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Shortness Of Breath

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  • Shortness Of Breath

    Hello everyone,

    I was just wondering if other people have had shortness of breath after surgery. I am just over 7 weeks post-op and and feeling great, but I get short of breath when exurting {sp?} myself, such as walking up hills or even coming up the stairs too fast. I did not experiance any s.o.b. pre-surgery. Am I just expecting too much too soon? I have been very active and maybe am just pushing to get better too quickly. Has anyone else experianced this?? Thanks!

    Aortic Valve Replacement
    July 12, 2004
    Bovine Valve

  • #2
    Yes I did experience this. For *me* the culprit was extreme fluid retention, and was resolved by aggressive diuretics. The fluid would collect in my abdomen and restrict my breathing. It's apparently not uncommon with some patients post-surgery.

    I still get it once in a while, and have to turn to boosted diuretcs to drain it off. The relieve can come nearly immediately, thank goodness.
    25 mm Aortic & 29 mm Mitral St. Jude Master Series Mechanicals - UWMC 4/16/2002
    Guidant Insignia Pacemaker - Virginia Mason Medical Center 5/19/2005
    Cardioversion Tote Board: 3


    • #3
      Hello, Ray. I too had a fluid buildup post surgery. I actually had to be drained surgically and then put on steroids for awhile. Definitely mention it to your surgeon.
      mitral valve replacement - June 1997
      Methodist Heart Institute, Methodist Hospital
      Indianapolis, IN


      • #4
        Hi Ray, Walking upstairs and hills was a huge obstacle before and 'after' my surgery. I had alot shortness of breath before my surgery. But even some days after my surgery. I read a post on Cleveland Clinic and the doctor there suggested that the stronger your leg muscles are the less you will feel this shortness of breath.. So I've been working alot more on the nautilus machines for just leg strength and I also work full time at my job on the second floor. I constantly go up and down the stairwell. Since I did some of these leg 'strength' workouts - I have noticed the stairs and hills don't take my breath away like they did before my leg workouts.

        I did as a doctor suggesed on the Cleveland Clinic web site and I worked specifically on this muscle of my legs and I can definently see an improved performance when I got up hills and stairs. Its not perfect but its a whole lot better. :-)

        Good Luck


        • #5

          Ray -

          I had no fluid retention, but did have shortness of breath for several weeks after surgery. I felt pretty good after a few month when I was just walking around, but coming up to full steam on aerobic exercise (cycling, running) took about 1.5 years.

          It takes a while.
          Mitral Valve Repair
          January 2002
          Cleveland Clinic


          • #6
            I noticed SOB for awhile after surgery. I know I was very anemic post op and that will do it. As long as you take your iron and eat well, that will past.
            Kathy H


            • #7
              I had a tissue AVR too. Never experienced pre-op SOB. Just a lot of 'mental tiredness'.
              I guess I must have been very, very fortunate with my surgery. No fluid build up. Days 7, 8 and 9 I had to stop evey few blocks when walking and then moved into much more agressive walking with no SOB then started running around week 5. At week 8 I ran a 10k road race, no SOB.
              Everyone if different. Just listen to you body and don't push yourself.