Chest pains after Heart surgery

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Submitted by Dr T on October 20, 2010 – 10:34am

my husband had a cabg about 9 weeks ago and has returned to work but always has an uneasiness in his chest , he travels and is a brick layer for a living and when he is on bumpy roads he as he explains almost like his insides feel like jello, and it feels better when he is holding his chest, and he still get out of breath climbing 3 flights of stairs, is he expecting to much.

After heart surgery two things occur:

  1. Correction of the heart problem to the extent this is possible (not everything is fixable); 
  2. Recovery from the “Getting-in & getting-out”.

His shortness of breath may simply lack of stamina, but I would also suspect he may have what is called a “pleural effusion”, fluid that typically collects in space around his lung in the left chest.

He also may be still a little “fluid overloaded” and require a diuretic for a while.

If your heart is fixed, the effect on you and your body is immediate improvement. In most cases heart surgery involves cutting your breast bone and spreading your rib cage apart to allow access to your heart. this part of the operation takes at least six weeks to heal, because your body has a broken bone that heals in about the same time as fractures elsewhere.

In your husband’s case, I think he may have moved on too quickly. You can read more about recovery, exercise etc. here:

Hope this helps,

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