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British Heart Foundation
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Mum's triple heart bypass surgery

Hi all

My Mum had a triple heart bypass 6 weeks ago tomorrow and is still getting a lot of pain in her chest. She was taken by ambulance yesterday from her doctors surgery as they though she might have had an angina attack, it turns out that she didn't and the pain could possibly be her chest healing. I am interested to learn about peoples pain in particular womens pain tbh and how long it should last and how you cope. I would like to help my Mum as much as I can so would love to gain as much information as I can.

Thank you

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Hi Mitchsmith, sorry to hear of your mums issue.

I have a quad just over a year ago and this is from a male view.

6 weeks is still early and the chest bone hasn't properly knitted back together as of yet. what she may be feeling is where the wires are settling down, the muscle and nerves round them are reconnecting which caused me a lot of pain. The scar itself can also be quite painful, she should be encouraged to moisturise it, bio oil, rosehip oil are things I have used. Others will come along with more suggestions.

If it is the wires, she could apply ibuprofen gel directly on to them, not on the scar, that gave me some relief.

others will be along soon as well

regards

Mark

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Thank you Mark that's really helpful. I hope you are feeling better.

Regards

Michelle

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Hi Michelle,

Sorry to hear what your mum has been through but great that she has support and family there for her. The BHF has some info on recovery after heart bypass surgery however it's not specific to females. If you are ever concerned about your mum's recovery it's best to discuss with a doctor or cardiologist as recovery time can vary from person to person.

More info here: bhf.org.uk/heart-matters-ma...

Really hope this helps and do get in touch if you ever need anything else. Our cardiac nurses can also offer support. Take care.

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Thank you for that Helen, I will have a look at the link

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Hi Michelle

I had AVR surgery 8 weeks ago and subsequently had a pacemaker fitted. I still get some chest pain. It takes about 12 weeks for the sternum to heal completely but you can still get chest pain for several months afterwards - I also had heart surgery six years ago so speak from experience. What might help at night is using a rolled up towel against her chest (in my case I use my old teddy!). I find it gives some support when sleeping on my side and it stops me rolling too far over.

Hope she feels better soon.

Wendy

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Hi Wendy

I appreciate your answer and will certainly pass this info onto my Mum.

Hope your doing well.

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I had a AVR nine years ago and remember the pain from where the breast bone had been cut well. In my case I could feel the two plates physically move slightly and it did go on for quite a few months after the op but gradually got less and less until it went completely. My husband had an emergency triple AAA back in August and he doesn’t feel a thing!

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Hi :-)

I am a 63 year old female and I had a triple by pass 4 months ago .

I am still experiencing pain in my chest from the operation , it just takes time .

I found a cushion a great help when ever I lay down .I would hug 🤗 the cushion tightly to my chest and it really helped , I am still doing it .

It’s only early days , your Mum will get a lot better each week .

I found the roles reversed my daughter ended up being my Mum , for the first couple of months .

Just being there for your Mum , means everything xx

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Morning

Thank you for your reply, I will pass on this info to my Mum.

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Michelle is my Daughter, and I cannot express just how much Love and Respect for her that both my husband and I have. She has made this experience more bearable and we don't know how we would have coped without Her love , compassion and total devotion, You are so right, I do feel our roles have reversed, She is my rock.

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Thanks Mum that's very kind of you to say. We will get through this all together xxx

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Hi Pam,

I had a triple heart bypass just over 8 weeks ago and I do still feel pain in the chest area. I was told by the heart rehab nurse that this was most likely nerve endings knitting back together. On my heart rehab course, I have a lady who had a double bypass on the same day as me. Just before Christmas she was saying that she still feels out of breath. I saw her yesterday and she said that she feels fine now. I guess what I'm saying is, we all heal at different rates. You've been through a hell of a lot so from a Psychological perspective you are probably feeling very fragile.

I can say from experience that everyday you will get stronger and more confident :-). I'm now back at work now and whilst I feel a little tired and sore, I feel a lot better than earlier post op.

All the best

Nick

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Hi Nick

Thank you for your reply. Although it’s sad to hear that people are still in pain it’s comforting to know that my mum isn’t going through this alone.

