Our expert says:
It can take up to three months for an older patient to get back to normal after such a major op. Blood loss during the surgery can cause a temporary anaemia, and this plus the physiological stress of the operation can cause protracted tiredness. A chest infection, wound infection, or even a deep vein thrombosis can give a similar picture.
However, I am a little concerned at the fact that he is not only tired, but cold and feverish – this is a highly significant fact. The biggest danger for “valve” patients is that of infection on the valve itself – this is called Infective Endocarditis ( IE), and can have exactly those same symptoms. IE can be a deadly complication, and any suspicion of IE MUST be acted upon immediately.
Please phone your Dad’s cardiac surgeon asap, and ask for an urgent appointment. Please explain that he is TIRED, but also FEELS COLD AND IS FEVERISH. The surgeon will arrange for blood cultures to be done, to detect, and if necessary identify, the bacterium responsible, so that the correct antibacterial can be used.
I certainly would not advise travel until this is sorted out, and the cause of his symptoms is found and treated.
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