My Quadruple Bypass

by Peter Pisani
(Lilydale, Australia)

My name is Peter and I had quadruple heart bypass surgery. I was the age of 47.

At 6am, 31st July 2003, I was taking my morning shower as I usually do before heading off to work. In the shower I experienced dizziness that was similar to being in a swivel chair and being spun around and around. All I could do was hold the wall of the shower to try to stop the spinning. I thought it was the steam and the cold air in the bathroom making me dizzy. I turned off the shower and sat on the toilet, then the dizziness and spinning began to stop.

I told my wife straight away, so we went to visit the doctor first thing. From then on my nightmare began. The doctor ordered an ambulance to collect me from the surgery. The doctor wasn't taking any chances and wanted me in hospital immediately - my heart was failing. I became an emergency patient.

At the hospital

As soon as they got me to the hospital and into coronary care they continued to try and stabilise me. My heart was still failing. They prepared me for a coronary angiogram and performed the procedure early next morning only to find that all four main arteries of my heart were blocked. I had only 10% blood flow; an emergency quadruple bypass operation was needed to save my life.

All the time that I was in the hospital the nurses and doctors constantly kept asking me, "How's your pain?" I told them every time that I had not experienced any pain from the beginning - even when I was in the shower - and never have. "I never had any pain whatsoever at any time." Only the dizziness and spinning that one time in shower. I was a diabetic and the doctors say that diabetics rarely experience pain during heart attacks.

I was transported to a hospital that was capable to perform the operation. I knew that I was dying and I must say that I never had much time to even really think about it. The chaplain of the hospital, a Catholic priest, asked me do I want to be given the last rights before the operation. This action made me really believe that I was in serious trouble. I never had the pains that heart attack victims experienced, only the dizziness and spinning in the shower, nothing else! I felt fine, I felt like they were wasting their time on me.

I wanted to go home

I put my total trust in the medical staff and accepted that I was in terrible trouble. All my family had visited me just before I went in to the operation. I really was dying.

During the operation the surgeon took arteries from both my arms and grafted them in four places bypassing the blocked ones on my heart. The operation took 6 hours and was a success.

I remember waking up listening to the ventilator operating and not being able to speak because of the breathing tube I had in my mouth which fed into my lungs. I couldn't see the two tubes protruding out of my chest which were draining fluids from around my lungs. My wife, son, and sister were there sitting looking at me and holding my hands. I could hear buzzers and beeps from the computer monitoring systems and then the nurse removed the ventilator because I started breathing on my own. I was in no pain at all. The surgeon said there was no damage to my heart and no angina - just 4 very blocked arteries.

When the nurse was taking out the tube which was fed into my lungs I must say that this was the most frightening experience that I have ever encountered. She told me to cough as she pulled it out. As soon as she removed it my body started to shake slowly and then faster and faster. My heart started to beat irregularly and very fast. I saw the nurses and doctors looking at the monitors and not at me. I said to the nurse to stop moving the bed! She told me it was my heart that was shaking my body. Then I became very frightened. For the first time in my life I could feel my heart pounding without placing my hands on my chest. Then I felt my heart as if it was burning. The doctors were administering a drug through a tube which entered my neck. My heart slowed and started beating normally and the looks on the faces of the medical staff were satisfied and glad. Then I insisted I wanted to talk to my wife immediately. It was 5am in the morning and the staff arranged the call. I just wanted to hear her voice just once more. I was very frightened. I thought I was going to die.

Things got much better the next hour or so and I started to adapt to the helpless situation I was in. I was totally dependent on people to get me back on my feet. I was always a man who didn't need any help from anybody till now. I felt very ashamed of myself.

The nurse told me to try and take deep breaths and hold them in for a while to try and inflate my lungs to normal. I had trouble inflating my right lung so they strapped a mask tightly to my face and turned on a compressor of some sort that forced more air into my lungs than I would normally take in while taking a deep breath. This procedure was not painful at all, in fact I felt it helping me breath much better. After a while my lungs were inflated to normal condition.

The rest of my stay in ICU was very comfortable. Having the drain tubes removed from my chest did not hurt at all but when the nurses removed the tube that was entered into my neck and was fed into my heart, I must say that I felt them pulling it out all the way from my heart as well as the two wires that were poking out of my chest. It was a relief to have the tube out of my neck. I was always uncomfortable with it being there.

Headed for home

After being 5 days in hospital I was allowed to go home. My scars healed fast considering I am diabetic. The pain killing medication (Oxicontin) for my sternum pain worked very fast and was delightful. After the first one I took I always looked forward to taking the next one. I can now imagine how people can easily get hooked on drugs. It's a real trip.

Three weeks after my operation (and doing many jigsaw puzzles) my surgeon allowed me to go back to work providing it was very light duties and no heavy lifting and no driving a car at all. It was twelve weeks in total before I could get behind the wheel of a car.

I attended the rehabilitation classes at the hospital and eventually was given the OK to get back to trying to live a normal life again.

When I was given the permission to drive again, I became very nervous when having someone else as a passenger in the car with me. For a long time I was afraid of having something go wrong with me while driving and end up having an accident and hurting them and others around.

I began to always drive in the slow lane at all times and always stayed there unless I had to make a turn. My confidence with driving was damaged badly and even now, five years later, I still prefer my wife to drive.

I have not had any problems after the surgery. My heart did not get damaged at all and the scars have healed well but are always a visible reminder of what happened to me. The only scar I have trouble with is a mental traumatic disorder that I have of the the event in the ICU immediately after the operation when I saw that death was close. I would and still do at times break down in fear of that event, so I must continue on with my life and try and cope with it.

It's changed my life

Every morning since, I wake up with my thoughts of being very mortal. Before that morning shower in July 2003, I felt I was untouchable and never really thought about death at all. I wish I could think like that again, but know that I never will. My life has changed.

