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Post Heart surgery Hallucinations
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Post Heart surgery Hallucinations

2 weeks ago my father had surgery.  He had a valve replacement and one bypass.   Today he is having Hallucinations.  He knows they are not real but he sees animals, bugs, etc.  with eyes open or shut.  Nurse assured this sometimes happens.  Has anyone heard of this before?  How long will it potentially last?

Thanks
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Avatar_f_tn
My husband had hallucinations after valve replacement....lasted about 12-14 hours.....no one seemed concerned...he's is fully recovered and doing great.
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Avatar_m_tn
I am home now from by-pass surgery -- about two weeks.  My experience with post-op halluncinations were horrible!  Like many stories I have seen on the internet, my hallucinations included huge ****-roaches, rats, and demons.

This lasted for two consecutive nights.  The second night was the worse because I was, by then, sleep deprived.  I did not want to close my eyes because when I did I would fall into this state of psuedo-sleep accompanied by these hallucinations.  And so I would wake up with a start realizing that my eyes had only been closed for a minute or two.  I would desperately not want to close my eyes but could not resist.  This went on all night!  Horrible, horrible experience.

It was difficult to seperate reality from fantasy, but I could with intense effort.

I did not want to tell anyone for fear that they would think me crazy.  But I resolved that I must have faith in the medical personnel taking care of me.

To my horror, no one really took me seriously.  One nurse even suggested that I let her call in a psychiatrist.

I resolved that I was going to have to fix this myself.  The only thing that I could imagine was bringing on the hallucinations were my pain meds and/or sleep aid meds.  I told the staff to discontinue giving me any narcotic of any sort.  The only med I willing to take for pain and discomfort was Tylenol (and that did not include Tylenol PM).

I don't know if it was the discontinuations of the meds or the the side-effects of anesthesia finally getting out of my system, but by the third night the hallucinations subsided.  Thank God!  This was one of the worse experiences of my life.

I think the medical community does not take this phenomenon seriously because they have never personally experienced it.  But it can be a horrible side effect of surgery and should be taken very seriously.

I don't know if it is caused by the pain meds, the anesthesia, or what (one article blames the hallucinations on a common drug called Metoprolol).  I don't know but somebody in the medical field needs to do some serious research around this and raise the awareness level of the medical community.

The most horrible part were the two days of hallucinations.  The second most horrible part was not being taken seriously by the medical personnel attending to me.

I wonder if anyone else has a comment or can add to this.

Frank F. Wilson
***@****
Jasper, Georgia
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Avatar_n_tn
I am in full sympathy, having had mitral valve repair in April. The hallucinations went on for at least six days and mostly were of red liquid flowing along channels of different sorts and textures, as if my brain had "looked" inside the heart/lung machine as the blood was swirling around it. The images morphed constantly, changing each time I blinked.  At night the images changed to bodies piled on top of each other, not much fun to see, esp. since I couldn't sleep well. The images normally disappeared as soon as I opened my eyes, except  one night when I looked at the church across the street in front of the hospital and "saw" its front covered by a basket weave pattern. Even weirder were the "fireworks" and "snow falling" in the distance. It was a relief when the images ended. At the same time I was fascinated and would like to know what caused it. Morphine? The heart/lung machine?  I wasn't "on" anything unusual at the time, the morphine having been discontinued two days after surgery.

Has anyone out there had problems with restless leg syndrome since valve surgery?? It is driving me bananas. Don't sleep before 2am, then am wide awake again and twitching at 3.30am. Can't get through the day without an afternoon nap. Am doing everything that's recommended, including tests for iron, etc. Am even walking 4 1/2 miles a day, which doesn't help me sleep but at least keeps my legs from completely unmaking the bed over the course of the night.

Despite this, the surgery was brilliant. I breathe better, have more energy (good thing, since I don't get much sleep!), and no chest conjestion.

Hope you are mending well,
Sincerely,
Hetty Tye
Cornwall UK
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Avatar_f_tn
Are you low on magnesium?
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi. I heard some issues same as with you. But I don't know much of the details. Below this is a link where you can ask professionals about your concern. They may help you.

http://doctorfinders.com/heart-valve-replacement.php
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Avatar_f_tn
If, for some reason, a patient has a valve that is not functioning the way it should, a heart valve repair surgery may be indicated. For example, someone suffering from mitral valve regurgitation may need to have a heart valve repair to keep blood from flowing backwards inside of the heart. The mitral valve prolapsed can cause leaks that must be repaired. Valvualr stenosis (http://doctorfinders.com/hvr.php) can cause problems when the valve stiffens.

Treatment:

One method used in heart valve repair is a valvuoplasty. This technique can use a balloon catheter, or even a scalpel, to free leaflets in the valve. When these leaflets do not close properly, the blood can back up into the atrium. This type of heart valve repair may not even require open surgery, as the "commissurotomy" version of the procedure can be done entirely with a catheter that has been threaded into the heart via the femoral artery.

An annuloplasty is another method used for heart valve repair. This type of procedure attempts to repair damaged tissue at the base of the valve. This area is called the annulus, and it can become enlarged. The result is that blood backs up into the atrium. Doctors can sometimes fix this problem by decreasing the size of the opening with the use of strategically places sutures. This type of heart valve repair may also implement the implantation of a device called an annuloplasty ring. In addition to making the opening smaller, it can also provide extra support for the valve and for other repair techniques that are being used.

