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My dad had open heart bypass surgery, and now he is feeling pain at the upper left side of his chest which starts when he walks or gets angry, and stays for hours afterwards. it only goes away if he relaxes for a couple of hours but it can come back again in a second if he became angry from something. i was just wondering if this is normal, or does it have any relation to the heart? thanx

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I think that since your father has gotten his heart bypass surgery he should take it easy on his chest. It sounds like that's what's causing the issue. I do think it might be worth talking to a doctor about it because it sounds like there could be something going wrong but I want to assure you that it is PROBABLY normal. STill make sure to have it investigated, okay?
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I had normal heart bypass surgery but I do know some who have had the robot surgery. You will still be abit tender/sore from the surgery site but you dont really feel much pain or anything from the inside bits of surgery. I had my vein harvested from my lower leg as it was an emergency situation and I had absolutely not one single problem with my leg.

As your surgery is planned you will probably have your mammary vein harvested for the bypass. I dont think you will even be able to tell or feel that it has been moved.

I imagine you will be in hospital around 5-7 days. I was in 12 days., I had a bypass,valve replacement and aneurysm repair as well as a major complication. They will get you up and walking the very next day. You will be surprised at how much you are able to do.

Probably by 4-6 weeks you will be able to return to work if you do well and have no complications. Lots of patients do well and have no major complications.

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Health Ace
6885 posts
I had 6x bypass surgery in 1996, a month before my 56th birthday. They cracked me open like a lobster which was the common method at that time. They laced up my rib cage with wires and sewed up the skin with hidden stitches. The slice on my upper leg where they got a vein, was also stitched that way. The slice on my lower left arm where they took out an artery had 28 staples holding it together. On an x-ray, the wires inside my chest look like a UHF TV transmitter antenna or like the way paratroopers used to lace their boots when I was in the army. There are so many staples inside me it looks like a kid was playing with a stapler. I learned what an inverted "T" wave is. When I go for an EKG they are expecting to see a bad looking waveform because of the heart surgery and I tell them I did have a heart attack but all I got out of it was an inverted T.

They did the operation on Friday afternoon and when my wife came to see me on Tuesday morning they asked me if wanted to go home. Well ----- you know what my answer was. That dam hospital bed was the most uncomfortable thing I ever slept in (tried to) and my back was really hurting from it. I think they make it that way so you want to get out of the bed. I had to pass a test before they would set me free. The nurse took me to the stairwell and said to climb up the stairs. I got to the first landing and turned to go up the next set of stairs when she said that was good.

Then came the removal of the catheter which I wish I had watched because I would like to know how big that hose was. For several weeks I peed like I had a fire hose for a penis. Next she removed the stickers from my chest. Two of them had wires that went inside me that were difficult to pull out. I assume that was to start my heart in case I needed it.

A doctor had pulled the two drain hoses out of my chest on Sunday but didn't sew up the 1 inch incisions so they told me to keep an eye on those for excessive draining and proper healing.

Not expecting me to go home, my wife didn't bring any clothes for me so they gave me two johnnys to wear, one to cover the split in the other one, and off we went. I stopped at the dragway office on the way home to let them know I didn't think I would make the board of directors meeting the next night.

The whole left side of my chest was numb for a while. The feeling slowly came back over a couple months. However I know of some people who have had a real problem with that. Some have also been in severe pain for months that has never completely gone away.

They gave me an appointment three weeks away to have the staples removed and for a checkup. After a week those dam staples were really biting and I asked if I could go to a local doctor to get them taken out -----NO!!! When I finally went in he used a staple remover that clicked each time. It didn't hurt at all, it kind of tickled. He wasn't exactly a fountain of information, I had to drag any answers to my questions, out of him. I did get him to draw a diagram of what he did. It shows exactly what arteries they bypassed and that they moved the mammary and stomach arteries.

I asked him what I was allowed to do and his answer surprised me. He said I had no damage to my heart and he fixed all the plumbing so as far as he was concerned I could do anything I wanted.

It was very difficult to get answers to my questions about aches and pains that concerned me during the healing process. They gave me a phone number to call at the hospital before I left. Once when I was getting out of bed to go to the bathroom I nearly passed out. They considered that normal. Another time I was watching TV and realized I couldn't make out the part of the picture that was in the center of my vision. This slowly turned into a ring of squiggly colored things that looked like those things they dip an ice cream cone into. The center was OK and the outside was OK, just a ring that expanded until it disappeared from my view. A call to that line again got no response. They just listen and say Ummm Hummm. All the doctors and nurses I encountered since do the same when I ask about unusual (to me) things.

The only real painful thing I had for too long was my sternum. It stuck out like a finger under my skin and hurt like hell if it only got brushed against. I had some problems with severe nausea which I finally discovered was related to that sternum being touched accidentally. At first I didn't connect it because the nausea occured 4 hours after it got touched. Again all I got was nods and umm humms.

