When should I call my doctor about my incisions from open heart surgery?
Intermountain Healthcare
After your open heart surgery, call your healthcare provider if you notice:
  • Sternum, leg, arm, or chest tube incisions that are red or hot to touch
  • An increase in the amount of drainage from incisions
  • Change in color of drainage from incisions (from clear yellow to cloudy white or yellow), possibly with a foul smell
  • Increased swelling or soreness around incisions, especially with a fever
  • Increased swelling or redness at an intravenous (IV) site
  • Clicking or movement in your sternum after the first 6 to 8 weeks

Continue Learning about Heart Surgeries

Heart Surgeries

Heart Surgeries

More than a half million surgeries are done each year to correct heart problems in children and adults. One of the most common types of heart surgery performed is coronary artery bypass grafting, which uses a blood vessel taken fr...

om another part of the body to bypass a blocked artery and help prevent a heart attack. Another is heart valve replacement, used to repair heart valves that don't open and close properly. Heart surgery can be minimally invasive, such as when a small incision is made to the chest to insert a pacemaker. At the other extreme is open-heart surgery, which requires a large incision to the chest to open the rib cage and operate on the heart. Learn more about the different kinds of heart surgeries with expert advice from Sharecare.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.