Category: 

How Long Does it Take for Full Heart Attack Recovery?

Some patients recover within weeks of a heart attack.
A human heart.
The anatomy of a heart attack. People who have survived a heart attack often need cardiac rehab.
Article Details
  • Written By: Dan Cavallari
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 07 July 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2014
    Conjecture Corporation
  • Print this Article
Free Widgets for your Site/Blog
More bank robberies occur on Friday than any other day of the week.   more...

July 30 ,  1945 :  The USS Indianapolis was torpedoed after dropping off key components of the Hiroshima atomic bomb.  more...

While it is possible to make a full heart attack recovery, most people who have a heart attack never make a full recovery and must adapt their lifestyles to prevent future heart attacks or even death. After three to five days in the hospital, a patient is likely to be discharged unless he or she has undergone a surgery, in which case the hospital stay may be longer. Once at home, the heart attack sufferer will need to take part in a heart attack recovery plan that will most likely involve medications and exercise. People may take these medications for a set period of time, or for the rest of their lives.

Just about all people who suffer heart attacks must change daily habits during heart attack recovery. Cardiac rehabilitation programs help people develop new diets, exercise routines, and healthy daily habits that will help prevent future heart attacks and help the heart heal from the most recent one. The heart can incur scar tissue as a result of the heart attack, and this scar tissue is sometimes permanent, which means the heart is irrevocably damaged. Other steps will need to be taken to ensure heart attack recovery and to encourage healthy habits that will lower heart rate and prevent blood clots.

Ad

Some heart attack sufferers make a full recovery within weeks or months of the heart attack, while others may need to rest for much longer periods of time and feel the after-effects of the heart attack for months or even years. Shortness of breath, chest pains, and other common symptoms may be felt during the heart attack recovery period, and the medications are often meant to help prevent such symptoms and to help the heart heal more quickly. The recovery time will depend on several factors, including the overall health of the heart attack sufferer and the changes he or she makes after the heart attack occurs.

In some cases, a heart attack sufferer may need to undergo surgery to repair damage to the heart. This is a more serious condition, and there is a substantial risk of long-term effects as well as a risk of death. A person recovering from a heart attack that required surgery may never make a full recovery, and those who do will undergo a very long heart attack recovery period that can last months or years; lasting effects are likely in just about all heart attack sufferers.

Ad

Discuss this Article

ddljohn
Post 3

@turquoise-- I'm going through the same thing as your dad. I think the emotional and psychological recovery from a heart attack takes longer than the physical recovery.

I've been having a lot of anxiety post my heart attack. When I experience chest pain, arm pain or breathlessness, I can't help but think that it's another heart attack. I'm actually on anti-anxiety medications now because of this fear.

I also had to quit smoking and make some major lifestyle changes and I think all of this is bringing on a mild depression.

turquoise
Post 2

My dad had a mild heart attack two months ago. He's doing better but sometimes he has chest pain and he freaks out because he thinks he's having another heart attack.

SarahGen
Post 1

I had a heart attack last year and my recovery took months.

I did feel considerably better after a week at home than I did at the hospital. But my heart was very tired for a long time and it took months for me to be as active as I used to be.

After the heart attack, it was difficult to move around without getting exhausted. The first month, I rested most of the time at home. Even a short walk or a trip to get groceries would tire me out. I didn't want to push myself, so I preferred to stay home and rest.

After the first month though, things got better and I could walk more and actually run out for some errands without tiring out right away.

I don't know if it's the same for everyone, I'm sure the intensity of the attack and possible complications also affect recovery from a heart attack.

Post your comments

Post Anonymously

Login

username
password
forgot password?

Register

username
password
confirm
email