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Ask Dr. D. Love Your Own Question
Dr. D. Love
Dr. D. Love, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 18905
Experience:  Family Physician for 10 years; Hospital Medical Director for 10 years.
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my hubby is seeing things that are not there , only since his

Customer Question

my hubby is seeing things that are not there , only since his triple bypass,he has been in hospital 3 weeks now ,they drained water of the lung ,so that is ok now ,oxegen ok blood presure a bit low ,cant seem to put a finger on it .
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 3 years ago.
It will help if you could provide some further information:
Did this just recently start?
Or has it been occurring ever since the surgery?
Is he having any other complications of the surgery that is requiring hospitalization?
What evaluation has been done for this problem?

Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 3 years ago.
In this situation, there are several conditions that should be considered. I ask about what evaluation has been done, as that may help guide whether some of these conditions can be excluded, but I will discuss the primary concerns.

In this situation, the altered mental status could be a symptom of inadequate pumping action of the heart. When the heart is not pumping well, some symptoms occur because blood backs up behind the heart, such as causing fluid accumulation in the lungs or legs, and other symptoms can occur from poor blood flow to the rest of the body. If there is poor blood flow to the brain, then there can be a variety of possible symptoms, including confusion or seeing things that are not there. Since he already required a procedure to remove fluid from the lungs, he may have already had some symptoms related to this.

It is also possible that altered brain function can occur from a stroke. Although the vast majority of people undergoing bypass surgery will not have a stroke, it is one of the possible complications. It would typically need a neurologic evaluation and perhaps an imaging study of the brain to determine whether a stroke has occurred. Imaging studies that may be done include a CT scan or MRI.

Another common issue is that the altered brain function is related to infection. A significant infection anywhere in the body can cause altered brain function, particularly in someone that is already under significant physical stress, such as after bypass surgery. This would be more of a concern if the altered brain function has only recently started, suggesting that a new problem has arisen at this point after the surgery.

It is also important to note that some people can develop some level of brain dysfunction related to a long stay in the hospital. We see this more commonly in people that require long stays in the intensive care units, but can potentially occur from any hospitalization. If there is an evaluation that shows that no other problem is present, then it may solely be due to needing to be in the hospital for so long, and he may improve simply as he recovers from all the other medical issues.

If you have any further questions or need clarification, please let me know.