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Avatar universal

Irregular and Rapid heart rate after CABG


My dad had a double CABG 5 days ago and since monday is heart rate has been irregular and rapidly beating from 64 to 160...

is this normal?.. when this first happend doctors gave him beta blockers to reduce the heart rate and yesterday it was a steady 64 beats, but all of a sudden last night its increased beating from 64 to 160 at times... he's 72 years of age and we are very worried...
please can you advise what doctors do in this scenario as none of the nurses seem to be telling us whats going on.. they keep saying its normal and that it happens in one third of all CABG but everyone else who had a bypass the same time as him seem to be recovering really well and he keeps getting worse...  they have given him medication which takes 24 hours to be effective but again nothing has changed since they gave it to him...
please give me some reassuring advise.
3 Responses
1687176 tn?1321398009
The differential for an irregular heart beat is wide and should be evaluated by a complete history and physical examination with appropriate testing such as an ECG, blood work and/or holter monitor. Atrial fibrillation is a common occurrence following cardiac surgery and often initiates 3-5 days following an operation. This can either be transient and self-limiting, or can sometimes persist where further treatment is indicated.  However, the first thing that should be done is making an appropriate diagnosis. I would suggest speaking with his surgeon/cardiologist regarding the medication that was started, especially if he is continuing to have ongoing symptoms.
63984 tn?1385437939
I'm not a health professional, but am a CABG patient, nine weeks post surgery.  I had the same condition (A-fib ) that your father is experiencing.  I was given the drug called Amiodarone in a large dose, and my heart rate was regulated after 48 hours.  I'm betting this is the drug your father is receiving.  The drug eventually worked, but it has a number of side effects.  In my case, my eyes were very irritated.  A-fib is a common after CABG, and if the drug doesn't work, there are other procedures that will regulate the heart rate.  

I walked three miles today at a brisk pace.  I'm betting your father will be just fine, he's my age, we had exactly the same procedure, the same problem following surgery.  I'd suggest you give him a great deal of encouragement.   I found my biggest problem was fear following the procedure, and it really helped that my family gave me great encouragement.  Keep us informed how he is healing.

Avatar universal

Thanks for the reasurance... my dad had spent over a whole month in hospital with irregular rapid heart rate.. they were monitoring him constantly and he has only been out for 3 weeks and again has gone back with heart pains.

I just wanted to thank you for replying to my post.. it helped to know other people out there have been fine after the surgery.

Take care.
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