Comments for My Quadruple Bypass

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by: Michael

Hi I underwent CABG 7 months ago, after a diagnosis of a heart attack (I missed the first one). Was initially sent home (had another heart attack) then a stay of 3 weeks hospital as they wouldn't let me leave. Talk about pain, wow! After the surgery one of the physio's pulled me out of bed and said lets go for a walk. I thinking let's not eh? She said out of 10 what is the pain level (I said 25/10). Despite taking 4 levels of pain meds prior to this walk. At the same time my oxygen levels were like I was walking on Everest from a damaged lung post surgery! I also had a broken shoulder blade a pressure wound on my arm and pain at 10+ from the wound, ribs etc and major nerve damage. Sleeping was a factor for months and even to this day am having lung problems and nerve damage in my chest and leg.

And to make things better I promptly had another heart attack post CABG surgery! (4 or all up). Guess what they found another block (inoperable this time). My cardiologist told me to ignore the pain. Once you have the surgery they don't want to know you. I sometimes feel we may be better of with leaches and blood letting. Perth Western Australia

by: Vanessa

Dear Friends,

My husband (58) had a quadruple by-pass 4 years ago. He was deeply afraid of having another heart attack and so was I We recommend; COGNITIVE THERAPY. This type of therapy can be effective without added medications. It works for a host of problems, and it's especially good for anxiety and memory loss. As well, motivation to take care of your diet and fitness routines. Asking for help is smart having another event due to stress is not.

Take Care,

Fear and Isolation
by: David

I had heart problems from the beginning. The artery the crosses the top of my heart was genetically small. Along with my lifestyle I eventually had a series of cardiac episodes finalizing thus far in quadruple bypass and stent complications.
I know for a fact that my present state of mind is so alien to the guy I was at pre-op.
Someone mentioned persistent fear, yes I feel that always on some level. Sometimes it creeps up on me and at other times it feels like it's in my face.
It can be debilitating. I don't like crowds for fear of riots, I don't like swimming in the ocean for fear of drowning, I have problems with relationships for fear of death.
It seems I fear all that I can't control.
I try to say it's just a frame of mind and dismiss a lot of it. I try to say it's just an imbalance of brain chemicals. I say anything to vanquish it from my mind.
I took 2 PTSD tests. I think I may be a candidate.
It's ok though. I know now why that invisible wall pops up. I know why sometimes I feel like that deer in the headlights.
I don't think talking to an expensive shrink can do any better for me than myself.
The best news is that I know I'm not crazy.
I also try to think of things that make me happy.
Or the best way is to help someone. You forget your problems while helping others.

God bless
by: Anonymous

Hi, I am 40 and had quad by pass, I understand the trauma and almost post traumatic syndrome. I am always scared now. I am 4 weeks post op and it helps to read others encounters. Good luck to anyone reading and I empathize for all that have gone through this. I am still in a great deal of pain and leg and left chest, where they took arteries still feel " weird". Mine was just family history, I did smoke a lot, of course never again!!!! I am 6 foot and only weighed 175 pound so at 40 I was floored that this was happening and actually still am. I wonder if mentally we ever recover. I can relate to the ICU, fears!!!! Anyway god bless all!

Take Charge of Your Health - Part II
by: Midnight Blue

Add to that the vast shortfall's that exist within the criminal justice system, the political wranglings you get dumped on your lap, and the recycling of the same criminals over and over . . . and I can only conclude that this stuff just ate at me over the years, and looking at it from that perspective, it's easy to see why I ended up with the coronary problem since I was internalizing so much of my stress for over two decades. Moreover, law enforcement personnel end up with an abundance of cortisol being shot into their bloodstreams throughout their shifts due to high stress calls. That constant adrenaline rush is really not very healthy and it slowly debilitates and breaks down your health.

Essentially then, the perfect storm for heart and circulation problems to show up.

My lesson to pass on:

1. Be smart about your career choice. No job is worth it if it's going to shave years off your life.

2. Make God #1 in your life followed closely by your family. God is who you'll be dealing with in the end. Prioritize HIM in your life.

3. Most Americans assume they'll be here tomorrow. The fact is many people die of a massive heart attack without ever having a chance see a cardiologist or have the appropriate surgeries that can correct their problems and keep them alive.

4. Sudden heart attacks are sometimes the first symptom of a problem. Only 50% survive to have surgical corrections or some other method. The other 50% do not.

5. Don't assume that just because you're feeling okay it's all good. Tim Russert dropped dead right after his aerobics workout. All indications were he felt fine right up until he collapsed.

6. Take charge of your health. Don't rely on doctors to take care of you. Doctors only have so much time to spend with you and they miss a lot in the process. That's just the sad reality. Educate yourself and insist that the doctor have you tested in areas that you have a concern. Don't let them brush you off with pills. Doctors are trained to solve many problems with a prescription. Once they realize you have elevated cholesterol or some mild heart complication they typically want to pop statins and beta-blockers in you and then call it a day.

For my money, I'm going the natural route if possible. I'll know more about how it's working in the months ahead but for now that's my approach . . . prescription drug free. I'm trying to lower my work-related stress levels by doing breathing exercises and being more dismissive of the importance of what I do.

It sounds like a cliché but it bears repeating . . . Don't take your health for granted.

Take Charge of Your Health
by: Midnight Blue

Reading over these comments I have little to offer but I'll share anyway. I'm going to break my comments into two postings due to the 3000 word limit.

I was hardly your typical coronary patient. I was fit, worked out 4-5 days a week weight training and doing aerobics. I've remained relatively active in martial arts training over the years and played sports whenever possible.

I consciously kept extra weight off throughout the years as I grew older. From age 36 to my bypass at age 53 my diet was pretty good. I ate about 85% healthy throughout my daily routine. Rarely did I have fast food or anything deep fried. I didn't have a lot of trans fats or even saturated fats in my daily diet . . . at least compared to the average American.

I took a load of supplements over the years. All the right things that improve circulation and prevent heart disease. Fish oil, Resveratrol, CoQ10, Garlic, Cayenne, etc. My attitude was to prevent anything bad from happening by being proactive about my heart health.

Even with that, low and behold, feelings of angina showed up in December 2012. I suspected what I was dealing with because I recognized the symptoms having worked in law enforcement for 20 years.

I waited a few days too long to see the cardiologist however and ended up in A-Fib with an MI to boot.

I was blessed in that my bypass was an unusual "single" bypass to circumvent the LAD artery which was 95% blocked.

