After Bypass Surgery: Choosing Activities

Woman at the kitchen counter lifting a clean plate.

During the first few weeks after surgery, you need to do things that don't use your arms too much. Using your upper body tires you faster. It can also cause pain around your incision and in your chest. The tips below tell you some things you can do and some you should not do for the first few weeks.

Household chores you can do

As you feel stronger, it's OK to do light household chores such as:

  • Watering small plants

  • Dusting

  • Doing light repairs

  • Setting the table

  • Washing dishes

  • Preparing simple meals

  • Baking

Household chores to avoid

Try not to raise your arms above your shoulders. And don't do things that make you push or pull with your upper body such as:

  • Vacuuming, sweeping, or scrubbing

  • Changing sheets on the bed

  • Moving trash cans or heavy furniture

  • Carrying filled laundry baskets or any container weighing more than 5 pounds

  • Gardening

  • Shoveling snow or using a snow blower