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.
The pain can be surprising
A quadruple bypass in 2004 taught Tammy Estep, now 50, a hard-won lesson about traditional bypass surgery: No matter how much a person worries ahead of timeand she worried plentythe aftermath comes as a shock. "Doctors can't tell you how your body will feel," says the Buffalo, N.Y., resident. "It's something that you have to experience for yourself." Not that you'll ever want to, says a heart patient in this video.
The slowness of Maiorana's recovery pushed him to attend a cardiac rehabilitation program at his local hospital. The supervised exercise and nutrition counseling armed him for the recovery ahead.