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Sore throat, coughing blood with mucus. Had heart ablation procedure for treating atria fibrillation. Normal or pneumonia symptoms?

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Cardiac Surgeon
Practicing since : 1972
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Hello. My 86 year old mother had a heart ablation procedure done 4 days ago to treat her chronic and permanent atria fibrillation. She was under general anethesia for 7 hours and now has a very sore throat that appears to be getting worse. She is also coughing up a lot of bloody mucus still. Is this normal after 4 days? I am concerned that she is heading for a bout of pneumonia should this continue.
Posted Tue, 22 May 2012 in Hypertension and Heart Disease
Answered by Dr. Joan F. Tryzelaar 10 hours later

Thanks for your query.

These symptoms are most likely the result of prolonged intubation and a local injury to the trachea and or vocal cords. During general anesthesia a tube is place into the trachea (windpipe) and this may cause local injuries.

While pneumonia should be excluded, the best therapy otherwise includes chest PT, XXXXXXX breathing exercises and coughing to get rid of accumulated secretions. If the ablation was otherwise successful, you will be happy with the eventual outcome.

Hope this helps,

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