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CABG5x plus aortic root and arch aneurysm replacement surgery

  • 1.  CABG5x plus aortic root and arch aneurysm replacement surgery

    Posted 25 days ago
    March 9th I had surgery that resulted in 5 bypasses and they had to replace a section of my ascending aorta root and arch. 18.5 hours of surgery and a few complications after 5 days in ICU I was moved to cardiac for another 5 days and now being moved rehab hospital. I’m having shortness of breath when talking or trying to do any activity. I’m wondering if anyone else has had similar surgery and how things turned out

    Sent from my iPhone


  • 2.  RE: CABG5x plus aortic root and arch aneurysm replacement surgery

    Posted 24 days ago
    Hello  Bob

    I am happy to welcome you to the discussion and support of a caring group.  The complexity of your surgery exceeds that of many of us for sure. Nonetheless, I will make some comments for comparison purposes-I was on the table for my CABG (90-95% occlusion of left main artery and down the Y bifurcation to the LAD and circumflex) for 8 hours and also had complications and shortness of breath afterwards just speaking.  For me, the cause was the occlusion of one of my grafts; I was also quite weak.  I went to the ER at Cleveland Clinic 3 weeks post-op where they placed a stent at the left main-circumflex to remedy the problem.   We share the diagnosis of coronary artery disease, our surgeries are corrective for specific obstructions but the disease itself will always require management.  That's ok, our docs can do that.  I'm six months post-op now; my cardiac "cocktail" of meds is controlling the angina I have that can't be managed with a stent.  Life is good.

    You didn't describe the nature of your post-op complications and something there might relate to your present shortness of breath.  You are still under active care so be sure the staff knows in detail about the shortness of breath.  I imagine you are weak too, and that's to be expected.  No doubt you are urged to use the incentive spirometer to help you take deep breaths.  That likely makes you cough. Then you have to rid yourself of the large amounts of mucus that are produced.  Getting the mucus up and out requires some trial and error on your part till you master a routine that works for you. I found that deep gargling with warm salt water was helpful in cutting the mucus so I could spit it out.  Doing this routine over a sink is good, if you can. It's time consuming but so important to keep your body oxygenated and avoid pneumonia.  DO YOUR BREATHING AND COUGHING REGIME WITHOUT FAIL. And expect to do it for months.

    When you ask how things turned out, I'm here to tell you that mother nature heals us in amazing ways.  Tincture of Time is a key factor.  It's going to take more time than you can imagine at the moment.  And it's all good.  Use your rest time to meditate.  Count your blessings.Take naps. Manage family/social contacts as your strength indicates.  When your body tells you it's tired, listen.  Mother Nature is speaking.

    I hope these initial thoughts give you comfort.  I read your inquiry as a positive sign of your strength for the healing work ahead.  This is the beginning of dialogue; not a pat answer.  For so many things we are curious about the answer begins with...."it depends."

    Wishing you well, wishing you comfort and peace of mind.  Stay in  touch
    Doris



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    Doris Edwards
    Retired RN
    Dublin, Ohio
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  • 3.  RE: CABG5x plus aortic root and arch aneurysm replacement surgery

    Posted 24 days ago
    Thanks Doris for the information and encouragement.  They have moved me to a rehab hospital and I'm able to walk a little bit now still having breathing issues but slightly improved I think.  I am using the spirometer regularly. I hope you have a blessed day

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    Bob Nickoley
    Tecumseh KS
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  • 4.  RE: CABG5x plus aortic root and arch aneurysm replacement surgery

    Posted 24 days ago
    Hello again, Bob.

    Your sense that your labored breathing is improving is good to hear.  Yup. Progress is often glacial. Perhaps others many comment on the phases of return to normal breathing.  I recall that sometimes I could take a deep breath smoothly all the way down to my diaphragm, sometimes there would be what I perceived to be a "hitch" part way down.  A disconnect to a smooth breath.  On other occasions I would involuntarily have a sudden inspiration of air I didn't initiate.  Possibly some glitch in the functioning of my vagus nerve?  Other comments?  It's OK now.

    I trust the coming of spring in Kansas is every bit as welcome as it is here in Ohio.  My church is having it's first in-person service since the lock-down began. It will be in the parking lot on Easter Sunday, rain or shine. I will be there with bells on counting my blessings.  Are you finding that the loneliness of hospitalization for a big deal surgery during COVID has been hard to bear?  How are your spirits?  Open heart surgery takes grit.  You've clearly got it.

