Managing Pain After Bypass Surgery

Taking your medicines

A man holding a selection of pills in one hand, and a 7-day pill box in the other.

After your bypass surgery, you may be given prescriptions for new medicines when you leave the hospital. Take each one as directed. Keeping a chart or putting your pills in a 7-day pill box can help you remember.

Relieving pain

If you have pain around your incisions or in your chest, your doctor may prescribe a pain reliever. Be sure to take it exactly as directed. A gentle back rub may help relax sore muscles in your back and shoulders. If the surgeon used a mammary artery, you may feel a pulling or tightness in the front of your chest on the side the artery was used. You can use a heating pad to ease the tightness.

As your breastbone heals

Don’t be surprised to feel sharp pains in your chest as the breastbone heals. Even changes in the weather can make the incision hurt. These pains feel different from angina and are most likely not signs of a heart attack. If you have questions about what you’re feeling, or if medications are not enough to manage your pain, call your health care provider. 



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