Patient Comments: Coronary Artery Bypass Graft - Recovery

Question:

What was recovery like after your coronary artery bypass graft procedure? Submit Your Comment

Comment from: KymSue48, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: April 23

My thyroid storm symptoms were literally killing me: breathless from walking from one room to another, so weak I could only walk a few feet before just collapsing, my heart was racing all the time, my left eyebrow dropped down so much I thought it was going to touch my cheek, my emotions were jumping all over the place, I lost close to eighty pounds from lack of feeling the need to eat, and sleeping all the time. I was so bad that when I was admitted they had to give me two bags of potassium immediately. I was in the hospital for two months.

Comment from: Tan, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: October 04

I keep getting bacterial vaginosis over and over again. This will be the 4th time this year. I've taken all the medicines my doctor has given me, and it worked the first 3 times, but now no such luck. I've been doing some research and first I'm going to start with RepHresh. Hopefully this will give me some relief. The itching is driving me crazy, as well as the swelling and redness. No odor, thank goodness.

Comment from: Veronica, 75 or over Male (Patient) Published: September 14

I have dizziness after driving 45 miles to work in the morning. After I get out of the car, I feel like falling or fainting, my eyes get half closed and I see circles. My balance is off because of the vertigo.

Comment from: WVGASGUY, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: August 09

It's been 3 weeks since my coronary artery bypass graft surgery. On 7/6/2016 I had a triple bypass procedure. (100 percent, 99 percent and 85 percent). I was in terrible physical condition as I did not exercise or walk before surgery. I had a great doctor and staff taking care of me, and I came home 5 days after surgery. No pain medicines starting the 2nd day after the surgery. They made me groggy and I didn't like the feeling. It took about two weeks before I could lie on my side (carefully) at night. My pain (seemed to be mainly 1) was near my left shoulder blade at times, probably from laying oddly during surgery and 2) a sharp pain in my lung when I cough hard. Fortunately I don't have to cough hard often. I do have a nagging cough still that I deal with but it seems to go away when I lie flat to sleep. I started walking 30 minutes a day about 2 days after going home (7 days after surgery). I'm still waiting to get in to a rehabilitation program locally. Unfortunately my sugar spiked during surgery so my diet is now that of a heart patient and a diabetic. My doctor has me on medicines but is giving me 90 days to see if I can lower my A1C number. It's motivating me. I was a junk food addict and my lifestyle needs to change. I'm going to do it!

Comment from: Paul, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: April 12

I had my coronary artery bypass operation ten weeks ago. I had a heart attack two years previously and had two stents inserted into blocked arteries, but they didn't do the job and was advised to have a bypass operation. Although my recovery time is taking longer due the fact that they discovered I had internal bleeding after the operation and so they had to stop that, and I have a raised diaphragm in my left lung that sometimes causes me to gasp for breath, I feel as the weeks go by stronger and fitter. The staff on the wards I was on were truly outstanding and their concern and care kept me calm, they are the reason I can go back to a decent life again after two years of pain.

Comment from: Richard, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: January 05

I had a coronary artery triple bypass graft after my third heart attack. The hospital and staff were fantastic but one year later I still have bad sternum pain. After the operation I suffered from continuous infections in the leg graft site, sternum and worse, believe it or not, with several urinary tract infections. Now one year later I have narrowing in the LAD (left anterior descending) coronary artery above and below the graft and angina once again.

Comment from: bue, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: October 27

Tubes were put in my ears to go in the oxygen chamber. I couldn't stand and the tubes were removed in 4 days. I am now having problems with ear aches. One ear is trying to close up over the ear drum. The other isn't closed up yet. I wish I had never done it, I had an open wound. Doctor said I need to do that to get it healed. I hope I get they get ok but right now I am in pain with earaches.

Comment from: LPN., 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: July 14

In 2008 I had my first stent due to unstable angina. Three years later I had a heart attack affecting two major arteries and was stented. The following three years seemed as though I could almost mark the date of when my LAD (left anterior descending artery) was blocking again. Recently I had symptoms and thought it early as I had just had my LAD ballooned so nothing could happen that fast. Wrong! I had all my usual symptoms and a frightening added one. Driving on my way to work, my lower arm and hand became numb. I tried to shake it off without success. Then one side of my face became numb. Catheterization showed an 85 percent block after only 6 months. The other stents were good so I was told I had an unlucky LAD and would needs bypass surgery. The surgery was a harrowing experience, I think. Fortunate to have little memory of some of the worst. I returned home (a month ago). All seemed to be going well. Then I had MRSA in my incision site. Painful, scary and was on an oral equivalent of an IV medicine called Zyvox. For me the side effects were very unpleasant. The MRSA has improved. Then at age 60, vaginal bleeding (which is from the stress on one's body). Then a urinary infection and thrush. Now at week 5 those extras are either gone or healing. I cannot wait to see what it will be like full force with my heart working the best it has in 7 years. I finally start rehabilitation next week. No depression. I never thought I would live until 60.

