11 Responses

  1. I underwent open heart surgery for a valve replacement almost five years ago.  I have experienced all the symptoms mentioned plus.  I cried reading about “pump head” and the Duke study.  I have told doctors and social security of these symptoms for about four and a half years.  Most think you are crazy and most have blamed the symptoms on diabetes.  It is freeing to see in print that I am one of many.  I don’t feel that I have dementia or have become stupid but I do feel that there are many things I can no longer do.  If I could do it over I would still have the surgery…I really had no choice but I would certainly discuss the “rewarming” process thoroughly before proceeding.

  2. Alice says:

    My husband underwent bypass surgery in July of 2007.Within a few months he was showing signs of something not being right. He didn’t act like himself at all. He has always been fun and easy going. NOW,nothing seems to make him laugh.He is a completely different person.Sometimes he is just mean,most of the time that is.His personality has completely changed. Other people have noticed he’s not the same. We have been in some big fights.He says nothing is wrong with him. Any advice????

  3. cassandra says:

    My husband had open heart surgery 2 years ago to remove a tumor.  One year to the day, he had a second open heart surgery to replace a valve.  Since that time, his personality had completely changed.  He is cruel, thoughtless, has alienated his friends and family, is not interested in anything and spends a lot of time thinking about death. Is very forgetful and almost seems like a differnt man. I am at my wits end and actually thinking of divorce.  Is there any help out there?

  4. Shannon Brownlee, in her book,  “Overtreated, Why to Much Medicine is Making Us Sicker and Poorer” discusses the “pump head” effect (p.102-103) in the fourth chapter called “Broken Hearts.” .  She mentions that this is a common occurrence. I would urge that anyone who has a layman’s interest in our disfunctional healthcare system read this book.  This is a book that every candidate for public office who has to decide on healthcare benefits for civil service employees should be reading.

  5. In April 2008 my husband had a 6 vessel bypass surgery and has never been the same since. It has destroyed our marriage. He became another man, one that I did not know. He experienced psychosis, anger issues and became very paranoid.
    He had experienced a stroke prior to his bypass surgery and the vessel damage was extensive as apparent by the numbers of bypasses attempted. He suffered from irritability and dramatic mood disorders prior to bypass surgery, these issues increased dramatically after surgery. He sought treatment from unlicensed groups and organizations which worsened the problem due to their lack of education and knowledge regarding this disorder. I am encouraging person or family member dealing with issues like these to only seek treatment from licensed professionals who are experineced and trained in this syndrome.

  6. Cassandra says:

    It is comforting to see that I am not the only one that has figured out what is going on!! And that I am not completely crazy thinking my husband has a split personality. I have talked to Dr.s and read as much as I can about “pump head”.  They will only acknowledge that it can cause memory loss, etc.  They WILL NOT discuss the personality changes that occurr.  It is destroying families and marriages.  My husband and I married just 5 years ago and then the surgeries started. We had planned a lifetime together.  But now he is a completely different person.  Rude, thoughtless, selfish, cruel, will tell you that he doesn’t care about anything or anybody. Doesn’t have friends anymore and has alienated his family. I do not know this man…..and I can’t seem to find help.  I have made the decision to leave him, but it breaks my heart. My prayer are with all of you as we try to get thru this. When will the medical profession acknowledge this problem??!!!!

  7. Can this website find a way to allow these families to exchange emails and form support groups?
    You will find little support from the medical professional staff and I think that might related to the fear of malpractice.
    I am composing a website now that will be online shortly at http://www.pumpheadsyndrome.com neuro and cognitive dysfunction after bypass surgery.
    Seek help for yourself and do what you have to do to maintain your wellbeing, my husband refused professional treatmnet. It does destroy everything, marriages included. It has been far worse than the bypass surgery,
    If you would like to email me please do so sandiandphilip@aol.com
    Let’s try and help each other.

  8. Dawn says:

    I am relieved to find even the slightest information and others with similar symptoms. I had open lung surgery in 2007 in which they actually shut off the machine for 30 minutes at a time to open up the vessels in my lungs to operate on them. So I was refridgerated and “dead” on the operating room table for what they say was a total of about an hour. Ever since I have had personality changes, anxiety, my memory is shot. I can’t find words when I talk. I stutter and wander around the house wondering what I was trying to remember to do. I can’t comprehend things very fast at all and even can’t read a book anymore. It is so frustrating. There needs to be more help for us out there.

  9. A year ago I had 2 valves and 3 bypasses installed and since then my emotions seem to be on vacation and my intellectual capabilities are significantly decreased. Mt cardiologist mentioned “pump head’ as a possible cause and I have since looked it up on the web and it seems to fit my situation. He said that most people seem to gradually improve for about a year and a half and at that point whoever you are is fixed.

    I would like to know if psychological therapy or some other therapy might help bring back some of the original me. The new me is boring and insensitive and not interested in anything.

  10. My mother had triple bypass surgery at the end of November.  She experienced psychosis for 6 days.  During that time she says she was part of a horror film.  She would not open her eyes, her mind was not there.  She knew who was with her and she would answer our questions but she was experiencing something awful.  She was also given Haldol which is a drug they give to patients with schizophrenia.  We aren’t sure if this drug contributed to her psychosis. She does not remember anything of the surgery.  All we know is that she went in a normal person and came out a scared, nervous lady.

  11. teresag says:

    Hello and thank you for these posts.  I had heart/lung bypass surgery due to an av fistula bursting and am today a different person than I was before the surgery.  I don’t even like myself sometimes.  My question is, are there any websites, groups, anything, anywhere that I can talk to others who are going through this too?  Try telling someone that you have “pump head” and they look at you like you are crazy.  The only help I have received thus far is being told by my doctor to do a lot of crossword puzzles.  I hope someone responds to this because I really would like to talk with others who are feeling what I am feeling.  Thank you.

    Teresa Gunn

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