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DrRussMD, Board Certified Physician
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 64363
Experience:  Internal Medicine--practice all of internal medicine, all ages, family, health, prevention, complementary medicine, etc.
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My mother had heart valve replacement in 2008 of the Aortic

Customer Question

My mother had heart valve replacement in 2008 for Stenosis of the Aortic Valve. She had the Bovine Valve replacement done. It has been doing well for 7 years now. She recently had Back Surgery on Aug. 12 2015 to repair a bulging disc at L4 and L5, fixed some leaking spinal fluid and also she had spinal stenosis which was repaired. They did have to put 4 screws and a cage in for the repair. But the surgeon said she did great. She has had some complications that the back surgeon says is not due to the back surgery. She was in the hospital for 5 days for the surgery but was sick with weakness and unusual fatigue, has had shortness of breath when exerting herself plus we have thought her vertigo of which she has suffered with for 20 years kicked in and started in a tail spin. Every time she would get up to walk for the back exercising she got real winded and would occasionally complain of losing her breath. Back Dr. said her surgical pain within these 2 weeks should be subsiding by now but she still has some intense pain. She complains with nausea, can't eat and has not appetitie. We took her back to the hospital 3 days ago and they did more blood work on her in the ER and they found she had very low blood sodium level. They told us the norm range was suppose to be 135-145 and hers is 124. But the curiosity of that is the day of surgery they did her blood work up and her blood sodium level was 138 and 1 month prior to surgery her family dr did an blood work up and the blood sodium level was 140 and this was in July 2015 approx. 1 month prior to her surgery. The heart dr did 2 tests on her 2 weeks prior to the surgery, an echocardiogram and it was fine plus an EKG and it was fine so he gave her the OK for the back surgery. I wanted to ask what could be causing all her after surgery problems since the back dr said it was not related to the surgical procedure nor the recovery of the surgery. Any input, advice or suggestions you could give us would certainly be appreciated. Thank you, ***** ***** Lisa
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  DrRussMD replied 1 year ago.


There is no way we could pinpoint a cause, not being her doctor, not being able to examine her, or not having access to her records.

However, low sodium is due to any of the following.

It is most often due to a medication, and she needs all of her meds reviewed.

It can be from getting the wrong type of fluids, and too much, after surgery.


Also, these should be checked

thyroid function

kidney function

adrenal function

heart function

Problems in any of these areas can cause low sodium.

Finally, drinking way to much water can cause it as well

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