Ugeskr Læger 2002;164(11): 1506-10.
Summary Qualitative assessment of pain relief and functional improvement after coronary bypass operation. Ugeskr Læger 2002; 164: 1506-10. Introduction: We wanted to assess postoperative pain relief and functional improvement in all CABG patients (546) from Gentofte County Hospital (GCH) in 1997, so as to elicit better information on what to expect after CABG. Material and methods: A descriptive cross-sectional survey, was carried out in 1999. All surviving patients (527) were sent a questionnaire with 17 questions in five categories: The course of the operation, pain level, medicine consumption postoperatively, working situation, and educationel level. The inclusion criterion was CABG in GCH in 1997. Results: One hundred and five women and 441 men (mean age 74 and 67 years) were entered. Response rate: 98%. Mortality rate: 0.9% in 30 days and 3.5% in two years. Sixty-four percent were satisfied with the course of the operation. In two years 33% were rehospitalised and 6% had a new CABG/PTCA. Other frequent diagnoses for readmission were AMI, arrythmia, and angina. Considerable wound discomfort was reported by 21% (chest) and 13% (leg/arm). Marked pain relief and functional improvement was achieved postoperatively (95%). Postoperative angina was not associated with limitation in daily activities. Postoperative medicine consumption: 52% antihypertensives and 20% anti-angina medicine. The return-to-work rate, for those working before the operation was 75% in about two months, with a slight preponderance in those employed in the private sector. Discussion: The study shows a high survival rate in two years after CABG. Considerable pain relief and functional improvement was achieved, and only a very small group derived no benefit from the operation. A large amount of patients had wound discomfort, which leaves an unsolved problem.