The purpose of this pilot study was to compare the postoperative problems, evaluation and response of symptoms, and functional status (physiologic and psychosocial functioning) during the early recovery period (2, 4, and 6 weeks after surgery) in 35 individuals who underwent coronary artery bypass grafting (n=24) or minimally invasive direct coronary artery bypass (n=11). The most frequent postoperative problem reported by the coronary artery bypass grafting group was an incisional infection (either sternal or leg); 26% reported infection at 2 and 4 weeks, and 21% at 6 weeks after surgery. Respiratory problems (pleural effusion, pneumonia) were the second most frequently reported problem, reported by 10% of the subjects at 2 and 4 weeks and by 16% at 6 weeks. Other, less frequent problems were severe nervousness, rhythm problems, and pericarditis. Minimally invasive direct coronary artery bypass patients reported fewer postoperative or cardiac-related problems, as only 5% indicated a problem with heart failure at both 2 and 4 weeks, and 36% reported being very nervous or having emotional problems at 4 weeks. Unlike postoperative problems, there were numerous similarities in postprocedural symptoms between these two groups. Fatigue, shortness of breath, and pain were the major symptoms reported postdischarge by both groups in this study. In addition, sleeping problems were also fairly prevalent in the coronary artery bypass grafting group, which is understandable, considering the fatigue ratings. Physiologic and psychosocial functioning varied minimally between the two procedures. While there were many similarities in the recovery patterns of both groups, the occurrence of postprocedural problems and symptoms of these two patient groups should be considered by clinicians to further tailor patient education.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Nursing (miscellaneous)