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Second open heart surgery, valve repair, dialysis. Induced coma or brain dead ?

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We have an 83 year old friend of the family who underwent his second open-heart surgery on August 1 (so, two weeks ago tomorrow). He went in for his second by-pass, as there was only one artery open to the brain and to repair a valve. He is also diabetic. We have tried checking on his progress, but his family has been very vague. They just say that he "hasn't awakened from the anesthesia" and that he is on dialysis (which is new). Our questions are: 1. Could this be an induced coma? 2. If so, how typical is this? 3. Is it possible that he was put under anesthesia and went into a coma on his own? 4. Is he brain dead?
Posted Mon, 16 Apr 2012 in Hypertension and Heart Disease
Answered by Dr. Gopi A 12 hours later
Thanks for the query.

It is very difficult to give definite answer to your query. All inferences are only assumptions.

The procedure the patient has undergone is a very complicated due to his age and a repeat by pass surgery.

The fact that he is not awake as yet is definitely unusual.

Possibilities are that he developed a stroke during the surgery or has developed a post op infection and they are unable to wean him off the ventilator ( i am presuming that the paitient is on a ventilator). Probably a CT scan will determine it.

Whatever may be the case, if patient is not awake 2 weeks after surgery the prognosis is not very good.

About the dialysis any of these above mentioned conditions could lead on to kidney dysfunction but if the patient recovers most likely the kidney function is also likely to improve.

He does not seem to be brain dead nor does it look to be anesthesia induced coma because the effects of anesthesia wear out in 12 to 24 hours.

Hope i have answered your query. I will be available for follow up.
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