Anyone have a terrible cough and short breath after bypass surgery?

Posted by jmill @jmill, Jun 12, 2022

My father an 87 year old, in very good shape, had bypass surgery. Now he has shortness of breath and a terrible cough. Sometimes he coughs so hard and much he passes out. Has anyone had this reaction or heard of this happening? Would love ideas. Thank you!

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Since his bypass surgery, my dad could never speak for long again before he'd begin coughing. The main reason they discovered was the tubes down his throat during intubation.

Hopefully, your dad's cough will lessen, or he should bring it up to his cardio doc to send him to a specialist.
Congrats on his successful bypass!

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Hi @jmill, I would like to add my welcome to Connect along with @jeff79922 and others. I would also like to say congratulations on your father's successful bypass. Here's some information I found on the his symptoms after bypass surgery and some possible helpful breathing and coughing exercises. @danab may be able to offer some suggestions.

"Is it normal to have shortness of breath after bypass surgery?
Postoperative dyspnea is common after cardiac surgery, even in low-risk patients."
— Causes of Dyspnea after Cardiac Surgery: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6196911/

Deep Breathing and Coughing Exercises: https://share.upmc.com/2015/04/breathing-and-coughing-exercises-after-heart-surgery/

Have you had a chance to discuss the shortness of breath and coughing with your father's surgeon or care team?

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@johnbishop

Hi @jmill, I would like to add my welcome to Connect along with @jeff79922 and others. I would also like to say congratulations on your father's successful bypass. Here's some information I found on the his symptoms after bypass surgery and some possible helpful breathing and coughing exercises. @danab may be able to offer some suggestions.

"Is it normal to have shortness of breath after bypass surgery?
Postoperative dyspnea is common after cardiac surgery, even in low-risk patients."
— Causes of Dyspnea after Cardiac Surgery: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6196911/

Deep Breathing and Coughing Exercises: https://share.upmc.com/2015/04/breathing-and-coughing-exercises-after-heart-surgery/

Have you had a chance to discuss the shortness of breath and coughing with your father's surgeon or care team?

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We have. They have run additional tests. I saw this group and wondered if anyone else experienced this type of thing. Pretty scary. He is in such good health, other than heart. Trying to get him home so he can keep moving, that’s what he enjoys doing. Thank you so much for the information, I will be sharing it with family. Connect is a really Great resource.

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Hi @jmill Yes I did have an issue after transplant Surgery with a breating tube down my throat caused some damage to my vocal cords.
After an examination it was determined that one side of my cords were not working well but that time would get then healed. I did also go thru a swallow study to see if there was any damage there also and it appeared that I did have a small amount but if I was diligent to swallow often while eating it seemed to help. Now I also have Gerd which gives me some issues with stomach fluid coming up into the throat causing a cough but also I remember when I first quit smoking I actually coughed more for a while after than before and I was told that was my lungs trying to clean out the contaminates and after my first year it got a lot better. So if he smoked it may be to the effects of quitting. The other area that for me causes coughing is drainage particularly in the morning so thru my ear nose and throught doctor we got a handle on that. Hope that helps but most of it can be addressed and like @johnbishop stated mention something to your surgeon and get some referrals to get it checked out. One other thing they did tell me that if time didn't heal my vocal cords there was some surgeries available to fix problems but I ended up healing just fine. And now I can teach at my Sunday School class every week with no problems. Let me know if I can help with anything else and I look forward to hear more of what you find out.
Blessings

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