Unfortunately, unlike most patients in my situation, a stent wasn't a good option for me given the location of the blockage near the junction of the circumflex artery.

My surgery was in late December 2012 and I went back to work in late March 2013.

What I'd like to pass on to others is this. I wasn't a guy who took my health for granted and it still happened to me. I was honestly shocked when I was told about the blockage. Officers I've worked with over the years said to me, "We figured it could happen to just about anybody other than you."

I was working out at the gym right up until early December when I began to feel chest tightness and my left arm going numb. In fact my first symptom happened on the job enroute to a robbery in progress. It really came out of nowhere. Suddenly and without warning.

I have little doubt that it was related to the stress of the job and all the complications that go with working for unethical police administrators in a generally unhealthy police environment for so many years. Despite loving my career choice, I drew the short straw as far as the department I end up working for and it's added considerable stress to my life over the years.

I miss my Mom
by: Anonymous

My MOm my best friend had heart surgery and passed away on good friday two and ahalf days after the surgery she was 70 the doctors do not know why,my pain is so great to loose her sudden like that.When we do find out what went wrong I feel she was that small percent(they say) that the doctors were the cause as maybe they read a report wrong or he did something wrong during surgery this is not a routine surgery please make sure you say what you want to say before your loved one has it done. Now that my mom's heart stopped mine became broken I'm a butterfly without wings, the sky without the sun and a bird without a song!!!!!! missing MOM sososo much

my quadruple bypass age :44
by: Damon Johnson

I,went through exactly the same thing as you did Peter almost to a T with the exception i didnt have diabetes,i surfed almost everyday of my life & anyone who knows me knows i could never sit still for more than 5mins.As you can see i am 44 years of age always around 80 kilos & looked fit as,my surgery was at around 2pm on 25/03/2013 & i am writing this from home on 31/03/2013.I am still experiencing some pain in my sternum & right shoulder,i have never depended on anyone for anything & having to do so i am finding very difficult,i have also never spoken about my experiences to anyone but i am feeling the need to do so.My main concern is my children,i have a 3yr old & a 6mnth old i really need to stay alive for,and i am worried about another heart attack which i had 3 of.I however can't wait till i can drive & ride my bike again.thank you for telling your story as i was wondering if my op was similar to that of anyone else,& ours were almost identical even in recovery.Cheers Damo

Thank you
by: Anonymous

Thank you for sharing your story. My dad underwent a quadruple by-pass yesterday. I was allowed to see him briefly today and it frightened the life of me as he looked so ill and in pain. The lovely nurse explained everything to me but I didn't stay for long as rest is clearly so important at this stage. I've just rung to check how he's doing and he's already showing signs of being better and they think they will get him out of bed for a bit tomorrow. It hardly seems possible having seen him today but having read all the posts on here today I feel far more positive. Thank you all.

Ten Years On
by: Peter Pisani

It’s been ten years since I had the Quadruple Heart Bypass and during those years I have been lucky enough to stay as healthy as I could. I have now had another heart attack at 57, this one sneaked up on me with the symptoms of being out of breath and always tired, I was so out of breath that I had trouble walking any distance at all and I felt tired even after sleeping, I went to my Doctor and she sent me to have a chest X-ray and ECG done only to see that my heart was enlarged and beating irregularly also I had fluid in my lungs, then a visit to my Cardiologist who sent me to have blood work done and a Echocardiograph (TTE) then I was fitted with a 24hr Holter Monitor (Ambulatory). With the results of these test’s I was told that I’ve had a silent heart attack, silent being because I am a Diabetic. Sometimes I wish I could feel the attack pains so I would at least know that I was in serious trouble. The Cardiologist said that I needed to have an Angiogram done. (The last time I had this done was ten years ago when I was told that I had to have a Quadruple Heart Bypass). This time the Angiogram showed my arteries stayed clean and no blockages, I thank God that I didn’t have to go through heart surgery again, but my heart has been damaged with this silent heart attack. My Cardiologist told me I needed a Pacemaker to continue living, my hearts electrics were damaged badly. After staying overnight at Hospital to have the Pacemaker fitted I feel so much better and feeling better every day. This is the third time I’ve been close to death I don’t know why I’m still here. I still have trouble with PTSD from my first episode ten years ago but I feel that it’s getting better every day. I hope this continuing story can help and give hope to someone.
Best of Health and Regards to all ..... Peter Pisani

Don't be afraid of butter!
by: Anonymous

A heart healthy diet may not be what you think or what you've been told. Scientific evidence points to the benefits of a diet that is low in grains and other carbohydrates, low in sugar and much higher in healthy fats. Check out the Lipid Hypothesis section of this website ( for a real eye-opener. And keep an open mind while you read. It could save your life.

My Quadruple Bypass
by: Trevor

Hi, had my quadruple bypass @ 51 yrs old, 12 yrs ago after 2 heart attacks within 4 wks - both at night whilst @ rest.
For 12 months prior had Rennies in every coat pocket - may be should have taken same discomfort more serious!
Surgery went well, my surgeon used veins from my leg taken like laces via 5 small cuts only which healed very quickly. Others I spoke to had veins taken from arm via long cut which took longer to heal than their chest cut!
Yes alot of disconfort until chest healed & it was awhile before I'd let go of my comfort blanket which I used to "support" my chest at times! Dreaded coughing or going to loo for no . 2's! Remember tracer wire being removed, not painful but strange sensation. Also, when drain pipes were removed - told to ex-hail as pipe was withdrawn so that air would not enter the chest cavity, again not painful, just strange feeling!
Must say, proceedure wasn't half as dramatic as I thought it would be.
Yes, I am told my "personality" did change a little after but generally, feel I strangely benefited from the experience too as now realise what is important & what isn't & realise that there isn't a lot that can't wait until tomorrow! Before I was always 5 mins behind myself, used to worry worry about everything & everyone & made mountains out of mole hills!.
Very much did as I was told & changed to healthier life style for first 7 or 8 yrs, then gradually got back into old habits; "nice" unhealthier treats, like my salt & butter, less exercise & put on weight!
Result, now suffering heart failure symptoms & going through new investigationary proceedures. Others please learn from my experience, I was told but wouldn't listern! Important to maintain new healthier Life Style as we are told during recouperation!

