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effects of coma after a heart surgery
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effects of coma after a heart surgery

HI,
My friend had a heart surgery last year and he went into coma for 3 months. Since then he has been having memory problems, like forgetting words, past events, sometimes he remembers events from years ago but not the more recent ones. If that is the effect of his coma, are there any other effects? And can he be fully recovered?
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367994 tn?1304957193
Brain damage coma can/will occur after oxygen deprivation to brain cells. Depending on what part of the brain has damaged cells and damaged is usually localized to a specific region. Expect effects if the damage is to the left side and that typically causes problems with speech and language, and the right side may interfere with the ability to express emotions or interpret what one sees. Damage with either side can cause physical impairment of the opposite side of the body.

It seems regardless of what the region of damage there would be memory loss but more likely the left side brain cell damage and that is what your friend is experiencing.  There could be some return to normal functionality as the normal flow of bood to heart cells can be oxygenated with newly developed pathways.

Thank you for sharing, and if you have any further questions or comments you are welcome to respond.  Take care.

Ken
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976897 tn?1379171202
Knowledge of the brain has increased a lot in the last decade. It is known that when a part of the brain is damaged, other parts will attempt to take over. It takes time, because millions of connections have to be made/broken to get the best solutions, just like a developing baby does. It was once believed that the time limit for improvements was 1-2 years, but this has been proved incorrect on many occasions now. It appears that the largest recovery of the brain occurs within the first 6 months to a year, and then it continues for many years,  but at a slower pace. My Wife had a large stroke and her memory was a mess for a few months, but it eventually recovered. I found that it was beneficial to show them reminders, such as photos or videos of family etc. It seemed to help get those connections remade a lot quicker. Older memories are more secure and tend to be the last we lose, which is why many people go back to their childhood when they have brain trauma. The more we use a memory, in other words think about it, the more permanent it becomes. Recent memories will gradually return. Imagine pictures on a computer where the data is all over the hard drive, but the index has been corrupted or deleted. You would need a program to recreate the index so you could generate the pictures again. This is what the brain is doing, linking millions of fragments and trying to get the right connections. This is why continual chatting and photos with reminders make its job so much easier.
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Avatar f tn
:) thanks so much for replying. the doc says he is improving now but his blood is still not thin enough. he said he needs at least 3.1 but his blood is 1.9. what do those numbers mean??
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367994 tn?1304957193
The numbers you have lised refers to the INR numbers and reflects the time it takes for blood to clot (prothrombin time [PT]). The accepted range is 2-3, and generally any time less than 2 means the blood is too thin (slow clotting time) and higher than 5 is a risk of excessive bledding..

Hope this helps, and I wish your friend well going forward.  Take care and thanks for the response.

Ken
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Avatar f tn
oooo...
yea i hope so too.
thanks so much! :D

Okeu
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Avatar f tn
hey. how r u guys doin?
I have another question to ask. the docs said my friend's heart is a bit bigger than it used to be. Why is that? and he has been having some pain again on his heart. what is happening?
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976897 tn?1379171202
An enlarged heart can have multiple causes and to state any one of them without any other information would be nothing short of a total guess. Is his blood pressure ok? Are his valves working correctly? has he had any infection recently? Do they feel he has formed any clots anywhere? Are his lungs healthy?
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367994 tn?1304957193
The enlarged heart is almost always asscoiated with the left ventrical.  The left ventricle will enlarge (dilate, remodel)  if it is stressed in order to compensate for a system's failure to maintain an equilibrium of blood flow betwgeen the right and left side of the heart.  The enlargement within in a normal range is normal and the dilation increases contractility, but when the underlying cause is not treated such as high blood pressure, the heart will overcompensate and will eventually go into heart failure mode.  This would be the condition with the highest probability...that was my situation...properly treated the heart can reverse remodeling.

Other condtions that will reduce the cardiac output can be heart valves, heart muscle disease from drugs, alchohol, some mediations, etc., the reduced output causes the heart walls thicken pathologically (athletes' heart walls increase non-pathologically).
....so an enlargement can be heart wall thickening or dilation (remodel).

If the heart is remodeled or wall thickened and in an advanced state that can cause a lower than normal cardiac output.  A lower than normal output can cause chest pain and other problems as well such as heart failure with edema (fluid in the lungs) as well as peripheral edema, etc.

As stated the underlying cause should be determined to make a decisive diagnosis...a pathologically enlarged heart is a symptom with many causes.

Ken
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