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Joined: Dec 21, 2018

Post CABG Post traumatic stress disorder

Posted by @heartbreaker, Dec 20, 2018

I had an urgent CABG 2 months ago after a heart attack and just now read up on it to find I was put on a heart-lung bypass machine, and there are other options. My heart was stopped for over an hour! I did not have a transfusion but they used a "cell-saver". Now I wish I would have had "off-pump" and minimally invasive Sx because my post op pain was so great. Last week I had another mild heart attack because the smaller graft failed — I am very discouraged. I have to start physical therapy all over. I had NO risk factors for CAD except one: family history. Now I am obsessed with what happened in surgery and how long my heart was stopped, and the pain I went through which was not well controlled. I was so stunned I had a heart attack that I did not want to know anything ahead of the surgery. Why am I stewing over it now? What to do?


@heartbreaker welcome to Mayo Connect! Good to have you here. What you are going through is totally normal, and I can relate to you questioning if the right method was selected. I am sure you feel like a ticking time bomb. I had bypass of my celiac artery and they clamped my Aorta for the surgery for a long time due to the procedure taking a bit longer than anticipated… I did not understand that, so I did talk to my surgeon about that and was reassured that everything was fine, that it is completely normal to do that with the type of surgery I had. Not comparing what you went through with my experience….just thinking if you sit down with your surgeon he maybe able to explain what you went through and why he chose to go that route. Just knowing the reasoning can help alleviate some of the anxiety and anger. I hope that makes sense to you? Remember when your heart was stopped your body was being profused. I am sorry to hear about not having your pain controlled that is another issue that leads us to experience post traumatic stress syndrome. How are you doing today? Just want you to know you are not alone, sending healing hugs!

OK — I will try to get an appt. with the surgeon. I appreciate your response and kind words. Yesterday I felt pretty despondent, so I called the hosp. where I had the surgery and asked for the suicide hot line. I called the number and they were very helpful. I need to share my angst with the right people, so I will do that as soon as I can and try to get some psych. help as well.

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