The Healing Process

Photo of a middle-aged coupleEvery year, thousands of Canadians survive a heart attack, go back to work and enjoy a normal life. Your heart is healing and with each passing day you’ll get stronger and more active. With a heart attack, a portion of your heart muscle has been damaged. This is sometimes a difficult concept to understand because you cannot see the damage that has been done to your heart.

How Long It Will Take Your Heart to Heal

The post heart attack healing period varies, often depending on the size of your heart attack and can last anywhere from one to three months. If you are not sure how big your heart attack was, please ask your doctor before you are discharged.

The first week is important because your heart is starting to heal. It is important to have a calm and relaxing environment for the heart to rest and recover.

From the second week on, your heart will continue to heal through the following weeks. During this time, we will ask you to gradually increase some physical activities and limit others. You may be told not to drive for four weeks following your heart attack. Check with your doctor before your discharge regarding when you can drive.

It is normal to sometimes feel tired or drained for the first few weeks. Some patients find it helpful to plan short rest periods to allow them to have more energy to complete daily activities. You will find more information on activity after a heart attack under Physical Activity.