About nine months after the surgery I went to see the heart surgeon about it and he said that hard thing that was sticking out was a hernia which often happens because of the surgery and he could schedule another operation to fix it ------- for about $20,000. I declined because I didn't believe it was a hernia. I later got them to x-ray me over at the VA hospital and they showed me the x-rays and said it was a deflected sternum. That still bothers me and I can't sleep on my belly or lean over the fender to work on my car.

I do thank that surgeon for telling me what he did. I took him at his word and I do everything I want. A few years ago I helped a friend load a UHaul truck when he was moving. We carried his washer up from the lower level of his condo, out the front and into the truck. We had to pick it up to carry it because the dolly wouldn't fit through the stairwell. I had to walk around the lawn for about 15 minutes to catch my breath after that one. Then we did the same thing with the dryer. But that's normal because of the blood pressure pills that won't let my heart speed up to respond properly to the sudden exercise.

I also thank the guy who was in the room with me when I got out of surgery. He had just had his second bypass job. The way I was feeling at that moment my response was: "The next time, they can just take me out to the woods and shoot me". He said, "Oh no, I had the best 20 years of my life after the first one. I went sailing and hiking and all kinds of things". He instantly changed my attitude.

They cut through a lot of nerves and muscles to get in there so I would think anything that causes him to tighten up muscles might cause pain.

A funny side effect of mine, I like to say they must have cut my thermostat wires. I can go outside now wearing just a short sleeved shirt when it's near zero (F) and not feel cold.
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Hello it's been 9 months since my double BP, chest pain is really bad when i try and do anything, within 30 seconds pain stops me in my tracks so bad i want to go to the ER but stress tests are ok Doc says even when they had to emergency stop it and two of them hold me up form falling over, stilll cant do anything much same as before BP, they have no answers for serve chest pain and not breathing, takes 15 minutes just to get my breath back from 1 minute of walking, oh yes not over weight was working construction and fit
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njoynlife, I just had a single bypass three weeks ago. Tell me that the chest tightness from the surgery gets better after time. Tell me that you can get back to regular activities later. I'm out of breath all the time from walking short distances and the tightness around the sternum from the surgical wire is constant.

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I'm going on 8 weeks after an aneurysm repair and valve replacement. I still have sternum pain and tightness, especially when I wake up at night. How did you have to wait for the pain to go away?
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Health Ace
6885 posts

OMG, I just found your post. They seem to be having problems sending reply notices. It shows I'm still subscribed to this topic but I never saw your reply.

Did you go to rehab? That was the best thing that I did. They exercised me into great shape and made me feel much better about my condition. I don't feel much of any tightness anymore. How are you doing?
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Was this suppose to be a published novel I wonder, or just someone who likes to talk
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OMG...I feel you. I have had sternum pain since the Qudruple bypass surgery in July. I am still retaining fluid and taking Lasix and OMG the pain in my legs, feet all the way up is unbarable to walk
at times. My chest tightens like a heart attack or a belt being pulled around me and suddenly being tightened until I can't breathe. They say this is normal. I keep mentioning this and get the same response. My Quadruple turned into a triple ...the doctor said he could do the last vein and closed me up quickly. I was opened twice due to an infection because they put me in a very very hot room and I got infected. I flat lined during this surgery also so they brought me back. Anyway. I had to be opened twice to clean out infection. A nightmare! I deal with this to date and nothing has changed. I still have fluid and they say now that my heart doesn't pump as well as when I went in there they hope for it to get stronger but I will never be the same they said? Well... they say my next step is a pump placed inside my heart or worse a heart transplant.... This has been a horrible experience and all I want to do is live. I am 55yrs old and would love to see my son graduate and my daughter have my first grandchild. I would love to go back to having fun... I am praying and praying and just hoping for a good outcome. It's in gods hands.
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I found it interesting and can feel their pain.
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I understand what you're going through. Been having the SAME issue since my BP in April 2016. Still trying to understand why I'm having this issue.
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My bypass surgery done before 2 yrs ago. But after two month my leftside chest pain docter check by ct angiogram. But no any trouble to heart. But chest pain in continuesly what i will do for it
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It is about 3 years since I had a triple by-pass subsequent to a failed double-stenting. I am 80 years old now and do a 4 km walk in the evening when it is sun-down. During the first K.M. I start developing angina and slight discomfort in the chest but I persevere with slow steps. Afterwards, the pain and angina disappears and I can walk any distance of course subject to my muscular ability but I restrict myself to 4 Kms. This I translated to opening up of the constricted arteries which require a higher pressure that is an increased demand on the heart. I suppose the heart is relieved of the additional demand once the arteries open up. Am I clinically right ?
Being an Engineer by profession, I assume that CABG or any other vascular procedure only de-cloggs the pipeline and the old motor which is your heart with its chambers and valves can not carry an extended guarantee beyond what was printed on it by the creator !
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7 years since my triple bypass, having chest pain some times realy bad pain some times just mild pain. Non the less pain with no answers for the cause or what to do to deminish this pain. Had 5 stints put in 4 months ago had a stint put in to repair
an anurisum between my heart and stomach. all in all I am alive with no quality of life. Upset discussed why yessssss
Doc says it is not my heart, ok then what is it take a guess and lets get on with it.
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