SLIDESHOW

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Comment from: Chuck, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: October 29

I'm a wheelchair bound type II diabetic who had been through 3 chemical stress tests and 3 angiograms before a cardiologist finally said, 'you can't fix this with stents'. I had 2 others tell me that I had 2 and 3 blockages respectively, but they wanted to consult with other doctors before doing stents. Thank goodness this third doctor and the associated surgeon took on my case. I had my coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) procedure on May 15th. My surgeon's partners all advised him not to do my surgery due to my immobility, neurological disease, diabetes, and obesity, but this doctor was fantastic. My recovery was absolutely awful. I've had numerous surgeries in the past, even life-saving emergency surgeries, but never before have I been in such absolute pain and felt as helpless as I did after the CABG. I was a serious athlete when I was younger, and now I couldn't move my arms! They didn't warn me about that, or the constant tearing and rebuilding of the entire chest wall of muscles as you start to use your arms again. I'm writing this in late October and I can still feel a tiny bit of play in my upper sternum that worries and bothers me from time to time, however after the Summer is over I'm happy to report I can once again lift my 3 youngest grandchildren and that makes me happy. I've also lost over 55 lb. since the first time I saw the new cardiologist in January of this year, and have not used a single shot of insulin (I was using long and short acting insulin prior to the surgery), and my A1C has gone down 2 entire points. I'm thriving, but the first couple of months were horrible, I won't lie about it.

Comment from: ewok, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: January 08

I had triple bypass surgery 7 weeks ago. I am slowly returning to normal. I am still in a lot of pain from the surgery and still having to take a pain pill every so often. The skin around the surgery is very sensitive even to clothing touching it. I still get tired and have problems with some movements. I go back for 1st post operation visit in 3 days. Hopefully, I will be cleared to drive. I have been walking every day and I have resumed some household chores. I knew it would take a while but it seems like recovery is very slow. I sneezed for the 1st time yesterday and thought I was going to pass out from the pain around the surgery site! Some motions just hurt! I am grateful to be able to be in recovery and the angina has seemed to go away.

Comment from: Evernew, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: October 31

It's been seven weeks since a triple bypass. I was going in for hip replacement and failed the pre-operation test. I never had chest pains and the cardiologist said it looked like I had two heart attacks. I feel good, but as I said, I never had any pain. So, no, I do not feel better than before the surgery. They said my heart was strong. My exercise has been on a stationary bike, since walking is a problem. I have always been in good shape and fairly active. I did smoke a pipe for years no cigarettes). My father died of a heart valve infection at 78.

Comment from: Tartan eyes, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: March 29

Four years ago, at age 63, I experienced a heart attack. Before then, I led a healthy lifestyle, have always been slim, active, a non-drinker, non-smoker, and a regular gym member. It came as a surprise when I was told I needed a quadruple bypass (90% blockages). I had been taking blood pressure tablets and statins for 10 years and I thought it was all under control with regular check-ups. I should mention there is a family history of heart disease. I seemed to recover from surgery quickly, but three weeks out of hospital I hit a wall and seemed to deteriorate more each day. The doctors could find no reason for it. I felt I was being slowly poisoned. Against the advice of my cardiologist, I decided to detox myself of statins when I found it difficult to walk, hold up my head, and was unable to sleep because of muscle cramps and pain. Within 48 hours of stopping the medication, I felt like a new woman. A couple years ago, aware of the benefits of statins, I asked my doctor if a newer, small-dosage statin was available. I started with half the regular dosage and seemed to tolerate it. A year later I started taking the whole tablet. It may not be the high dosage that my cardiologist would prefer, but I am grateful that I've been given a second chance, not only with amazing cardiac surgery but with medication that may delay any future cardiac problems.

Comment from: alr, 75 or over Male (Patient) Published: July 13

I had 3 coronary artery bypass grafts on 11-17-14. I was hospitalized 9 days and then released. Much surprise to the doctor and myself, I was as good as new in 2 months. Thank you all.

Comment from: Kevin, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: March 24

I had a triple bypass surgery on 1/12/2014. Where do I start! By now surely I should be starting to feel on the mend. At our local hospital I had a meeting with the CEO who openly admitted that they totally failed me. There isn't any aftercare, if there is I haven't received any. All I had was 1 appointment with the cardiac consultant, that’s it. I am feeling so emotionally drained arguing and fighting to get some support. I just do not know which way to turn for help and support.

Comment from: emmey, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: September 26

I had a triple bypass in 2001 with three blocked at 90%. I had gone to doctors for YEARS (about 20) and was blown off probably because I was a woman. Stress test showed nothing nor did the EKG so they and I gave up and when I would be exercising and have chest pains and jaw pains I would stop and take an asprin and when it went away I would continue. Finally in 2011 I went to another doctor and he did the cardiolite test and sent me to a cardiologist right away. Surgery was about a couple of weeks later as I wanted to see the best at it. Had it on a Tuesday and was home Saturday. From then on it was a piece of cake. The only medication I took was Darvocet and that was from pain from the vein or artery near the knee. Was doing everything but had to take it easy so the chest could heal. Do not remember pain there. The surgery was a cure and a relief. Just couldn't go back to work because I taught and had to be able to take a hit when on recess duty. I am short and the kids didn't always see me. Should have reported all the doctors to the state medical board, but I was just happy to feel good. Besides exercising, eating correctly, and small in stature and weight was about 100, I was doing everything right but it made no difference, obviously.

Comment from: Pam, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: December 21

I had a triple bypass on April 1, 2011, what a joke, went in that Friday for cauterization only to be informed blockage of 90%. I just turned 49 yesterday, thank god not sure how much longer I had. My feelings today are much better, trying to get all the exercise I can handle, don't want to feel that way of being tired and pushing myself with everyday life. With lupus, high blood pressure could have very easily brought on this bypass.

Comment from: EXDEP, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: July 05

I had a 5 artery bypass graft. Recovery was difficult to say the least. I suffered from heavy constipation for up to 6 weeks after the op. During the op I also suffered a mild stroke which did not leave any real symptoms but was clearly visible on the CAT scan. After 2 months I developed severe depression and thought of killing myself. After some psychological counseling things got better to the point where I am confident and strong. I was unable to hold an erection for more than 10 minutes or so before the op but now I am as virile as I was when I was 19 years of age. Thanks to everyone especially my family!