Relatively young patients with simple blockages and few health problems tend to have the smoothest operations and quickest recoveries.
Shorter hospital stays
If all goes especially well, some patients may be allowed to go home in as little as three days post-op. A 2007 study found that patients who get released early after bypass surgery have no more complications than those who stay longer.
Still, it usually takes a full five days to go home, as John Maiorana, of Virginia Beach, Va., discovered when he had quadruple bypass surgery 10 years ago at age 55.
"I sat on the recliner for a couple of days after that, feeling very vulnerable" says Maiorana. "I was walking on eggs. But after a while, I decided my heart was repaired."