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Fever after CABG

My mom had coronary artery bypass grafting done almost 2 weeks ago.  She took a fair bit of time to completely wake up from the surgery and required some blood while in ICU.  Other than that she seemed to recover amazingly well for the first 3 days, up and walking, did the stairs with no difficulty, then on the 3rd day she developed a fever which has been with her ever since.  It has ranged from 37.5 all the way up to 41 at one point.  Seems to hover around 38 or 39.  She has been on 4 different antibiotics, had to be given blood once more as her hemoglobin was low, yet all of her blood tests come back normal.  Nothing on the cultures and no rise in white blood cells.  She has had many chest x-rays, and at first they thought it might be slight pneumonia, as they saw a small spot on her x-ray that wasn't there before the operation, but since then I believe another x-ray showed clear.  She seems to be getting  back to her old self, except for this fever that won't go away.  She has a slight cough, but nothing really significant.  She is 64 with previous health concerns being heiatal hernia, thyroid nodules and osteoporosis.  She was a life long smoker up until the day of her heart attack.  She had to spend 2 1/2 weeks in hospital prior to surgery and has been there 2 weeks post surgery.  We are very concerned and want her to come home soon and healthy.  Do you have any ideas as to what might be causing the fever.  The heart surgery itself went very well and physically she is healing nicely.  Thank you for your time.
Signed, Concerned and Confused.
1 Responses
233190 tn?1278553401
Fever after surgery is not uncommon, can can be caused by a variety of reasons.  Infection would be the first thing to consider, and it appears her doctors have as well, putting her on 4 different antibiotics.

It can sometimes be difficult to determine where the infection is, and sometimes an abscess if possible.  If that is suspected, obtaining CT scans of the body can be done to exclude this.

Otherwise, I would obtain the guidance of an infectious disease specialist to help determine what tests are needed to track down the source of fever.

This answer is not intended as and does not substitute for medical advice - the information presented is for patient education only. Please see your personal physician for further evaluation of your individual case.

Kevin Pho, M.D.

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