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Pain and shortness of breath after heart surgery

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Old 07-18-2005, 10:30 AM   #1
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 371
Cher2005 HB User
Pain and shortness of breath after heart surgery

I have mild pain when sleeping or resting after my bypass surgery. It's hard because it isn't really that bad but keeps me up. The Ultracet I was taking was making my eyes blurry and causing constipation, so I had to stop taking it. Too bad cause it helped a lot.
I have noticed much more shortness of breath since the surgery than before when the arteries were all blocked up. My husband thinks this is because my lungs are now trying to get used to a better circulating heart and vascular system. All I know is I am out of breath after walking around the block.
Would love to hear from others who have experience recouperating from Bypass surgery.
Oh.. I have stopped smoking completely since having the operation. Previously I had just cut down drastically since last November. Shouldn't that be helping my breathing too?
Kind of confused....

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Old 07-18-2005, 04:29 PM   #2
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Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Missouri
Posts: 138
trekgirl HB User
Cool Re: Pain and shortness of breath after heart surgery

Here is sound advice from a two time bypasser. First was 31 years ago, second was almost 4 years. Had aortic valve replaced with St. Jude's. The shortness of breathe is normal after bypass, the lungs are healing and must get build back up. It takes time, walking everyday a little. You should have had exericises that was done to help clear the lungs. Now the walking would help build the lungs back to health. You should not push doing anything right away. Talk with your cardio about anything you should be doing while you are healing. There is cardio rehab that can help, if insurance covers well. Otherwise, just take short walks and build that up gradually. Best exercise there is. And keeps one toned as well. Good luck and do not rush the healing, it takes time. And the shortness of breathe will pass in due time. Hang in there.


Old 07-18-2005, 05:51 PM   #3
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Hampton, GA USA
Posts: 386
Fizzickle HB UserFizzickle HB UserFizzickle HB UserFizzickle HB User
Re: Pain and shortness of breath after heart surgery

Hi Trekgirl:

If my calculator is right, your first bypass would have been in 1974. If so, that was the year that I had a heart attack (blocked LAD) that left me with severe angina and a 35% EF. In 1981, I had 6 bypasses. They relieved the angina and gave me a new lease on life. I'm still plugging along after 24 1/2 years on the same bypasses.

I've been curious about longevity of bypasses. I had an angiogram in December, and the bypasses were still patent. Yours is the longest first surgery time I've run across (27 years?). What did you do to keep those bypasses open? And how are you doing on your second set of bypasses?

I hope these questions are suitable for this thread. But I'm very interested in your experience with first and second surgeries.


Old 07-18-2005, 08:46 PM   #4
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 371
Cher2005 HB User
Re: Pain and shortness of breath after heart surgery

Thanks for the info on the shortness of breath. I was worried because I could walk well before the surgery with blocked arteries but have trounle now. I was just lucky I didn't drop on one of those walks!
Now ypu are talking about repeat surgeries. Is this what I have to look forward to? People usually have to have the surgery done again?
I have quit smoking and am on statins and watch carefully what I eat and walk. I thought that would take care of it? I am 61.

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