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My father will go soon to heart surgery. I’m worried a lot and I try to inform myself about heart surgery and its consequences as much as I can. One of my friends told me that his father had breathing problems after heart surgery. Can somebody told me are breathing problems usual after heart surgery? Thanks!

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Well, your father will need to get certain doses of narcotics to treat pain following heart surgery. Narcotics can have a lot of side effects such as breathing problems, drowsiness, nausea, grogginess, or sleepiness. That means that narcotics can delay surgical recovery. But don’t worry, it doesn’t happen so often.
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Hi nicolina,

even though your friend's father experienced heart problems after his heart surgery, it really doesn't mean that the same problems will happen to your father as well. not only are they different, but they probably are not having exactly the same procedure performed. But yes, breathing problems after the heart surgery are one of the most common complications of the procedure.

Not only do they happen because the body is exhausted after the procedure and pain killers just add to this exhaustion, even though they are necessary, but there is also a fact that breastbone has to be cut and it just might be painful to breathe for a while. More serious are post operative respiratory infections, but luckily, they happen fairly rarely. wish you all the best!
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I had an AVR+2xCABG on 4/2/2014 and have suffered strong aerobic limitation since. Can walk no faster than a turtle after 26 years of racing bicycles and 7 ESG gold medals. Frustrating. A plethora of tests reveal nothing. Have pleural effusion which exacerbates difficulty. Low salt is a must. One doctor tried to tell me I have COPD, but he is FOS. Am still trying to find underlying cause. My heart surgeon is puzzled too.
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Health Ace
6876 posts
Just a thought, do you have a bird? I had cabg x6, 20 years ago and I was having such a problem breathing a couple months ago I had to stop every 4 steps on the way up to my bedroom and I was still very uncomfortably out of breath when I reached the top step. They did all the tests for heart related problems and proved my cabg was in the best shape they had ever seen. I got rid of the parrot I've had for 16 years and two days later I was at the top of those stairs looking down in amazement when i realized I had just walked all the way up without stopping and was not seriously breathing hard.
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