is it possible that after a surgery a stroke can make a person completely paralized?

Mario s asked...

Hi, my dad just went thru a surgery of open heart to implant a VAT machine, about 8 hours after surgery they let us know he had a stroke, its been 24hrs and still hasn't wake up, he only moves his right hand and feet a little but still not wake up. Is it possible that after surgery, a stroke can make a person completely paralized?

Expert Answer

James Castle, M.D. is a neurologist at NorthShore University HealthSystem (affiliated with The University of Chicago) and an expert on strokes.

I am very sorry to hear about his situation. The unfortunate answer is "yes", a stroke can leave a patient nearly completely paralyzed. It is good that he has some movement on one side, but I would ask his Neurologist to give you a better sense of his overall prognosis. His stroke may be quite severe and debilitating. In fact, it may be severe enough that he would not want to be kept alive in such a way with the use of breathing tubes and/or feeding tubes.

I think you need to have a very candid discussion with his doctors about his prognosis and your father's wishes in such a circumstance. It will be important to ask yourself whether he would want a feeding tube or breathing tube if his prognosis is not very good. I can only hope that he has improved since you wrote your email, and I will keep him and you in my thoughts.