Warning notification:Warning

Unfortunately, you are using an outdated browser. Please, upgrade your browser to improve your experience with HSE. The list of supported browsers:

  1. Chrome
  2. Edge
  3. FireFox
  4. Opera
  5. Safari

Living with - Coronary heart disease (CHD)

After having heart surgery or problems like a heart attack, You can still have a normal life.

Cardiac rehabilitation programme

If you have heart surgery, a member of the cardiac rehabilitation team may visit you in hospital. They will give you information about your condition and the procedure you're having.

For the first few weeks after your surgery, someone from the cardiac rehabilitation team will check on your progress.

Most cardiac rehabilitation programmes will cover:

  • exercise
  • education
  • relaxation and emotional support

It's important you continue to take regular exercise and lead a healthy lifestyle. This will help protect your heart. It will also help to reduce the risk of further heart-related problems.


Self-care is an essential part of daily life. It's about taking responsibility for your own health and wellbeing.

If you are living with a long-term condition you can get support on how to have a better quality of life, and be more active and independent.

Support groups

There are some heart support groups around Ireland that can offer you support.

Find a CDH support group - irishheart.ie

Relationships and heart disease

Having a long-term condition such as heart disease can put a strain on you, your family and your friends. It can be difficult to talk to people about your condition, even if they're close to you. Be open about how you feel and let your family and friends know what they can do to help.

Sex and heart disease

If you have coronary heart disease (CHD) or you've had heart surgery, you may be concerned about having sex. Usually, you can resume sexual activity as soon as you feel well enough.

Returning to work

After recovering from heart surgery, you should be able to return to work. But you and your specialist will have to assess this depending on your progress and the severity of your disease. They'll also be able to tell you what type of activities you should avoid.

Content supplied by the NHS and adapted for Ireland by the HSE

Slaintecare logo
This project has received funding from the Government of Ireland’s Sláintecare Integration Fund 2019 under Grant Agreement Number 123.

Page last reviewed: 7 March 2021
Next review due: 7 March 2024