6 doctors weighed in:
What kind of lung problems can result from open heart surgery?
6 doctors weighed in

Dr. Douglas Arenberg
Internal Medicine - Pulmonary Critical Care
4 doctors agree
In brief: Early and late
Early complications can be as minor as a little "shrinkage" f the lung from the anesthesia, and your doc will give you an "incentive spirometer" to encourage you to breath.
Still, some people get pneumonia, and this is more serious. During or shortly after surgery, you can get fluid backed up into your lung. Late complications include blood clots, and pleural reactions (fluid around the lung).

In brief: Early and late
Early complications can be as minor as a little "shrinkage" f the lung from the anesthesia, and your doc will give you an "incentive spirometer" to encourage you to breath.
Still, some people get pneumonia, and this is more serious. During or shortly after surgery, you can get fluid backed up into your lung. Late complications include blood clots, and pleural reactions (fluid around the lung).
Dr. Douglas Arenberg
Dr. Douglas Arenberg
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Dr. Bennett Werner
Internal Medicine - Cardiology
In brief: Reversible
Common issues are collections of fluid under the lungs, especially the left lung (effusion), mucous plugging, bronchospasm, atelectasis (collapse of alveoli - small air units), and pneumonia.
An uncommon complication is pulmonary embolism (blood clot). - all are reversible. Rarely, the phrenic nerve is injured with paralysis of the diaphragm on one side. That's usually permanent.

In brief: Reversible
Common issues are collections of fluid under the lungs, especially the left lung (effusion), mucous plugging, bronchospasm, atelectasis (collapse of alveoli - small air units), and pneumonia.
An uncommon complication is pulmonary embolism (blood clot). - all are reversible. Rarely, the phrenic nerve is injured with paralysis of the diaphragm on one side. That's usually permanent.
Dr. Bennett Werner
Dr. Bennett Werner
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Dr. Aaron Milstone
Board Certified, Internal Medicine - Pulmonology
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