4-way bypass
by: Gerry

Hi, I was touched by some of your comments as I too had a quad bypass at age 60. It's been 5 weeks now since the surgery and I have got new pain in my right shoulder, neck, and it feels like the right lung also. Very hard to sleep more than a couple of hours a day. Other than that pain, I feel fine except for the bruising from the aspirin. I can walk 1 to 2 miles a day. All they would give me for pain was extra strength Tylenol, O whippee! I see some of you get better pain killers than I do.

Hope we all get better sooner than later

Question please
by: Anonymous

Hi there,

Firstly thank you so much for posting this, it's been both brilliant and interesting to read.

My dad had a quad bypass in October 12 and has recoeverd well however he has recently experienced dizzy spells and fallen over a couple of times.

He is seeing his cardiologist this week but they cant find anything wrong with him - just wondering if anyone else has experienced this?

Many thanks all

Monica xxx

Is it just me?
by: Jimmy Coleman

I had my quad back in the middle of June. Also had the collapsed lung and a couple months after I got pneumonia! Just lucky I guess. Lately, 6 months after surgery, I have had an increase in my meds. My LDLs are too high. I have gone from 209 to 230. I have been watching my diet and exercising. But still am gaining. Anyone have any ideas? I am really getting sick of eating veggies and gaining weight. Ugh. Jimmy

My husband underwent bypass surgery, but passed away
by: Anonymous

When I am seeing the experiences shared by everyone in this forum, I can't help saying why did this happen to my husband. My husbad too had similar pains He expired this year on 28th August. He was complaining of chest pain since 13th August, but was mentioning that it is due to acidity. On 20th August, he had an acute attack at 2 AM in the morning, but none of us were at home. He suffered for almost 1.5 hrs and went to hospital alone to take medicine for acidity. I came to know about this only at 8:30 AM and rushed to the hospital. He was explaining his pain to the doctor, which I could easily make out that it was an attack. My husband refused to believe the fact and argued with me and doc till 23rd August that it was just acidity and nothing else. I took my husband to hospital on 23rd for ECHO and doctors confirmed that it was an attack and mentioned that he had 100% blockage in both the arteries and 1 ventricle. He was living only in 1 ventricle. He underwent bypass surgery on 25th August and post surgery complications, expired on 28th because of liver failure. The doctors mentioned that there was no effort from his side and they cannot keep him in support machine for long. He did not share any information with me, I was confident he will come back.. lesson of this incident is NEVER IGNORE YOUR HEALTH

Emergency surgery
by: Anonymous

Thank you for the comments on sleeping it seems to be a problem for all of us after bypass . After writing asking for advice I was rushed back into hospital for emergency surgery. On the 10th day of recovery late in the afternoon I felt as if I had pulled a muscle in my right side and every time I moved it hurt so I asked my husband to help me sit back in the chair to get more comfortable then the dizziness came and I blacked out, an ambulance was called and in total there were /6 people working on me. My body started shutting down, they could not get a vein to put a cannula into and eventually had to go through my knee which I might add was extremely painful. They were at my home for almost two hours before I could be moved then had to stop three times on the way to hospital to take my stats, once arriving at hospital it was like something of the telivision with people buzzing around doing all sorts of things to me( I actually don't remember a great deal of this but was told later) I opened my eyes at one point with someone leaning over me telling me they were going to put me to sleep and find out what the problem was then I woke in ICU. It turns out that I had a slow leak from where I don't know yet and they had to drain two liters of old black toxic blood out of my lung cavity, they had to open up the sternum again because they thought it might be the heart, so I am now back to the beginning again. The surgeon said it was very rare and they have put it down to too many blood thinners I have lost all confidence in my local cardiology department and hopefully will get some answers. When the drainage tubes were removed in hospital one of the nurses accidentally cut the purse stitch and since coming home I have had to go to my local gp and have two more stitches put in, also I was rung by the hospital the day after I came home to make sure they hadn't left a cannula attached. This is a true story and things of nightmares . I 'm sure this won't happen to anyone else but thank you for letting me get this of my chest so to speak.

my dad
by: Anonymous

my dad is 65 years old, going in for a bypass operation in three days he has seven severe blockages :( he complained about the tightness in his chest, and ignored it thinking it was indigestion. his blood pressure and blood sugar levels were very high when he was admitted into the hospital. they have brought it down to normal level with medication and food.
I'm so terrified i cant think, sleep or eat properly! All I do throughout the day is read about it hoping it will help me feel better. It doesn't :(

It is such a hard time for the patient and their families. I can only begin to understand what each and every one of you are going through.

Praying for a successful operation and speedy recovery for my dad and everyone else waiting for the operation.


90 Year old has Quadruple bypass
by: Anonymous

My father-in-law will be having quadruple bypass on Fri.the 2nd of Nov. He just turned 90 in Oct. We are thankful for the fact that he has always been an active person. The Dr. says he has the heart and mind of a 78 yr old person. He is an amazing man and we all are trusting the doctors performing the surgery.

For Liz on Sleeping
by: Anonymous

I had found simply impossible to lay flat at all immediately after my quadruple bypass surgery due to the pain and discomfort in my chest. The only way I was able to sleep was in a recliner. I would grab a pillow and a blanket and throw the chair back as far as it would go and I was able to rest fairly well that way. I slept in the chair for a little over a month and then I could sleep in my bed for a night and then spend a night or two in the chair and then back to the bed again. It was probably about 5-6 weeks before I was sleeping in my bed on regular basis like a "normal" person.

For Liz
by: Anonymous

I found sleeping difficult for some time, I would get into bed on my right side then when I wanted to turn to the other side I would get up and walk around to my wife's side of the bed and roll her over then get into her side of the bed on my left side, also I found that sitting in a comfortable chair and catching zzzzz there.

by: Liz

Has anyone found a comfortable way to sleep after coming home from hospital?
I normally sleep on my side but the pain is too great and I don't know how much more my back can take. I'm only sleeping for short periods before waking in discomfort. I had my bypass 10 days ago and for most of the day after getting up and moving around I feel almost normal, I am finding my arm is uncomfortable where they took the vien and know I should be using it more the staples come out in another 5days so hopefully then it will feel better.

