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Pain in the chest after having a heart bypass surgery. Pain worsens on coughing. On pain killers. Any suggestions?

Dear Doctor,
I am seeking your expert advice for my father who is 55 years old and had undergone a heart by-pass surgery (CABG x1 Lima - LAD) Surgery 20 days ago in March2013. After the surgery, he seemed to be doing fine for a week or so but then developed pain in right side of his chest. Whenever he cough, pain has grown sharper. The follow-ups with the doctors have proved futile. He is constantly on pain killers to curb pain. Please help us and advice what should we do.
Asked On : Mon, 1 Apr 2013
Answers:  1 Views:  55
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Cardiologist 's  Response
Dear sir
Thanks for your query to HCMagic.
A pain which increases on coughing is characteristic of pleuritic pain (pain arising from a thin sac surrounding our lungs). It may be due to infection of underlying lung, inflammation of pleura or at times inflammation of pericardial sac too. Pericardial sac is a thin sac surrounding heart. Since the cause can only be deciphered by a clinical examination and investigations, it is not feasible to make a diagnosis online.
However, in such a profile, most commonly it is the inflammation of pericardium and its extension to pleura which is causing pain. Such pains get a bit better if the patients sits and bends forward. A number of drugs are there which can provide excellent relief , once infection is ruled out. I would request you to see your cardiologist and get him examined.
sukhvinder singh
Answered: Fri, 10 May 2013
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