Does a Heart-Lung Machine Cause Brain Fog After Bypass Surgery?
Find the truth about questions that pique your curiosity in our series, “The Short Answer.” Cardiac surgeon Faisal Bakaeen, MD, answers this one about cardiovascular disease.
A: Yes, there are sporadic reports of patients having difficulty thinking clearly after coronary artery bypass surgery.This doesn’t happen to everyone, and usually disappears completely after a few months.The phenomena is not fully understood, but is believed to be linked to the heart-lung machines that are typically used during the procedure.
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The heart-lung machine allows the heart’s beating to be stopped, so that the surgeon can operate on a surface that is blood- and motion-free.
Coronary artery bypass without the heart lung bypass machine is used in select patients with a particular kind of coronary anatomy. However, no conclusive studies demonstrate that it is superior to traditional surgery with the heart-lung machine.
— Cardiac surgeon Faisal Bakaeen, MD