Need to Share
by: Anonymous

My boyfriend of 9 yrs. had quadruple bypass surgery this morning. They took him off the ventilator and he's now breathing on his own. When I spoke with the surgeon right after surgery, he told me my BF's blood flow was at 25% instead of 15% when he went in 2 days ago. He also said that there was some damage due to previous heart attacks which neither one of us were aware of. He will need a pace maker according to Doc. The doc also said they are hopeful his blood flow will continue to improve. I've been in a state of mild shock since this all happened. Thank you for sharing your experiences. At least I'll know what to expect in the coming days and months. Be healthy and happy. Eat right and live.

Quadruple By-Pass
by: Anonymous

I also had a quadruple heart by-pass, both my lungs collapsed and i nearly died. I completely understand you when you say that you worry every day about how long you will live. My family do not understand how i feel, i am a different person now after my surgery 4 years later. I worry about everything and i still have my angina, but not as bad as before. I guess we just have to take it one day at a time,that is what i do now. Good luck to you!
I never thought i would have heart trouble,heart surgery was the only thing i was afraid of and i ended up having that surgery. Life is funny sometimes.

Heart attack at 37
by: Anonymous

I had a major heart attack in May of 2010 and subsequent quadruple bypass. I have no memory of the breathing tube ever being in me let alone taken out. In fact my only memory of ICU is when I was leaving. I got a cold chill as they got me into the wheelchair and my whole body began shaking/shivering violently and painfully. The nurse got me wrapped up in heated blankets and it stopped. This happened several times and nobody knew why. It really scared me. I am so glad it is all over other than some occasional pain at the incision on my chest. I'd never want to go through that again!

Comment for Nothing to worry about
by: Anonymous

Having you know your husband’s experience with his heart surgery does not give you credit to advise people who have personally experienced it. Maybe your husband should do the commenting instead of you. I’m sure that most people who have been through the experience of a serious operation are close to their God in their way. All surgery and especially heart surgery is very serious and should never be treated as common. You should stop forcing your God and your believes to people who can decide for themselves with what or who they believe in.

Nothing to worry about
by: Anonymous

My husband, age 60, just had triple bypass surgery after collapsing in a public place. Someone performed CPR on him on the spot and then the paramedics arrived with the paddles. He was taken to the hospital and stablized. Two days later he had the surgery. He is home now and doing great. He had no warning signs prior to the collapse . . . but he had been on blood pressure and cholesterol meds for several years prior.

Those of you who are afraid of the breathing tube should NOT be. The hospital will do everything to make you comfortable and pain free. You probably won't even remember it.

I think that fear of death is a spiritual problem. Get right with God and you will have no fear. Life after death is going to be better than life on earth by a long shot. It is something to look forward to, so be of good cheer. Trust in God's plan for your life and go with it even if it isn't what you would have chosen for yourself.

Bypass surgery is very common now and nothing to worry about. Just a few weeks of inconvenience in order to add years to your life. God bless all of you.

Thank you
by: Juanita

Peter, your story sounds very similar to my husbands, although my husband was only pre-diabetic, and he did have some discomfort. Also, your wife taking you to the doctor immediately may have changed the story for you. My husband had discomfort for a week, trouble breathing, and a "weird" feeling in his chest. He described it as maybe a pulled muscle or a flu soreness, but refused to seek medical help. I plead, as did his children and coworkers to go to the hospital, however, he refused to acknowledge that anything was actually mortally wrong. He was not only a powerful man, but a necessary man, who felt he couldn't take a minute from his family and work.
His recovery was very slow, he still could not hold his own weight to stand by the 6th day and was still in CCU.
Day 7 I got the call at 5:45 am that his heart stopped and he could not be resuscitated.
The loss of him has been beyond incredible, and if all I can do is educate others to see a dr with the any symptoms, even if they seem minor symptoms like your's, then his death was not in vain.

by: Maria

Hi Jan

Glad to hear you're over the worst. My partner went for a quad bypass 5 weeks ago. He ended up having 5 bypasses.

He is on the mend but like you he keeps expecting the worst.

Your heart is now mended and in a better condition than it was before so be patient and you will be feeling better before you know it :)

by: jan

My name is jan and i live in nyc. I am 48 and have had lupus since 1992. On 3/23/12 i had quadruple bypass surgery. I too had no symptoms except for a nudging feeling in my left breast two days prior to surgery.
My recovery is going well however i am extremely anxious about having a heart attack. Every little feeling sends me into a frenzy. I am also bored to death.

My dad had a quadruple bypass when he went in for triple, Sydney Australia
by: Nerm

I have read all your inspiring stories and it is exactly how Peter describes it. My dad has been experiencing angina for 18 months and did not take his condition seriously until his local GP suggested he see a heart specialist. He still smoked and is quite stubborn. On top of this he is a Veterinary Surgeon and said if he had a horse with angina attacks he would put it down to stop it's suffering. Well 3 weeks into the process when my mum insisted I go with dad to his appointments it became evident he needed an operation. Dad is 66 and had a near death experience when he was 36 with simple gall stones that went horribly wrong. I was 7 at the time and it was a terrible experience for my mum and I. it was clear the operation was inevitable and after seeing the heart surgeon early March 2012, dad was booked in on the 23rd of March only to be postponed until the 30th March. I could see that my dad was absolutely terrified and I told mum to at least learn Internet banking and their finances. Dad decided to give me the freedom of speech talk and said it was his body and he was not going through with the operation. I got cranky and told him, then you don't love me or your grandchildren if you were not going to give yourself an opportunity to get better. Through love and support dad realized I backed him nib a corner,mum had given up and being the eldest out of 4, I have a bond with my dad closer than my mum which is most unusual for girls. Anyway, dad had surgery, going in for triple but coming out with quadruple. I cried when I saw him come out of surgery, he looked all wired and tubed up. I just prayed and had faith in our Lord that he would return dad back to us. I love him to dearly to not make him go through this. He is still in ICU in the best hospital in Sydney called RPA, the Dr's and nurses are infallible. God Bless them. It's day 3 in ICU and all tubes are almost out and his blood pressure is 120\80. he has a little fever but doing well. He just needs to make sure he changes his diet and never has a cigarette again. My kids are certainly never going to smoke after seeing their grand dad like this. Dad is also a diabetic which didn't help the situation. I am now asking my beautiful younger sister who is 27 and just got married to quit smoking, she has juvenile diabetes since the age of 11. That's my next job, she is a lawyer so every time I look at dad then look at her in the ICU I beg her not to be the next patient-you guessed it the next conversation resembled a court room. God Bless you all with your recovery and may the lord give you many years with your families...thank u for your amazing stories. N

