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Risks of doing coronary bypass surgery while also having PAD (Peripheral Artery Disease) and Diabetes.

Updated on June 30, 2015

The beginning

My mom has type II diabetes and suffers from Peripheral Artery Disease. In 2009, she had stents put in her legs to help with blood flow. She had taken her medicine, including blood thinners since the operation. She had been experiencing pain in her feet when she slept. She would see her regular doctor and he would never check her out thoroughly. I'm not sure if she didn't mention it to him or what.

May 10th, 2015, Mother's Day, I drove my mom to the local hospital that was thirty minutes away because she had not been feeling well and had throbbing pain in her jaw. About three hours later, a nurse comes in, wheels mom's hospital bed out of the room to another room and states that she is having a heart attack. Later on that night, she is transferred to a major hospital in the state that is supposed to be state of the art in what they do. In the next section, I will tell you her story and what happened after the surgery.

Before and after the surgery

My mom stayed two days in the hospital undergoing tests. One of the tests was an angiogram. The said they were unable to put any stents in her heart as they were too clogged and that she would need triple bypass surgery. They also discovered that she had clots in her carotid arteries and legs. The doctor had agreed to do surgery to fix those issues before doing the coronary bypass surgery.

About a week later, mom went back to have the surgery and instead of the surgery to unclog the arteries in her carotids and legs, they performed the bypass surgery. She did fine after the surgery for about twelve hours and then they had to perform emergency renal surgery as her colon was about to perforate. They removed her colon and small intestine and would have to live with a colostomy bag for the rest of her life.

After the surgery, it was found that she couldn't feel her feet in order to stand as they were trying to do physical therapy to get her moving and discharged. Turns out, her PAD (which wasn't handled first) is now constricting her vessels to her lower extremities even more than they had before.

Also, after the renal surgery, she had developed sepsis. She immediately went on antibiotics. She also had kidney failure and would be on dialysis. It would also help take out the poisons from the sepsis along with the antibiotics.

After a few more days, she was able to get off the ventilator. Two days after, she was having trouble breathing and was put back on the ventilator. She had fluid buildup around her left lung which had to be drained.

Also during the surgery, they put leg braces on her which caused water filled bruises on her legs. With her issues to her lower extremities, they were placed under the care of wound specialists. The wound specialists were also in charge of the wounds on her stomach and sternum.

Two weeks after the surgery, mom lost her hearing and couldn't see out of her right eye. With the ventilator in, she couldn't talk and so in order to communicate she had to write. After her hearing loss, we also had to write to talk to her. Her writing was repetitive and hard to read. She would add two or three "er" or "ing".s to words. Seeing would come out as seeinginging. It took me talking to the renal surgeon to actually get them to do a CT Scan to see if she had had a stroke. Concerns were expressed a week or so before about the possibility of her having a stroke but the doctors just seemed to shrug it off and told my brother that she hadn't had a stroke. CT results showed she had a small stroke on the upper left side of her brain. They still aren't sure as to why she can't hear.

Her lung doctor suggested that she get a tracheotomy done so she could eat a liquid diet. Mom had the trach put in and it took almost a week for them to do a swallow test on her. A swallow test is when they check to make sure the liquids are going down her esophagus and not her wind pipe. She passed and was put on a liquid diet. When she was transferred to the LTACH, they took her off the liquid diet and put a feeding tube down her nose.

It's been a month since my moms surgery. She now has gangrene of her toes and lower legs. Her lower legs are from the wounds left by the leg braces. She also has an unstageable pressure sore which is from the neglect of the hospital staff not moving her every two hours as they were supposed to. She has necrosis on her chest area where she had yeast show up under her breasts due to lack of adequate washing which has now gotten into her surgical scar on her sternum and has green pus coming from a one inch area of the site.

Her toes are black and shriveled from lack of blood flow. Her leg wounds are also black. They plan on doing bilateral amputation of both legs as soon as she is strong enough. She is still on the ventilator. She is still doing dialysis as her kidney function has not returned.

My mother is 67 years old and will probably die. She isn't going to die from the surgery alone, but from the fact of neglect. She is now in an LTACH (Long Term Acute Care Hospital) in which they only check on her every two hours, they don't turn her (she has been in the same position for a week or so), her stomach wound had opened yesterday and they stitched it up. Earlier she was vomiting and her stomach was ascended. She has a small grade fever. Her chest wound is infected and hasn't been attended to or wasn't when I was there. Her bandages from the wounds on her legs were dated on the 17th and hadn't been changed in two days.

The doctor that is currently caring for her has suggested that we just let her die. She doesn't want that and I believe that with proper care, she would survive. Right now, she is neglected and has been neglected, not to mention lied to in every aspect since this whole ordeal started. She also has been restrained for the past couple of days.

I will say that I have filed a complaint with the state medical board, I have called several attorneys, contacted the adult abuse hotline, will be calling in a complaint against both hospitals she has received care at and will be doing everything within my power to get my mom better despite the fact that they have given up on her and seems to be waiting for her to just die. When is a life not valuable? Doctors took an oath of "first do no harm". Where was that oath when the doctor decided to change the type of surgery my mom would be having? Where was that oath when they neglected my mother and caused her to have more issues? Everything that could have gone wrong with my mother has. She has had the rarest of complications associated with the surgery.

What would you do if this happened to one of your loved ones?

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Here are the links to the risks associated with each type of condition/procedure my mother has had and/or experiencing.

Risks of Coronary Bypass Surgery:

Risks of Gastrointestinal surgery:


Kidney Failure:


Pressure sores:

Yeast infection skin rash:



Peripheral Artery Disease:


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