’s care, you continue to recover and begin physical therapy.
Recovery at home or a rehab facility
You can expect to stay in the hospital for about five to seven days after open-heart surgery. Your hospital stay is shorter after minimally invasive heart surgery and is usually about three days.
Most patients can go home after heart surgery. If you need additional care and therapy before returning home, you may transition first to a rehabilitation facility.
Follow-up care and outpatient cardiac rehab
At discharge, your care team provides you with specific instructions for self-care at home. You will have initial follow-up visits with your heart surgeon before returning to the care of your referring provider.
About one month after your surgery, you begin outpatient cardiac rehabilitation. Henry Ford offers a structured cardiac rehab program under the direct supervision of medical professionals. Our cardiac rehab team includes doctors, physical therapists, registered dietitians and behavioral health specialists to support every aspect of your recovery. We help you regain your strength and function, and prevent future cardiac events such as a heart attack.
If you can't attend cardiac rehab in one of our facilities, we offer a telehealth program through the free Henry Ford MyChart app. In this home-based cardiac rehabilitation program, you can exercise in your own home or local fitness center. One of our cardiac rehab providers supervises you via live video.
Schedule a heart surgery consultation
Request an in-person or virtual appointment with a heart team member for evaluation. Our cardiologists and cardiothoracic surgeons work together to plan your treatment, including heart surgery options.