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Had 2 valves replaced. Getting the sternum fixed and tied back together. Feeling uncomfortable while on bed. Suggest?

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Cardiologist, Interventional
Practicing since : 1998
Answered : 424 Questions
My father in law had 2 valves replaced May2. Turned into much longer stay than expected. Lots of post op problems with lungs, fluid, atril fib. All the wires broke on his sternum . Just now finishing 30 rehab sessions. He is still very active in family business that he started in 1972. Also has wife he cares for at home but has in home help for that most days. Obviously cannot pick up a lot but wondering the down side of not getting the sternum fixed and tied back together. Only really bad when rolling over in bed and feels weird. Otherwise not that bad. Any input would help because the valve replacement was suppose to be 5-7 days and turned out to be almost a month before leaving hospital. He is 79 and was not experiencing any problems at all before surgery. No shortness of breath even when going up and down steps at the shop. But his surgeon said it was time to operate on a leaky valve that he had been watching every three months for the last 2-3 years. He is very weak now and is contemplating not doing the follow up surgery on the broke wires. Any info as to which way to go would be helpful. Thanks.... XXXXXXX (son in law and work partner)
Posted Tue, 8 Oct 2013 in Hypertension and Heart Disease
Answered by Dr. Prabhakar C Koregol 11 hours later
Brief Answer:
It looks like surgery is essential and only wayout

Detailed Answer:
I need to know exactly what has happened to his sternum. Is that he had infection at site and that led to bone destruction and giving away of the wires or the wires really broke. Second is very uncommon scenario.

But whatever is the possibility, it does require redo surgery. The possibility of managing it medically is very low. Expect that the second redo surgery would also have protracted or prolonged post op period especially if infection or lack of blood supply is reason for the current problem.

Do revert back to me if you need further information.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Had 2 valves replaced. Getting the sternum fixed and tied back together. Feeling uncomfortable while on bed. Suggest? 9 hours later
We had someone with him at all times at the hospital. He used his pillow when he coughed. We were told that he coughed too hard and popped 4 of 6 wires. now all 6 are popped . I would think that everyone coughs some and that is taken into consideration when wiring him up. Now he doesn't want to have additional surgery because of all the problems he has had. He is back to work and finishing rehab but still weak. But the bottom line is that we were told he coughed too hard , popped his wires, happens all the time, and we want to know if he absolutely must have it fixed. Doesn't seem to be having any trouble managing it now. But what about later. He is 79. Thanks..........
Answered by Dr. Prabhakar C Koregol 13 hours later
Brief Answer:
Yes It is must to have it repaired

Detailed Answer:
I guess if all the wires popped up it needs to be fixed. otherwise he will discofort continued on with any movement.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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