Major complication from heart surgery, suggestions?
Journal posted on August 10, 2014
Writing this for my dad who is 77 since he has had every complication possible after having heart valve replacement surgery. He had a pretty healthy lifestyle, walked everyday, eats well, with a few exceptions. Hereditary high blood pressure and also did not take care of his teeth well.(which can increase heart disease)
When he first had valve replacement surgery, he was bleeding alot so they immediately had to go back in and do a follow up surgery to stop it. They found a few clot that they cleaned up and he was off to ICU.
Then various complications set in. He has Afib (common), ended up getting a blood infection, was on kidney dialysis, and any food by mouth ended up in his lungs.
As a result, he could only eat by IV or peg feeding. Somehow along the way he started getting constipated and they flushed out his system. He suffered ischemia (i believe that is the name) where his intestines were temporarily paralyzed and so his stomach was distended to the size of an 8 month pregnant female.
They tried everything to get it down, and finally after two weeks, and a bowel intervention from the source they were able to undo the blockage and his stomach went down.
He also was having side effects from Coumadin whereas he would cough up blood and be extremely lethargic, so they took him off for a week at a time.
Through all this, it gave him "pump head" and also appears to have brought on dementia.
So fast forward, he has been in ICU fro the past 8 weeks at Tampa General Hospital (staff is really great). Not sure what caused all these complications, but he has them. He has been getting OT and PT because he has been so weak. Recently he was transferred to Kindred long tern rehab. On second day, he had a setback and was coughing up blood clots. I suspect it was the Coumadin/Heparin mix the new place gave him. Even though the dosage was very low, it causes problem for him. He prefers natural solutions and I wish there were proven choices. So now he's back on respirator and host of other machines to keep him stable.
The heart is working fine, it's everything else.
I hope there is a light at the end of the tunnel, especially since he never wanted to have the surgery. If anyone has any great advice, that would be appreciated.