07 5699 8258 [email protected]


Feelings (Mood Swings)

Are very common after any large operation. Good news is: IT IS JUST TEMPORARY!

One might not be too affected by them. Others could express one emotion predominantly, whereas some can experience a mixed of them with different levels of intensity. That’s highly individual. However, knowing and acknowledging them as part of your recovery period will give you a chance to prepare and control them. Some reasons for mood swings, and even change of behaviour are drugs used during anaesthesia, pain, initial physical limitations, anaemia, disturbed sleep (especially in hospital) and the actual recovery from this major insult to one’s body. NOTE: If you are feeling down, share with staff or your carer straight away. A little upset can transform into ‘monster’ overnight! NOTE: Ask your carer to read all information material you’d been given.

Feeling Depressed

Is also common. Remember: IT IS JUST TEMPORARY! And talk to someone about it. Some reasons why people can feel down:

Lost of Control – The disease process might give a sensation of ‘lost of control’. Remember: YOU ARE IN CHARGE OF YOUR RECOVERY!!

  • Refer to “How Can One Manage Recovery”
  • Avoid watching News

Need of Assistance – Help from other people is just temporary. Use help to re-establish confidence and independence sooner. Think about it:

  • “helping is a bless”
  • “getting help when it is needed is a bless”

Feeling Weak – This is just temporary. It improves with physiotherapy, walking, healthy eating.

Difficulty to Concentrate and Finish a Task – This is just temporary. One’s ability to concentrate is naturally impaired after operation.

  • Explain this to other persons
  • Start small
  • Set realistic tasks and goals
  • Postpone that crosswords if is too hard

Difficulty to Communicate – Vision and hearing may be temporarily impaired due to medications and recovery itself

  • Explain this to other persons
  • Allow more time to communicate
  • Write important things so you can refer back to
  • Minimise background noise
  • Light is good: keep environment clear
  • Use head light to read

Lost of Appetite – Some people associate loosing appetite with the fact of being sick, when actually YOU ARE RECOVERING! Reasons:

  • Medicines might cause a taste of metal or bitterness
  • Constipation (please refer to ‘Deal with Constipation’)
  • Pain (please refer to ‘Deal with Pain’)
  • New eating habits – start healthy eating before your operation

Negative Thoughts – Instead of feeling depression, one can maintain repetitively negative thoughts about all points discussed above. This can translate into emotions like anger, frustration, withdrawal, anxiety.

  • Try to focus on how one can change/minimise negative thoughts
  • Set realistic goals for your recovery
  • Avoid watching News, and drama/violence movies

Feeling Lonely – Some people live alone, and some would prefer a especial friend or relative who is unable to assist during recovery. YOU ARE NOT ALONE – think about the number of people that helped you to get back on track. They are the hospital staff, friends, acquaintances, neighbours etc. VALUE THEIR WORK and this will make you feel included.

When you are physically better:

  • engage in organisations like Heart Foundation, Diabetes Australia, Cancer Council
  • help other people

Pain – If you think about it, pain alone can cause all of the above: impact on concentration, communication, mobility, appetite, sleep etc. By just decreasing mobility, pain can cause lung collapse/pneumonia, clots on legs, high blood pressure and the heart to race.

Although it is unrealistic to expect to be absolutely pain-free after a big operation, it is essential to keep it bearable so it doesn’t impact negatively on your recovery.

  • It is time to recover, not to ‘toughen up’.
  • PLEASE REFER TO ‘Deal with Pain’

Tips to Speed Up Recovery:

  • Establish a routine asap
  • Shower and shave every day
  • Fresh regular closes: Pyjamas are to sleep only!
  • Rest but avoid sleeping during the day
  • Control pain
  • Take control of your medications
  • Do breathing exercises
  • Do physiotherapy
  • Socialize

For an appointment or seeking a second opinion with Dr Provenzano, please contact:

Gold Coast Private Specialist Suites 14 Hill Street, Southport

P: (07) 5699 8258   F: (07) 5676 6784

Dr Sylvio Provenzano


Dr Sylvio Provenzano is an exam-qualified Cardiothoracic Surgeon by the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS). He specialises in cardiac, thoracic and congenital cardiac surgery.

Opening Hours

Gold Coast Private Specialist Suites

14 Hill Street, Southport 4215
9:00 – 16:00
Phone: (07) 5699 8258
Fax: (07) 5676 6784
PO Box 809, Southport BC, Qld 4215