My hubby's story
by: Anonymous

My husband is due to have a quadruple bypass Wed. March 28,2012 in three days. He was getting out of breath when we were dancing and had a stress test back in Feb. They came up with some irregularities and ordered a cardiac catherization test and came up with four diseased arteries. We are glad he did not have a heart attack and his heart muscle is fine. I am feeling better now reading your story Peter and others. I have learned how to feed the cattle, cut the one acre lawn and take care of all the irrigation sprinklers this week so I can take over for my hubby. He is 72 and I am 61 and we are both retired so I have time to learn new stuff!! Thank you Lord and thank you Internet!!

My partner just had a heart attack
by: maria

Your all so brave what you have been through.

I am very proud of you, as I am proud of my partner, I can only imagine what he has been through. He comes home tomorrow after having a quadruple bypass. I wish you all luck xxx

Quad @ 35
by: Guy B

Thanks for sharing. Looks like I am the you youngest on this thread. I am 35 and I will be having a quadruple bypass in 2 days. I have a great team here in Houston. My father had a triple bypass 13 months ago, so I have an idea of what I am about to go thru. I am most nervous about the breathing tube. I am looking forward to feeling well again. I have not had a heart attack. I had a stress test that was irregular last tuesday and the a heart cath on friday which showed several blockages from 80-100%. I feel more at ease about the surgery after reading this, but now I think I am even more nervous about the breathing tube. I have a lot of life left to live, so I am looking forward to a great and speedy recovery. Thanks

RE: My partner just had a heart attack by: Anonymous
by: Maria

I posted a few weeks ago about my partner having a heart attack.

I am pleased to say he had his Quadruple bypass 4 days ago and all went well.

He is back in a ward now and getting stronger every day.

For all of you that are about to go through or knows somebody that is about to go through with this op it is very frightening but there is a light at the end of the tunnel and you and your loved ones will come out stronger for it.

I can't wait for him to come home now which should be in a few days :)

Thank you for honest information
by: Anonymous

I am a 44 year old woman and a mother of 3 beautiful children. I was diagnosed with diabetes when I was 19 years old. At 36 I had a heart attack. I recognized the signs and got to the nearest hospital ASAP. I told the triage nurse what my symptoms were and they very quickly put me in a room where they could monitor me. They took blood and hooked me up to a heart monitor. My blood work did not show any signs of Triponin and my ECG look normal. They sent me home saying it was a panic attack. Needless to say...I was back by ambulance 1/2 hr. later. Whisked away by ambulance the next day and taken to Toronto General Hospital where I had a stent put in. I recently have not been feeling well (shortness of breath) and went to my cardiologist to have it checked out. Turns out I have eight blockages and need to have quadruple or 5 bypass surgery done. It's being done on March 13th and I am very nervous about this. I just wanted to say thank you for being honest about your experience. Understanding what to expect after is easing my nervousness a little. I look forward to feeling better after recovery.

by: Peter Pisani

Hi Thelma,

Its been 8 years and a bit since I had my quadruple bypass and although my scars have healed they are always there to remind me of what I went through. The depression still stays with me to this day, (anti depression pills and talking to a doctor does help). I find that trying to stay focused on the future and keeping busy can help to blot out the traumatic times I went through. Only people like us who have been through similar experiences understand the mental difficulties we have to face every day. I try not to think about the past and pick up life from where it was before the illness and move on with a positive outlook with the future. Stay the course and enjoy being yourself.

Regards Peter Pisani

My Bypass
by: Thelma

Hi Peter and thank you for sharing. I had Quadrupel Bypass July 20th 2010. I was 50 at the time of my surgery, I had been suffering heart burn for a few days. Then one day the heart burn headed down my left arm. Emergency room time. Three days later I was having surgery. My recovery went as any other recovery would. 5 weeks after I was back at work, just trying to pull my life back together. Twelve weeks into recovery and I start feeling the pain again. Stress test showed all 4 grafts had failed. September 2010 they started putting stents in. I now have 7 stents in the orginal and grafted arteries. Things have been very difficult for me in this recovery. Depression has set in and no one around me understands. All they see is that the scars on the outside have heeled, but no one seams to care about the scars that need to heel on the inside.

I never got into rehab for one reason or another. THEN...

I lost my job March 1 of 2011 because I have Heart Disease. The wonderful state of Arizona no longer helps people like me. I have no insurance, and no why of seeing my doctors, but everyone just keeps telling me to fighting.

I'm afraid my fight is all gone. What would you do. Any opinions welcome. I could use the help.

Reality sets in
by: Anonymous

My best friend for over 30 years will have quad by-pass today.
Thanks for the reassuring stories.

My Dad's Bypass Surgery
by: Tarrie

My father underwent bypass surgery on Jan 31st, 2012. The procedure took about 4 hours, however, only the double bypass was done. The bypass needed on each leg will be done once he has healed up from the heart bypass.

For the first 6 hours after surgery, Dad was having a difficult time with his blood pressure as they tried to bring him out of sedation. Every time he would start to come to his blood pressure would sky rocket so they had to keep him sedated for a bit longer. This was tried several times throughout the night and around midnight he was finally able to come out of sedation and maintain his blood pressure.

The surgery went well and he was awake and surprisingly alert the next morning (just 12 hours after the surgery). He was able to talk to us quite well although he did seem to have a bit of a soar throat. By this time they already had him out of his bed and sitting in a chair for a short period of time. Within 24 hours he was sitting up in bed and they even had him standing upright and marching in place. Most of the swelling (his face was extremely swollen when he came out of surgery) had gone down and the huge bandage they had wrapped around his entire left arm (from which they took the needed vein for the bypass) had been removed and he only had a small bandage over the incision. I think by this time they had also already removed all of the various tubes and IVs leading into his body.

