Mother's Low Blood Pressure After Two Knee Replacements Yesterday

Question

Asked by Bob in Rochester

Mother's Low Blood Pressure After Two Knee Replacements Yesterday

Hi--My 74 year old mother had both knees replaced yesterday. The operation went well, but she's had low blood pressure (80/44) or so for a full day now. She had an epidural, and then "something stronger than morphine" for pain-the medications started with a "D" but have to get the name.

She is overweight (but lost 30 pounds as directed over a couple months for this surgery) and I want to be sure that the doctors do whatever they should do to try to effectively bring this up/care for her properly during this time. I am a bit nervous because an acquiantence with a heart condition actually passed away after her knee replacement surgery with a heart attack, and so want to be proactive here. Andy advice please? Thanks, Bob

Answer

Hi Bob,

It's good that your mother has you to watch out for her! The first thing I want to point out is that physicians and hospitals never want to be responsible for a patient passing away after any surgery, let alone an elective surgery such as knee surgery, so rest assured that the physicians are most likely taking all precautions and doing all they can to keep your mother healthy.

With that being said, there are risks to every surgery...even death. I encourage you to speak with your mother's physician about your concerns. If the physician is not available, ask to speak with the nurse taking care of your mother that day/shift or the charge nurse on the unit she is in. Nurses are often a wealth of information. While they are extremely busy, they generally know exactly what is going on with their patients. In the meantime, here is some information about low blood pressure that may help answer some of your questions.

Understanding low blood pressure

Best of luck,

Monica M. Skidmore, MS, RD, LDN