One of the complications of open heart surgery is neurological damage. Your father has developed coma as a result of the operation itself. Unfortunately, no one can tell how long a coma can persist.
I have known an old lady who had uncontrolled hypertension and diabetes, had chronic renal failure and diabetic food. She needed an open heart surgery and stayed comatose for only 3 days. Another lady who had only hypertension remained comatose for much longer time.
I hope sincerely that your father won’t stay too long in this condition, and that he will go back to his active life again.
My 81 year old father is still in a coma after surgery. He was lively, active and the life of the party and deeply religious. Can being in a coma for days on end cause major damage? Will he wake up the same as when he went in?
The brain is like a muscle. It needs to be used continuously in order to not lose its function. This is possible if:
The coma doesn’t last for a long period.
The coma is not caused by a stroke that would damage the brain cells.
If the patient remains comatose for a long time, he would be able to perform all the body movements after some sessions of physiotherapy. However, many cases have shown affected memory. This is transient in most of the cases and the patient would be able to come back to his previous daily activities.
In the second case, the extent of the damage will depend on the areas of the brain affected by the stroke. However, I don’t think that your father has any damage in his brain. The most important thing is to keep his vital functions and good oxygenation levels.
I hope this has been of some help. I think the best thing to do is to try getting answers from his doctors. They should give you more specific details and you would feel much better about him. I hope to hear good news soon.
I am in a similar situation. My mother in law is 85 years old, was very active, lived independently, still drove her car. She had open heart surgery valve aortic replacement, repaired another valve, and bypass surgery two weeks ago tomorrow and she has not woke up. MRI over the week end shows mutiple small strokes on both sides of the brain. She is still on a vent through a trache and being tube fed. Hospital is discharging her today to a long term care hospital.
Can anyone tell me what to expect? Doctors say she will never live independently again and it will be a long process. They really don't give much information-just that it takes time. Is the longer a person is in a coma the worse the outcome? She has a living will but we are in a situation due to lack of information of when to say when.
We are not doctors.
My Mom is 71. On her 14 days of Warfirin/Coumadin therapy for AF, fell & hit the back of her head. She was conscious & mobile initially. Repeat brain CT scan in the hospital the same day “due to drop in GCN” shows a much larger bleed out due to blood thinning effect of Warfarin (INR 3.5). She became semi-conscious, didn't recognize us,loss senses & control on her left side. Doctor told me to be prepared, she might be paralyzed on her left side. I took my husband's advice of massaging her toes & fingers (Reflexology : these area related to her brain) for 10 to 15 min each limbs and a few times a day to help her brain rebuild the connections. I know that she is actively rebuilding/reconnecting her brain, because sometime her feet & fingers are moving involuntary. I also talk to her (sometime, even when she is asleep), remind her of happy thoughts/moments, shown her photo, have her make origami, etc. to stimulate her brain. But not to over do it. She also needed to rest for her brain to healing itself. After about 3 weeks, she was discharged to a rehab hospital. I continue to work on her (5 to 10 hours a day) for another week. She is finally discharged with about 90+% recovery both physically & mentally. No doctor has advice us to do this but I did check with the doctor & they really have no objection. I believed what I did help my Mom. This is just my personal experience. Hope this help.
Now the battle is should my Mom continue her Wafarin therapy which almost kill her.
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