Thanks again Michelle

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Hi, I had a valve replaced 7 weeks ago today. I was doing really well, just managing the pain with paracetamol. However, last Wednesday I woke up with chest pain, which got worse during the day and the paracetamol didn't help. I rang my GP and he said to come straight to the surgery, To cut a longish story short, he completely checked me over and concluded it was just my intercostal muscles, which I had probably strained. He gave me a stronger pain killer which soon eased the pain. I'm pleased to say, just 2 days later the pain has subsided.

So advise your Mum to take it really easy. It's easy to come complacent and overdo it.

Good luck.

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Morning

Thank you for your reply its really helpful. I will reiterate the fact that she shouldn't doing too much.

Thank you again. Hope you are doing well.

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I know exactly how she feels. The progress seems quite quick at first and then it levels off. I am a bit disappointed about how last week went, it was like 2 steps forward and 3 steps back. But I know from the many posts on this site that recovery is lengthy. The main thing is listen to your body and keep a positive attitude. Roll on the spring. I'm extremely grateful that I had my op last year before all this NHS chaos started. Best wishes to your Mum. We will get there, x

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Thank you That’s very sweet of you xx

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Hi

Thank you for your reply, it’s really helpful.

I think that she has probably overdone it and is suffering with the same thing as you did.

I’m glad your feeling better.

Thank you

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Hi, I had a triple bypass 15 year s ago, when I was only 44. I remember analysing every pain and pump after for many weeks. Where the rib cage is wired back together I still experience discomfort. Whilst it is a life changing and saving operation, it is still a big trauma to your body and does take time to heal. I was a young and formerly fit woman but still took 3 months off work to fully heal and get my head around what I had gone through. So I think your moms reaction and anxiety are fairly normal. Best regards Deborah

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Thanks Deborah

It is overwhelming isn't it. I do hope that you are better now.

Michelle

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I had a triple last April and my scar has healed well, but the nerve pain can take a lot longer as I have found. So I found using bio oil hepls, but I get a very hot stinging pain around my chest area especially if

'Ve overdone it and I'm now 10 monts post op.

I

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Hiya

At 6 week’s I was in a lot of sternum pain and now at 8/9 weeks I still wake up thinking I’ve done something awful overnight. It does ease off during the day and comes back later on.

Sorry guys I think it’s more uncomfortable for women especially larger chested ladies like myself. Finding the right supportive bra without putting too much pressure on the scar area has been a challenge. My favourite has been M&S post surgery bras ( warning buy bigger than your normal size). I’m not saying that’s the only reason but it doesn’t help.

Make sure your Mum isn’t afraid to ask for correct pain relief. I’m still on strong pain relief at week 8 and would be lost without it. We are all different and have unique healing rates.

Make sure she doesn’t overdue things during the day as she will pay for it later on with horrible pain. Been there and got the t-shirt.

Having read your mum’s comments you are an amazing daughter and so supportive well done you.

Take care

Lisa x

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Hi Lisa

Thank you for your reply. I’m so concerned with the soreness/pain that my mum says that she still has but guess it is still early days.

Thanks for the advice about the bra will have a look at M&S.

I hope you are better soon, all the best.

Michelle x

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I am in the same boat as your Mum, I had a triple bypass almost 6 weeks ago , I am 61 yrs old. I still have a lot of chest pain, It feels as thought I have had boiling water poured over me. I just take regular pain killers every 5/6 hours, they help, but don't get rid of the pain altogether. I have been told by an ex nurse , that it is the nerves coming back to life and rejoining, so can be quite painful . I don't know if that is a true statement, but will ask my consultant this week when I see him for my 6 weeks post op check. I know how your Mum feels, you just want the pain to go so you can get on with your normal life, she is not alone . Good luck.

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Hi ginny1807

Thanks for your reply I’m sorry your in pain it’s horrible seeing my mum in pain although recently the pain seems to be getting better. My Mum is now 9 weeks into her recovery and amazes me every day with how well she is coping with life changing surgery.

I have my fingers crossed for you that you are feeling better very soon.

Thanks again for your reply

Michelle x

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Hi I’m 12 weeks in and although my sternum pain has largely gone I do experience discomfort if I turn the wrong way, lift something too heavy, or the big one, lay on my left side... clear indications that I’m not fully healed but day to day, I’m pretty much pain free after 12 weeks

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