I am writing on behalf of my 65 year old mother. She underwent a double cardiac bypass in May of 2004, approximately a week later she was back in the hospital with sternum wound infection and was re-opened, debrided, etc. On July 8th she was closed, developed osteomyletis, sepis, pneumonia, was in a coma for two days and as a consequence was re-opened the next day. It is now 9/20/04 and she has a huge gaping hole in her chest and is in constant pain 24/7.
If I have to undergo a bypass I would seriously not consider it after seeing what my mom has gone through. She is literally dying in front of us, she has lost about 30 pounds, is in constant, unrelenting pain every day and is weak as a kitten. The pain is from the cartlidge growing into her pericardium sac. At this point she is petrified of ever going back into the hospital, she spent over two months in one, with wet/dry, bleach solutions, and is now currently on the kci/vac system. My question to you is the doctors want her to undergo two more surgeries, one to remove the dead cartlidge and after healing, to be sewn back up. Only to be told that the dead cartlidge will come back because the circulation is so bad around her heart. It makes no sense to me whatsover. This is a tragedy of immense proportions in my life and my family's life, my mom was a vibrant 65 year old. Can anyone suggest something?
I feel so sorry for your Mom. Personally I have refused to do a Bypass and have survived fine for 2 1/2 years. God, am I glad!!!
I would suggest that you post your question at "heartdisease.about.com". You will have to register to be able to post a question. This is a web site that is monitored by Dr. Rich who will tell you like it is. He will not give medical advice but will direct you when you are in trouble. It sounds to me like your Mom is in trouble. I hope she is not in a small community hospital. Stories like this come regularly when you do not go to a large hospital that handles many of these a month or a University Hospital.
I'm sorry to hear the situation that your mother is in. I do believe that the complications that she is having are not common to most heart bypass surgeries. It sounds like she may not have a choice but to go through more surgeries.
It is so sad but it almost seems that complications from any wound opening are increasing in numbers. And these are never reported as failures of the surgery but should be. I imagine your mother was statistically one of the millions reported as benefitting from bypass surgery.
Cartilege growing into her pericardium sounds to me like malpractice.
I would do 2 things:
1. Begin a Lawsuit,
2. Seek another hospital and cardio-surgical staff and get an unbiased opinion on what to do.
Thank you all for your responses. The cardiac bypass was performed in Fort Pierce, Florida. The first thing the surgeon said to my mom was, "I don't carry malpractice insurance". Instant dislike on my behalf for this person. Her arteries were pretty calcified, along with the aorta and they had to use the internal mammary vein, which is supposedly why all of this is occurring. My mom wanted to be around her children, so she came to Phila******a, PA in August. She was fine before the surgery, I sincerely don't think she is strong enough to undergo additional surgeries, she is totally weak, shakes all the time and has constant heavy sweating, that literally soaks her head and body. Thank you again for your replies, it is not very easy getting any type of answers or suggestions about this situation.
My heart goes out to you and your Mom .Am so sorry your Mom is in so much pain , why is that ? does her doc know about the pain . there are many ways that pain can be controlled these days no one should have to suffer as much as you say she is. I broke my shoulder and got a staff infection , then MRSA, 4 surgeries in 30 days the vac. which in itself is very , very painful , every time they removed it I got 30 mg .of morphine iv. .I'm a nurse so I know what they gave me . believe the iv antibiodics for mrsa will make you wish you were dead , you are so sick I lost 30 lbs in 6 weeks . I couldn't eat. get your mom help.another Doctor if you have to . or talk to the one she has make him or her understand , today you have to be responsible for your self in health care or in your case you have to speak for your Mom and not assume anything. why did this doc. not have malpractice insurance ? that doesn't mean you can't sue him .....I wish you well . Blu