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What causes excess mucus in the lungs after heart surgery?

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Posted on Mon, 14 Jul 2014
Question: Hello,
My 3 month old son underwent dorv ,vsd,asd surgery. He is currently recovering at ICU but the doctor's say that he has alot of mucus accumulated in his lungs and is currently relying on ventilation for his breathing. They take out the ventilation from time to timeso that he can try to breathe on his own. Its been three days now and was wondering if this is part of the process. Will my baby be ok?
Thanks.
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Answered by Dr. Chobufo Ditah (4 hours later)
Brief Answer:
Your baby should be okay!

Detailed Answer:
Hi and thank you so much for this query.

I am so sorry to hear about this heart surgery your child underwent. However, I am happy to know that the procedure went on successfully and your child is in the recovery phase.

What the doctor means by excess mucus in the lungs is that the baby is not clearing the secretions in the airways. This causes airway obstruction and increases the work of breathing. This is why he is hooked up on the breathing machine so that this task of breathing can be guaranteed and less demanding to him. To make sure that he does not totally rely on a breathing machine, it is being removed from time to time to let the baby breath all by herself to maintain her autonomy.

This is not part of the surgery or procedure but part of the recovery process. The surgery was all limited to what was done in the theater. Please, ask his doctors how it all went and what their take is about it. This way, you will have precise answers on how the procedure unfolded and what the expectations are.

In all, this is not part of the procedure but, the recovery process. It has no bearing on what the outcome of the procedure is and unless there is something specific about this assisted ventilation, your son would be fine.

I hope this helps. I wish you well. Thank you so much for using our services and do feel free to ask for more information and clarifications if need be.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Chobufo Ditah

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2009

Answered : 6296 Questions

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What causes excess mucus in the lungs after heart surgery?

Brief Answer: Your baby should be okay! Detailed Answer: Hi and thank you so much for this query. I am so sorry to hear about this heart surgery your child underwent. However, I am happy to know that the procedure went on successfully and your child is in the recovery phase. What the doctor means by excess mucus in the lungs is that the baby is not clearing the secretions in the airways. This causes airway obstruction and increases the work of breathing. This is why he is hooked up on the breathing machine so that this task of breathing can be guaranteed and less demanding to him. To make sure that he does not totally rely on a breathing machine, it is being removed from time to time to let the baby breath all by herself to maintain her autonomy. This is not part of the surgery or procedure but part of the recovery process. The surgery was all limited to what was done in the theater. Please, ask his doctors how it all went and what their take is about it. This way, you will have precise answers on how the procedure unfolded and what the expectations are. In all, this is not part of the procedure but, the recovery process. It has no bearing on what the outcome of the procedure is and unless there is something specific about this assisted ventilation, your son would be fine. I hope this helps. I wish you well. Thank you so much for using our services and do feel free to ask for more information and clarifications if need be.