Mended Hearts Open Forum

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  • 1.  recovery post CABG for an advanced age patient?

    Posted 07-14-2022 12:49
    Sorry i thought I posted before but I can't find my post. My dad is 75 year old and is recommended a quadruple bypass by his cardiologist. It's a big decision for us to make. I have been looking everywhere to see if anyone can share their experience if they or their family members have been through a CABG at this advanced age before. I am worried about the recovery process. How was your recovery like? how much pain and discomfort did you experience? what did you do to get back to how you were before? Were you generally healthy and active before your surgery?

    My dad is not very healthy or active to begin with, has many comorbidities and I am afraid he can't endure the long taxing recovery. As of now he is asymptomatic thanks to the collateral blood vessels that developed and though I know we can't count on it, I am really afraid that he will suffer even more after the CABG.

    Anyone who is willing to share their experience is greatly appreciated!

    Brylan Luke

  • 2.  RE: recovery post CABG for an advanced age patient?

    Posted 07-14-2022 14:02
    I just hade cardiac open heart surgery in May, and received six (6) bypass 'grafts' ; my heart had 80 to 99 percent blockage. My recovery has been without incident, and I attend cardiac physical rehab therapy three times a week for 36 weeks. I am doing very well, and by the way, I am 76 years old. I hope this information helps.
    Bob Parker.

    Bob Parker
    Bellflower CA

  • 3.  RE: recovery post CABG for an advanced age patient?

    Posted 07-15-2022 06:17
    Hi Brylan,

    I had emergency quintuple bypass surgery 4 1/2 years ago immediately after a heart attack.  I was 67 1/2 years old at the time, asymptomatic until the heart attack, and was told I had good collateral circulation as well. I did not have any time to think about anything post-heart attack.  I basically was told we're wheeling you into surgery, do not "pass Go, do not collect $200" (if you remember the ild Monopoly game.  I was and still am, post-surgery (now age 72) a lifelong gym rat.  

    The surgery went well except that I contracted pneumonia from the ventilator tube post surgery and they had to keep me in a medically induced coma while they treated tge pneumonia with antibiotics.  The good news was that when they took me off the sedation, the pneumonia was gone (at least I was asymptomatic), the tubes in my chest had been removed and I was pain free other than when I coughed or sneezed.  The bad news was that I was weak as a baby so they shipped me off to a rehab hospital where I made such amazingly quick physical recovery that I was threatening the rehab nurses that I was going to show them handstand push-ups and I gerryrigged the wheelchair that they wanted all patients to use when they were unsupervised so that the alarm would not go off when I abandoned the chair to take a walk in my own.

    Once I was liberated from the rehab hospital,!my recovery was even quicker.  A week after returning home, I was walking a mile a day and the next week 2 mules a day, attending outpatient rehab 3x a week and, within 2 months, I was back at work in my pressure packed job as partner at a large international law firm and back at my regular gym getting back to my normal strength training and cardio fitness.  It took about a year to fully regain my strength.

    The only practical advice I have is this:  Since your dad has the luxury of time that I didn't have, research whether he is a candidate for "off pump" open-heart surgery.It's a newer and increasingly more popular form of open-heart surgery where they don't stop your heart and don't place you on a heart-lung machine while they perform the grafts.  It is reportedly safer with less chance of adverse reactions to the surgery.  In addition, I would research whether they could give your dad arterial grafts instead of vein grafts.  Arterial grafts are less prone to reblockage in the future.  I was given a arterial graft for my left anterior descending coronary artery (the widowmaker) but just veinous grafts for the other 4 arteries.  Fortunately, so far, they all appear to be clear of any new blockages.

    Anyway, open heart surgery is now quite common and almost routine these days.  It's not fun but people generally make a full recovery and live full and active lives many years post-surgery.

    Best of luck to you and your dad.  


    Ira Reid
    Hoboken NJ