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Heart bypass surgery

Q: My father has undergone a by-pass surgery in 1996. Although he was fine since then but lately he has started feeling uncomfortable while walking. We consulted a doctor and were informed that there was fluid accumulation in the heart for which he gave an injection and after that it was fine. Now he has no problem in walking. I would like to know if there is any serious problem and how far the CABG is effective. I would like to bring to your attention that, before the CABG, we were informed that the arteries are very small.

A:The above mentioned symptom in a person with a past history of CABG could suggest angina. It needs further evaluation by way of a stress test (Stress Thallium) and if it shows evidence of ischemia, a coronary angiography to diagnose the extent of the problem may also be required. It may be worthwhile for the patient to see the cardiologist who had done the initial workup before the CABG. Progression of native disease or blockages in the grafts can occur in predisposed persons within 5 to 6 years after surgery.

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