    Peace and be of good cheer
    DE

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    Doris Edwards
    Retired RN
    Dublin, Ohio
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  • 5.  RE: CABG5x plus aortic root and arch aneurysm replacement surgery

    Posted 24 days ago
    I am very much ready for spring.   I was blessed in the fact that the week of my surgery the hospital began allowing 2 designated visitors for the duration of your stay so my brother and wife were able to be there but I sure missed kids and grandkids once I was finally coherent.  I can tell you are a woman of great faith.  God is so good and I feel like I'm starting a new life of renewed faith again 

    Sent from my iPhone





  • 6.  RE: CABG5x plus aortic root and arch aneurysm replacement surgery

    Posted 23 days ago
    WOW it is amazing and a miracle that you are doing so well. ( even though it doesn’t feel like it yet)
    Please check with your surgeon snd cardiologist about your specific concerns!
    It will take time to heal from all this. Take advantage of all the therapy that is offered.
    Tell your therapists what you are feeling. they have all sorts of techniques.

    While you are in recovery ( which will take time), everyone tells you to REST REST REST Rest, which is soooo boring and seems like wasting time. A wise therapist told me to Think of Resting as “not doing nothing “ but as “Actively Healing. “

    Marilyn B. Rosenhouse
    Mobile: (214)850-0655




  • 7.  RE: CABG5x plus aortic root and arch aneurysm replacement surgery

    Posted 20 days ago
    Good morning, Bob
    To add to Marilyn' s wisdom about "active healing" while you are resting,  I also believe that healing is actively happening when you take naps. Research shows that premature babies grow while they are sleeping so NICU's are dimming lights and taking steps not to bother the babies when they sleep.  Same strategy for us!
    DE

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    Doris Edwards
    Retired RN
    Dublin, Ohio
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  • 8.  RE: CABG5x plus aortic root and arch aneurysm replacement surgery

    Posted 21 days ago
    Bob,

    I have an aneurysm at the root of the aorta at 5.8 centimeters. I have had a similar surgery...an  aortic dissection on ascension of the aorta along with 2 additional open heart surgeries. That is 3 open hearts 11 months. Yes...your current shortness of breath and other symptoms are normal.

    No technical jargon here. If this is your first open heart surgery it is frightening. Your body will help you heal but it all takes time. Do not measure your progress by hours or days but measure it by weeks and months. If you have care giver partner have them keep a journal of your daily progress and make that this person  meet with the doctor or Physician Assistant (PA) to get the progress and care plan. You need an advocate on your behalf.  All the breathing exercises and inhalations therapy are vital to your success. A short walk around the bed or walk halfway down the hall are huge successes.

    I was 56 years old when I had my first of three surgeries which was aortic dissection. I am 66 years old and I do not run but I do walk... 3.5 last Monday on one walk. Ride bike. You are 80% over the worst part. They discovered the aneurysm and repaired it. Your on your way living a long healthy life.

    I can address other issues I encountered that you may discover on way to recovery. You may call if you want to visit via phone. Let me know...I will forward the number.

    Look forward any additional questions you may have.

    Mike

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    Michael Hinderlie
    Port Charlotte FL
    (941) 421-0482
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  • 9.  RE: CABG5x plus aortic root and arch aneurysm replacement surgery

    Posted 21 days ago
    Thank you.  That does make me feel better and that things should get better 

    Sent from my iPhone





  • 10.  RE: CABG5x plus aortic root and arch aneurysm replacement surgery

    Posted 20 days ago
    Bob,
    Your a very fortunate man to survive 18.5 hours of surgery of an ascending aorta aneurysm and an aortic arc aneurysm and five bypasses.  I've had both aortic aneurysm procedures; the aortic aneurysm procedure in 2007 was 11 hours and an aortic arch procedure in 2017 was 7 hours.  There are very few heart patients that have had as complicated heart surgery. Given its been only sixteen days after these multiple procedures, you have to expect some activity limitations due to shortness of breath.  After 30 days of recovery your strength and capacities should significantly improve.   With your doctors approval, begin walking exercises at the rehab facility.  Once your return home, should continue daily walks,  gradually increasing distances covered. Your cardiologist should stay in close contact with you by phone or followup consults. Once you're 45 days post-surgery, you should enroll in a cardiac rehab program at a cardiac rehab facility.  It's an exercise program monitored by nurses and physical therapists; scheduled one hour a day, three days per week. When you've completed this program, you should be about 5 months post surgery.  By six months post surgery, you should be at about 80 to 90% of normal endurance and strength.  Based on your doctors advice, you should be able to return your to full activities with important restrictions on heavy lifting and weight training.  You can email me at fvfabry@gmail.com if you have questions about my experiences.
    Best of Luck,
    Vic


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    Victor Fabry, CEO
    Greylock Advisors, LLC
    Short Hills, New Jersey
    fvfabry@gmail.com
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