Recovery:

Patients who have undergone heart valve repair will need to remain in the hospital for several days. It takes about four to six weeks for most patients to return to work. There are some long-term precautions that must be taken after a heart valve repair. For example, doctors may prescribe a regular regiment of blood thinners
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Have you had any symptoms of burning sensation in arms or legs since your heart bypass surgery, or IF ANYONE ELSE out there has, please reply... My father is having this often and we dont know what it is that is causing this sensation...
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yep those hallucinations are funny hey.. i was totally convinced the guy in the room next to me was a terrorist and tried to get my husband to call the police, then one day i told the nurse how much i had enjoyed the music they played each night..yep thats right..no music,,i was lucky mine werent bad but my dad had pretty bad ones when he had his heart done and his knee done, saw rats everywhere,  thought he was being totured and tried to get out of bed and run away, etc. pretty scary for a couple of days but its just the morphine i think.
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Avatar_m_tn
I am taking things seriously. My father's friend, who is our family friend too had this valve replacement surgery that was a total open heart surgery. He had a similar problem and could not recognize his family and friends for the next 24 hrs of surgery. Slowly he improved, but made muffled screams in his sleep. May be that was for the pain or discomfort due to surgery, but he looked very disturbed by his facial expressions, and after reading your real stories, I feel for you and him too. Something must be disturbing, either the drugs used or some sort of trauma the body faces due to surgery.
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my dad had a heart valve replaced two days ago. Today he thinks he is in the pub with three doctors!! he has allso seen bugs in his hospital room. nobody warned us about this, it so upsetting to see him like this....annie in leyland
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My dad had heart bypass surgery about a year ago and he too had experienced absolutely horrible and freightening halluciations.  He was never a man  to see things, hear voices, etc... so this was so disturbing to him and our whole family.  About two days after surgery he was the worst.  He actually told us one morning that he spent the entire night out on the window ledge wanting to jump because their were people in his room that were trying to kidnap him. He even thought that the iv pump and machines in back of him were the "bad guys".  Another night he saw water all around him and thought he was drowning.  He begged for us not to leave the room.  It was so heart breaking to see him go through these horrible events ... as if the surgery wasn't bad enough.  We know it was from the meds.  I yelled at the doctor because I felt that no one prepared us for these possibilities and perhaps if we the family might have known what to expect, it would have been easier.  None of the staff seemed to have any sympathy for what he was going through.  To them he was just another patient on the floor.  I think there needs to be way better education on the part of the staff and doctor as to what the different medications are that they use and their side effectsl.  Let the patients make their own decision as to what types of drugs they would want.  My father now looks back and really feels so angry about what he went through and wishes that they changed his meds as soon as they knew the halluciations were starting.  It was the worse part of the entire heart surgery process.  I use to go home and cry for him because we felt so helpless.
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My mom just had a quad bi-pass. She was fine at first. 2 days after surgery she stopped breathing. She was on the lung machine for 2 days. After being taken off of it, and a couple more days in the ICU she transferred into a room. After another week she finally made her way to the rehab center. The first 3 days were okay, but the 4th day she started to hallucinate. She didn't know fiction from reality at all. She has been this way for 4 days. Im about to lose my mind because I am getting no where with the doctors and they also never even warned us of this complication. will she get better. Ever? She has only been on tylenol since this whole thing started. And a heart medication that isn't know to cause these kinds of side effects. I am so worried and cry all the time. Luckily my moms halluciations are not scary, but she absolutely does not believe that they are her imagination. She believes everything she is seeing to be true, so it is almost impossible to hold a conversation with her because her imagination changes things so often. What do I do?
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My father just had quadruple bypass surgery on tuesday and he just called me now, hes having hallucinations of my sister being in the room with him but shes here with me at my grandfathers. Its scaring me but after reading these im glad my sisters the only thing hes seeing. Scary!
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I had open heart surgery to repair my mitral-heartvalve in 2008 and I  remember hallucinating on post-op day 3, after they removed the morphine-drip!  So I think it was due to morphine-withdrawel.  It was actually funny to me as I had visions of bunny's and other cartoon caracters on the roof and white wall!  I just enjoyed the show :)

But I can just imagine how terrible it must be to see demons and scary stuff!

I was 32 at the time, so I think older people just take it harder and all the medications and especially morphine just messes with the mind.
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Avatar_m_tn
I didn't have a bypass but 7 days ago I has 2 disk cervical discenecotomy with all the add ons. I was kind of wound up about the procedure as I had 1 disc similarly worked on in 1997. When the question of morphine came up, I always said yes hoping this would affect the pain cramping fatigue and desperation I experienced back in 1997. I was also given loads of Lortab as well as Gabapentin and some muscle relaxers for a week prior.
For the last 3 night I have seen these "entities" in my room that just so much positive evidence that they are real based on my probably inability to be some creative and convincing. I will feel solid ice-like fairy thin crystals and have heard some of these entities make a noise when a step was incorrect above me. One seemed to talk to me last night. It is starting to scare the crap out of me because I stopped all Meds completely about 30+ hours ago. I wish someone had told me about some possible hallucinations. The medical staff didn't! Thanks for the info. I hope to be done with these tonight
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