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Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 18 years

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Had aortic replacement surgery. Having painful cough and phlegm in chest. Is this normal?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2004
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I had aortic replacement surgery last Monday. My main promble m seems to be the presence of phle gm in my chest and constant painful coughing this afternoon. Is this normal and if so when might I expect to get o ver it?
Fri, 14 Dec 2012 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar 6 hours later

After a major surgery like this in the thorax the protective mechanism is put off for a while, hence you would not be able to expel out the secretions in the first place during early post op period. Hence the fluids get accumulated leading to sticky phlegm in the chest. You would gradually resume the coughing reflex and this happening to you. That is why there is passive physiotherapy that is done to avoid such therapy. These are extremely imp for a 72 year old.

The other thing is testing for lung , airway infections with the help of stethescope. They are common after a thorax surgery.

Ideally you got to be checked by the surgeon who operated. If everything is normal he may just give you antibiotics and cardiac rehabilitation and it takes 15 days to settle.

Let me know if you have additional concerns.
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