Triple Bypass Surgery Experiences

Yes, they normally use the saphenous vein, the longest vein the body. I don’t know when your MIL had the surgery but it’s done endoscopically today so there should be less pain from the smaller incision.

I’ve read that arteries from the chest can also be used, but I don’t think there’s enough extra there to do a triple bypass.

A a home health nurse who worked for a lot of families with a loved one recovering from surgery, yes, you were definitely doing it right. Wish more people had spouses/kids/friends like you.

When I had my quad bypass, they took one artery from my chest and two from my inner knees. I don’t know where the fourth came from.

One of my inner thighs was black and blue for months, nothing more than a cosmetic problem.

I’m going to add that when the hospital I worked at later starting doing open heart procedures, in the early 00s, the main surgeon came down to the pharmacy to meet us and ask any questions we might have. One pharmacist asked, “So, do a lot of them have to go on TPNs?” and I almost cracked up laughing because I knew how infrequently that happened, and I did tell him later about my stifled reaction. In this case, I just smiled and shook my head no.

IIRC, most patients were taking liquids the next day, and a steadily increasing diet after that. They’re on a regular diet, whatever that may be for them, by the time they’re discharged.

A couple more questions.

How aware were you in the ICU? I’ve read that I’ll be sedated, but I don’t know exactly how out of it that implies. How uncomfortable was using the breathing tube?

I have severe shortness of breath for anything like climbing stairs. If you also had that, did it go away immediately after the operation or did you have to hit full recovery first?

In my case, I was sedated when they inserted the tube (I assume everyone is). I woke up on the prep table, and was paralyzed (presumably due to the drugs that they use to prevent movement during surgery. I was a bit panicked, and then someone (I suspect the anesthesiologist) looked over, saw my eyes open, and said “you go back to sleep now,” and I did.
The next thing I knew, I was in the recover room, with no tube in me, and feeling like I had been on the losing end of a fight.

I never had any debilitating symptoms before my surgery, but afterward I felt like I had more energy.