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Hi, my older brother is 65 years old and he is supposed to go for the open heart surgery – triple bypass has to be done. I would like to know what the risks of this procedure are; I know that is something that must not be taken lightly. And I am worried for him. Can something go wrong?

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Triple bypass has certain risks, but there are also some risks specific for this operation only. We are talking about badly performed surgery, also during the procedure, heart stops working (artificial pump is replacing it) and there is also some risk of infection. And he will be put into deep anesthesia, which is the first risk we should consider.
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Triple bypasss surgery is a very high risk surgery,you die for 7 hours they stop your heart,pull out vines from your legs and place in your heart the other vines that are clot up stay.you forget,body is weak,you wont want to eat you get crapy.and everything is out of control for a few weeks,go to rehab, be around other people and sometimes you space out.nothing there just quit.I am back at work i work out exercise and stay fun .Thank God everyday .

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Health Ace
6884 posts

WOW, you guys make it sound like some dark ages torture at Vlad's castle.

I had 6x bypass on the Ides of March in '96 and I've been having a wonderful time ever since. Well not completely. My trade (TV repair) died before I was ready to retire and the town took away half the income I was planning on for retirement with a zoning change the year before I was going to retire. But the bypass surgery has been fine.

They wheeled me into the operating room where everyone introduced themselves ---- then my lights went out. When I began to come to I had a tube down my throat so I couldn't swallow which took a little getting used to but I was in and out of it so it wasn't too bothersome. Sometimes I think they knew it when I came to and turned up the knock out drops. At first I discovered my right hand was tied down so I explored how much I could move and found everything else was pretty well fastened down too. Then a voice said "let the machine do the breathing for you, don't fight it". Well I already figured that out but I couldn't speak so I couldn't argue with her anyway. After that I discovered that she came over every time I moved my hand so I occupied my awake time by seeing just how little movement triggered this response from her. All I had to do was move a finger!!!! 

After a few hours (I guess) they took the tube out, and a few hours later a doctor came in to take out the drain tubes they had inserted just under my breasts (male). He remarked that he usually pulls them both out at the same time for the patients comfort but they had put mine too far apart so I was going to have to endure the pulling twice, one at a time. It didn't hurt anyway. I was amazed at the pain control they did. I expected to be in a lot of pain but it just wasn't there. That's not to say that it was very comfortable either but the pain was well controlled.

The best thing that happened to me was sharing a room with a guy who had his second bypass operation the day before I did. His positive attitude about his first experience 20 years earlier was contagious and I can testify that a positive attitude is a great asset.

They took a vein out of my left leg from the groin to just above my knee so I didn't have an incision that wrapped down past my knee. I'm sure that contributed to my comfort during the healing. They took an artery out of my left arm from inside the elbow to the wrist. That was put together with staples and they became very irritating after about a week but I had to live with them for three weeks before they would remove them. I didn't feel a thing when he took them out ----- well it kind of tickled.

The second best thing that happened was going to rehab. You find out you're not the invalid you expected to be. Those rehab nurses are like the drill sergeants I had in the Army. My hospital has a continuation of the cardiac exercise program which I stayed in at my own expense for several years.

The only negative has been a very tender spot at the bottom of my sternum which won't go away but it has diminished over the years. I like to say they removed my short term memory which is a bit disconcerting but not too bad. I don't think I'm much worse than most people my age. From what I've read they have found ways to minimize that by cooling the body down more before the operation. I also think they cut the wires to my body thermostat. I can go outside in a tee shirt at zero degrees (F) now and not feel cold.

I'm also certain they have improved their methods in the 15 years since I was there.

Any operation that involves as much as this carries some risks but i think the afore stated negative comments are unwarranted.

From the time the doc in the emergency room told me what I needed until they did the operation, I didn't stress over it one bit. I felt I was in good hands and whatever was going to happen was out of my control anyway so I was just along for the ride. Of course the whole church was praying for me all the time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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thanks, you made me feel a little better.....i have to get a mechanical valve in my aorta valve, and possibly up to 4 bypasses...really scared..

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User avatar
Health Ace
6884 posts

I hope your experience is as good as mine. I feel it will be as they have improved a lot over the years. The hospital I went to has a great reputation for this type of surgery so my job was to just lie back and let them do theirs.

Let us know how it goes and best of luck to you.
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