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A 38-year-old member asked:

Does having heart surgery recently make me more susceptible to lung infections?

3 doctor answers5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Hon Lee
Dr. Hon Leeanswered
Thoracic Surgery 36 years experience
Short answer is yes.: Having had any surgery impacts respiratory mechanics due to pain, the stress and trauma of the surgery. That is why post op instructions include major emphasis on incentive spirometry.
Dr. David Cooke
Thoracic Surgery 23 years experience
Not really: Duringa hospital stay in patient is at risk for hospital acquired pneumonia but heart surgery in itself is not an independent risk factor.
Dr. Frederick Tibayan
Thoracic Surgery 24 years experience
In a way.: Pneumonia is a known complication after heart surgery. One of the big reasons for this is that it hurts to cough and take deep breaths because of the incisional/sternal pain after surgery. If you don't cough, your don't clear junk out of your lungs.

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Last updated Aug 12, 2015
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