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risk of second bypass surgery
An_192980 posted:
I am 51 yr old male and had quadruple bypass surgery in 1998. Two of the four arteries are completely occluded. I have a second stent (within a year) put into one of the two flowing arteries. I'm still having symptoms. Is the risk of a second bypass surgery higher than the first? My dr says that there may be tissue damage to the part of my heart where the occluded arteries are but they wouldn't know that unless they opened me up. I would welcome comments.
James Beckerman, MD, FACC responded:
Your doctor is correct - the risk of a second open heart surgery is increased as compared to a first. When a person has undergone surgery, significant scarring occurs afterwards - part of the healing process. During a subsequent surgery, it can therefore be more challenging for the surgeons to protect structures and blood vessels that they don't want to damage, while at the same time reaching structures that they are trying to fix. Wound healing is also more difficult when the chest has been opened a second or third time.

It's important to discuss these risks carefully with your doctor. We do quite a few second surgeries on people, but just need to be understanding of all the issues. Take care. I'd be interested to hear other Community members' experiences - if they have undergone surgeries, etc.
heartmyheart replied to James Beckerman, MD, FACC's response:
Thank you for your quick response. Do you think that the benefits outweigh the risks of the second surgery? Since I'm still having chest pains and some shortness of breath and I just had a stent put in last week, it seems obvious that the stent didn't solve all the problems. I have had ongoing cholesterol managing with my numbers being pretty good finally. I have quit smoking (14 days). Any comments welcome Thank you