open heart surgery question

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kitkat3
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 29
   Posted 7/29/2008 1:46 PM (GMT -7)   
My dad just had open heart surgery (quadruple bypass) today and if all is well will be leaving the hospital sometime in a week. My question is what is the best sleeping position for this type of surgery?? Probably the back I am assuming. My dad is 75 yr old and has always slept on a couch. I am thinking of getting him a recliner that reclines all the way back and was wondering if that would be more comfortable. He won't sleep in a bed and insists on the couch that is 20 yrs old and very uncomfortable. I am just trying to help him along as much as I can with the pain he will have to endure recovering.
 
 
If anyone has had this type of surgery or knows of anyone who has how did they sleep?
 
 
 
Thanks in advance
 
 
Kitkat3

els
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Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 4031
   Posted 7/29/2008 3:18 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Kit, Welcome to Healing Well. I am glad your dad is doing well and pray he continues to do so.  I would suggest that you ask his physician this question before he leaves the hospital or perhaps, occupational thearpy would be a good request to make before hand.  This can give you some ideas of what he is able to do and what assistance he may need.

Elisha
Co~Mod: Depression
Moderator: Heart & Cardiovascular Disease
http://www.healingwell.com/donate


SouthernHeart
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 8/1/2008 8:59 PM (GMT -7)   
I had a triple bypass last September.I would think it would be very uncomfortable sleeping on a couch and especially during the first month as it is hard to learn how to get in and out of bed and even chairs because for the first month you are not supposed to pull into position and you have to kind of use your leg muscles more and your arms and chest area as seldom as possible while the sternum is healing.

I wasn't able to sleep on my back the first month because I am a female and the weight of my breasts pulled across my chest and made it very uncomfortable but that won't be as much of an issue for your Dad.I found sleeping sort of on my side and surrounded by pillows to be most comfy for myself,and the most comfortable was 1/2 sitting and half laying propped up on pillows was the most helpful for sleep. The recliner I used for the first week after getting home.

Your Dad might mention to his sugeon or cardiologist his questions about sleeping positions and precautions to take.Also most bypass patients have trouble with getting adequate sleep for the first few weeks after surgery so he may need a prescription sleep aid.

I wish your Dad well with his recovery.

BTW I was 51 when I had my triple bypass.In fact I spent my 51st birthday in CCU last September.

DonnaB

DREAMGIRL
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Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 600
   Posted 8/6/2008 4:29 PM (GMT -7)   
sad  wow donna, 51 and a triple bypass.  I would love to know the history, any family heart problems, did you know you had a problem beforehand or did you have a heart attack.  thanks.  I am 61 now, but I had stents put in about 4 years ago and I am holding ups so far, but it sure scred the bejeebers out of me!!!!

SouthernHeart
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 8/6/2008 5:19 PM (GMT -7)   
DREAMGIRL my family history is terrible with cardiac problems.My Dad died at age 41 from a massive heart attack.He had serious arrthymia issues and was medicated for it but still had the fatal heart attack.My Mom is 75 and she has a history of heart failure,1 stent,1 ablation,and she has atrial fib.

I knew I had high blood pressure since I was 19 but other than that and high cholesterol I did not know of any cardiac problems.I had a heart attack last September 13th and had the triple bypass 1 week later. I had lower left forearm
pain for about 10 days along with periods of intense sweating right before my heart attack.On the 10th day I developed the more traditional chest pain along with nausea and went to the ER.They ran cardiac enzyme tests and 2 out of 3 were grossly elevated and I was told I was actively having a heart attack.

Four months later one of the bypass grafts failed(my right coronary artery) and I have had 3 medicated stents placed in that artery since then.

In May I started having sick sinus syndrome where my heart rate would be like 150 and then suddenly drop to the upper 30's and I was having fainting spells.I had an EP study and after that I had an ICD(pacemaker/defibrillator) implanted.

So much to happen and to not even know I had advanced coronary artery disease.One good thing though is that I quit smoking the day of my attack and I haven't touched one since then.

I hope your stents hold up and that you continue to do well.

DonnaB

DREAMGIRL
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 600
   Posted 8/11/2008 5:38 PM (GMT -7)   
smilewinkgrin   wink  Hi Donna,  thanks for sharing your info, sounds like you have been run through the mill.  Did you get through it emotionally,  I know when i first got diagnosed I got extremely anxious and had to finally give in to zoloft...so glad I did.  I also take ativan at nite, very small doses, I am an A type so any thing I can do tokeep calm I am all for.  again, thanks for sharing

don826
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 1010
   Posted 9/6/2008 4:58 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi Kitkat3,

I had quadruple bypass surgery done about ten years ago at age 49. I was in good shape other than the clogged arteries. (Long history of this in my family) The sternum is completely severed and then wired back together. In my case it felt like a weight was on my chest. The only way I could sleep was on my back or very slightly to one side. Sleeping on my side was uncomfortable to say the least. I found that sleeping on the couch was a little more comfortable than the bed and that having my upper body slightly raised was best. It kept the sternum from feeling so heavy.

How is your dad's health otherwise? Is he able to get up from a prone position without help? The recliner may be more difficult to get out of than just getting up off the couch. Best case would be a situation where he can swing his legs over the edge and sit up with a gentle push from his arms. Not too much pushing with (or pulling) with the arms. You need about 5 to six weeks for the bone to reattach before putting to much stress on the chest area. The height of the couch should be such that his feet reach the floor with his thighs parallel to the floor. It will not take as much effort to stand that way and he can be seated on the couch easily as well. Having the upper body raised slightly will also help especially with a male since their center of gravity is higher than a womans. (Just bit of trivia)

I wish your dad a speedy and complete recovery. I feel great ten years on and no sign of heart problems.

Take care,

Don

 


Diagnosed 04/10/08
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This2willpass
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 9/24/2008 10:53 PM (GMT -7)   
 I had triple bypass surgery in late April 2008.  Sent home with infection and back to hospital for another 3 week stay.  Anyway until a few weeks ago I, too, thought sleeping on my back would heal sternum sooner.  I had the muscle flap surgery to hold it together.  But it kept crunching and I could feel it moving.  I then realized that sleeping on my back, was stretching the area of the sternum from side to side.  I started sleeping on my sides and I have very few incidences of movement now.  Hope that helps.

els
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 4031
   Posted 9/27/2008 12:33 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi This2willpass, Welcome to Healing Well forum, we are happy to have you join us here.  It sounds like you went though Hell with your surgery eyes   I am so sorry.  Thank you for posting, telling us your experiance and how you healed after you changed sleeping positions.  This information will be valuable to many people who have this same procedure.  Please do keep posting,  I also hope you find HW a supportive and positive place to come and share your thoughts and feelings.

Take care  :-)


Elisha
Co~Mod: Depression
Moderator: Heart & Cardiovascular Disease
http://www.healingwell.com/donate


This2willpass
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 9/28/2008 1:23 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for your kind words.  I'll be happy to talk about my problems (infection, etc) with anyone going through this.
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