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fluid buildup after open heart surgery

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Old 10-22-2005, 12:06 PM   #1
Junior Member
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 29
gassone HB User
fluid buildup after open heart surgery

My father had triple bypass surgery on 9/23/05. Since then he has a really bad cough and can barely talk because of it. Yesterday he went for a follow up and they told him he had fluid buildup in the lungs. They removed one liter of fluid from the left lung. They said he has a little in the right lung but they will treat it with medication.

My question is.... Is this fluid buildup in the lungs + cough normal after open heart surgery....and does it go away? how soon?

I am very worried......


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Old 10-23-2005, 12:11 AM   #2
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 1
Tracy3105 HB User
Re: fluid buildup after open heart surgery

I too am going through the same with my father.He had a triple bypass in Auguest and has had fluid on his lungs as well.Once again he's in the hospital the doctors found more fluid and drained it this time though they said he has blood clots in his leg where they took a vein out for the bypass and also found a spot on his lungs.I do know how you feel.I'm worried too.I hope the best for you and your family


Old 10-24-2005, 06:39 PM   #3
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Deer Park, WA
Posts: 27
ruthven78 HB User
Re: fluid buildup after open heart surgery

well the cough itself is probably caused by the fluid. Not to scare you but fluid build up in the lungs may be a sign of congestive heart failure or pleural effusion. I would check with his doctor and ask him/her/them what they think the build up of fluid is caused by.

Here are some links, the first one scroll down to the "after" section. These are only for informational purposes, not to diagnose your father or to scare the beegebees out of you.

Below is from

"Pleura" refers to the lining on the lungs. It produces, between an inner and outer layer, a fluid that acts as a lubricant to help the functions move smoothly. Pleural effusion refers to a build-up of too much fluid in the lungs following surgery.

Usually the fluid goes away on its own, however it can last a while (persistent effusion), affecting either one side of the lungs or both. When it continues on, it can be an indicator of fluid building up in other parts of the body, heart failure, chylothorax, or infection. It is more common after certain surgical procedures done on the heart, like the Fontan, which results in higher pressure in the veins after surgery.

below is from

Question: My dad has just been diagnosed with heart failure, and has trouble breathing. Are there any exercises he can do to improve his lung capacity?

Answer: It is likely that his shortness of breath is not due to poor lung capacity per se but rather to the fact that heart failure often results in fluid build-up in the lungs, which makes it difficult to exchange oxygen/carbon dioxide in the lungs, resulting in the symptom of shortness of breath. So, the goal is to reduce the fluid buildup through the proper combination of medicines, and sodium and fluid restriction. A simple program of exercise such as short walks, 5-20min several times per day and light dumbbell exercises for arm strength may help overall fitness, but this should not be done until the heart failure and its symptoms are well controlled. See Exercise and Congestive Heart Failure (link goes to here

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