He didn't feel much pain for the first two days after the surgery but by the third day he was noticing the pain was getting much stronger. He was been complaining of tightness in his chest which the doctors and nurses say is normal for some patients but they are monitoring it nonetheless.

All in all the surgery seems to have been a great success. I am just in awe of how quickly he seems to be progressing. We are told by the doctor that he should be out of the hospital as early as tomorrow. Praise God!!

My partner just had a heart attack
by: Anonymous

2 days ago my partner had a heart attack, he had been getting pains for a couple of days and thought he had a chest infection.

We went into town and the pains got so bad that i rushed him up to the hospital.

We were in the right place at the right time and they were able to stabilize him within an hour.

They said it was a massive heart attack and today he had tests done to say that his heart is very badly damaged.

He has been told that he needs a quadruple bypass. Very frightening but after reading the comments in here, it can go well.

The only thing worrying me is that they said it could take anything from 6-8 weeks and 6-8 months before surgery.

Government cuts I guess.

I just hope its sooner rather than later as I think he's a walking time bomb until he has this done.

My friend just experienced a quadruple bypass.
by: Tracy

We arrived home from a 1 week vacation to Jamaica on Saturday, and on Sunday John had a heart attack at the age of 55. He was very healthy and active. His symptoms were dizziness and vomiting, almost flu like. After the angiogram he was scheduled for the quadruple bypass and everything went according to plan. It was as described above, minus the scary part in recovery. If you have a positive outlook and supporting friends and family to make it easier, it should be a breeze. Thank God for the wonderful Surgeons and nurses!

My father's upcoming surgery
by: Tarrie

My father is 64 and will be undergoing his quadruple bypass on Jan 31st. We are all very worried of course. Your first-hand account has been very helpful and I appreciate you sharing your experience and also all the comments that others have shared. It has encouraged me and I will be sharing your story with my family too.

Thank you.

by: Rich

I too am diabetic. I had quadruple bypass when I was 53 and now I'm 65. It is an intimidating process. Fear could very easily set in. I just kept reminding myself that God loved me, and if I died I would be with him. But just like the rest of the commenters I see the end differently now.

step dad
by: Anonymous

my step dad is having open heart surgery in about 5 hours. As i have read and are experiencing the nerves are a powerful thing. He just turned 53 2 weeks ago and is a faith believing man. He acts like hes not scared execpt the breathing tube but I know hes a wreck inside and so am I. I worry about him for me but mainly for my children ages 6 and 4 which their papa is their #1 love. I feel better reading the stories to know what the steps will be for recovery. Thanks and God bless

thank you...
by: Anonymous

I had quadruple heart bypass surgery last oct 2009, I was 43 yrs old... your story is same as my case... thank you for sharing.

my quadruple bypass
by: Anonymous

My name is anthony cutlip i was 43 years old i had a new docter in she wanted to know my family history so i wrote it down right then and there she order tests that was novemer 17-2002 the nexts day i went in for my operation for some reason i thiey could not do it that dayso i went home the nurse was mad they let me go home in i was not going back but my wife said oh yes you are i cryed all night but everything went well but as a man i went into a deep depression still today but i count my blessing every day i wake up in see my family

A New Lease on Life for me
by: Anonymous

I had my quadruple bypass August 9th 2011, and I am just a little over two months will soon be three. I have felt like a million bucks. I still have COPD and that stinks but i am doing great. Thanks be to God. I did have a heart attack, one that took me to the hospital and a very small one on the operating table. I am 50 years old and I really do feel like a new life has started for me.
It was a tough recovery but I have done very well, and I don't smoke any more.




by: Anonymous

seen my specialist today and said i need a quad bypass and he said it could be anything up to 9 weeks why?

six years after quad bi pass
by: Anonymous

HI my nane is Bill I'm 55 years old . I had quad bypass surgery when I WAS 49. Six years later I feel great. Three days a week I walk 3 miles or more. I did not have a heart attack before the surgery. the only warning I got was a tightening in my chest that stopped me in my tracks over a couple of month period. I was asked to take a stress test and lasted 40 seconds. Anyhow I take my meds ,walk as often as I can ,don't smoke or drink,but I can honestly say that I feel really good. My point is that if you need this surgery get it. The recovery sucks ,but I PROMISE you will feel much better in a month ,much much better in 8 months. No set backs after 6 years ,but don't be stupid and forget your being given a second chance . DO SOMETHING WITH IT.

My husband had one 3 years ago
by: Anonymous

My husband had a quadruple bypass three years ago. When I read your story, I felt I was reliving his experience. You explain everything very well, and all the details are very descriptive of the actual overall experience.
I am a little worried because for the last two days, my husband has been feeling dizzy. I don't know if this is related to the heart or if it is something else. He never feld dizzy like you did when they discovered his blocked arteries, he had pain. After reading your comment, I will tell him that he should go to the doctor just to make sure everything is well.

Been through it also....
by: Kim

I am 9 weeks post surgery this week. I am a 54 yo white male that has always been, in my mind, in good health. Always active. My worst vice was smoking cigarettes. On January 6, 2011, I was feeling some tightness in my chest that day but thought I was getting a chest cold, then experienced some other minor symptoms that evening. On Jan.7 I had the EKG. Following this, I was immediately sent to the Heart Hospital to get a dye test. It was discovered that I had 7 blockages and was scheduled for bypass surgery on Jan.10. I received 5 bypasses.My recovery has gone very well. Still tender and sensitive at the breast bone. The grafting veins were removed from both legs from the knee down to the ankle. One leg healed much faster than the other. I had some infection with one incision and had to go through a couple of rounds of antibiotics for that. Every day though gets a little better. Don't get discouraged. Thanks to Dr.C.D. Williams and the entire staff at the Arkansas Heart Hospital.

again thank you for sharing
by: Anonymous

god bless

thank you!!!
by: douglas doll

i have to go though this in about 3 weeks,and i am very scared about the whole thing.

Thank you for sharing your story
by: Frank Shin

My father had a quadruple bypass when he was around 40. He had been smoking till the age of 30 and the doctor had mentioned that if he had smoked longer then his chances would have been reduced drastically. As it is, prior to the operation his chances were 50%.

I am now approaching 30 and still smoking. Recently, I've been having chest pains. Through searching online to hear experiences like this helped me to decide and go see a doctor.

Just wanted to let you know that these experiences are crucial for those to understand what goes on with a quadruple bypass. Thank you.

by: Anonymous

Someone very close to me is having quadruple bypass surgery tomorrow morning and I am a nervous wreck with worry. I have been on the internet looking up all kinds of information thinking that would help me feel better. It was informative telling the facts and the risks.
I am so glad I found your story because that helped me immensely to really hear what you went through. When you love someone you worry so much about them making it through the surgery. But the worry doesn't stop when they make it through, because then you worry about how much pain they will be in.
Thank you so much for explaining about what you went through and the pain levels. I know every surgery can be different, but this makes me feel so much better to understand it from your perspective. From your experience, it doesn't sound like it is as bad as what I was making up in my head.
Going to get some rest, it's going to be a long day tomorrow. I will hopefully be able to get some sleep thanks to you Pete!
Glad you are doing well!

47 Quad Bypass & AVR
by: Jamie

Thanks for you informative story Peter. I face the prospect of a quad bypass & new heart valve within a week. My symptoms were similar to yours in that I only had dizzy spells without any pain. It is an operation that your comments have made a difference in terms of "post op" education and I wish you good health for the future.

It's Papa's turn tomorrow...
by: Anonymous

Tomorrow is my fathers operation... It's nice to read all your comments here... Helps me how to deal with this...

Thank you for your story...
by: Anonymous

Thank you, Mr. Pisani, for a very moving story. I related to so much of it. I am 64 and had an unplanned triple bypass in March 2010. It affected me greatly, as far as my outlook and my emotional well-being. Reading the experiences of others seems to help.

I hope you are doing well !!

Thank you all
by: Peter Pisani

I would just like to thank all who have commented on my story. I hope my story has helped you in some way.

Best Health and Regards. Peter Pisani

My Quad
by: Anonymous

Well I am to be 70 next month. Last month I decided to have a check up since I had noticed tightness across chest when playing tennis (I play singles and doubles every weekend). I had just returned from an enjoyable ski trip.

After suggesting an angiogram and thinking a stent might be needed my cardiac doc then told me calmly that I had severe blockages and recommended that I get on with surgery as soon as possible. I went for it the next day, and after nearly 6 hours came out with a quad bypass.

Fortunately I had not suffered a heart attack so there was no damage to the heart. The veins were taken from my legs which are still a bit of a mess but healing nicely.

Frankly I had no time to be scared and simply went for it as quickly as possible. After two days I was out of intensive care and a week later I was back home. That was all about two and a half weeks ago and I am feeling fine except that I get breathless when exercising.

I am told it will be another 4 weeks before I can drive but I expect to be back on the tennis court by August and looking forward to skiing again next year.

Glad you are still around
by: Anonymous

I didn't know you then Pete, but I am glad you survived that heart attack and operation. You are a good friend and I am glad you have come into my life. You are also very lucky to have the wonderful family that you have, so keep looking after yourself as you have so much to live for.
love Tracey xxx

Comment for your Father
by: Peter

I hope your Papa is doing well and I wish him the very best of health for the future.

Wishing your father all the best
by: Sandra

Re: the comment below - good luck with your papa - we're all thinking of him and wishing him a speedy recovery.

My father
by: Anonymous

Thank you so much for these stories. My papa is at Toronto General hospital right now. He had a quadruple by-pass surgery on December 24th at 8am. My family have been up and down through this experience with him. In the end, it is apparent my father really needed this surgery and I am thankful he is doing well in his recovery so far..
Today is Day 4 for him and it's still very scary for all of us, so the information read below was extremely helpful. I wish you all a long and wonderful life!
B xo

A comment for Ian's comment
by: Anonymous

To Ian, At 61 years of age which is close to the end of a human life, I'm sure that you would be very pleased to know the problem, and to have the operation done. But as you quoted that "Many others would have been frightened to death to go through with the 5 1\2 hour operation", is just a old man saying to himself, "I'm 61 and I've lived the majority of a human's life, so what have I got to loose". In Peter's case who was 47 and others younger than him who had similar surgery, have plenty to loose and have every right to be frightened.

My Quadruple Bypass
by: Ian

Hi, My name is Ian and I live in Melbourne, Australia.

My story is that in late August this year I started to feel tired at first then began getting tingles and muscular spasms around my neck and shoulders. This was the first time I had experienced such symptoms as I would walk an hour each night and have done for years. It got to a serious point when I could only walk for a few minutes before stopping.

My wife took me to my local doctor. My previous tests showed a good cholesterol reading of 5 and everything else fine for my age of 61 years. On that day my blood pressure was 185/90 which alarmed my doctor. I then saw a heart specialist.

On the 7th October I had an angiogram which showed I had 4 blockages. I was most pleased about knowing the fact that my problem had been uncovered where many others would have been frightened to death about knowing a big 5 1/2 hour operation had to be done.

I then met my surgeon to talk about it and with his expertise told me I would be a different man after the operation.

A different man I was. Very different in fact. My blood pressure was down to 115/55 the next day and is now 130/65. The only pain I experienced was when the 2 draining tubes were removed from my stomach and apart from all the E.C.Gs, blood tests and other injections that went with it I never felt down at any point.

After 6 days I was discharged from hospital with my medications. I am now a couple of weeks away from completing a 6 week rehab course which has been fun and meeting others that have had all types of operations recently.

My medications have now been reduced and apart from some slight soreness at the top of my chest I feel fantastic.

I will be returning to work on Monday 2nd February 2009 and will retire at Xmas 2009.

very brave
by: Anonymous

This is a truly touching story and you should be very proud that you have told it. Just make sure that it doesn't hold you back from living your life to the fullest, and always have a smile on your face. :)

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