4 weeks post-op and have some questions about what I'm experiencing

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tigerlily

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I will be 4 weeks post-op from my second aortic valve surgery this Saturday. My surgery was on Dec. 28. I'm wondering if some of the things I am experiencing are pretty common or if I should be worried. Just for peace of mind, I'd like to see one of my doctors again. It's hard sometimes to know who to see when for some problems you are referred back to your surgeon and for others your cardiologist. I thought I'd just list my concerns and if you have experience with one or two of them, you could tell me what that was and how it went.

1. Resting heart rate is higher than it was pre-surgery. It use to be around 72 but now it stays in the 80s and reaches 90 sometimes.
2. I've been walking about a mile the last 2 days but it's a slow mile. Took me 45 minutes to walk a mile in our hilly neighborhood today. I know it's early days but I don't feel quite well. I feel somewhat breathless while walking and a bit weak.
3. I'm on Amiodarone and Eloquis because I went into AFIB in the hospital. I take 200 mg of Amiodarone once a day. I've heard it's a bad drug with scary side effects but it did stop the AFIB. I will be on it almost 4 months before they put a monitor on me for a month to see if I stay in sinus rhythm. Is this a common drug to use these days? Does that seem like a long time to be on it?
4. How were you feeling 4 weeks post op? Especially interested if it was your second surgery.
5. I got a chest Xray test result back today and they saw small left pleural effusion. That was done 13 days after surgery. I understand that is water on the lung. Is that something that will take care of itself?

Thank you for your help and support.
 

Paleowoman

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tigerlily Hi - I can't comment on how it feels after second surgery, but since you are on medications for AFIB, I would have thought it certainly a very good idea to see your cardiologist regarding how you are feeling. All the best.
 

pellicle

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Hi

lets refer this to my 3rd, because on my second I was 28 and fitter ... and don't remember as clearly cos it was 1992

tigerlily;n886413 said:
1. Resting heart rate is higher than it was pre-surgery. It use to be around 72 but now it stays in the 80s and reaches 90 sometimes.
yes, as I answered in this thread:
http://www.valvereplacement.org/forums/forum/heart-talk/878496-general-experience-after-avr?p=878503#post878503

(save me typing it again ;-)

2. I've been walking about a mile the last 2 days but it's a slow mile. Took me 45 minutes to walk a mile in our hilly neighborhood today. I know it's early days but I don't feel quite well. I feel somewhat breathless while walking and a bit weak.
I was pretty slow on my first couple of months , I used a HR monitor and kept myself below 140 ... you'll probably be on metoprolol too. This is designed to limit your HR ... so that'll feed into the general HR problems in the first question. It takes your autonomic system time to readjust to the new plumbing (without the blockages)

3. I'm on Amiodarone and Eloquis because ...Is this a common drug to use these days? Does that seem like a long time to be on it?
I've no experience with that


4. How were you feeling 4 weeks post op? Especially interested if it was your second surgery.
fucked, but making slow progress.

5. I got a chest Xray test result back today and they saw small left pleural effusion. That was done 13 days after surgery. I understand that is water on the lung. Is that something that will take care of itself?
it may, or it may not ... I believe you should ask your Dr that and get progress reports.

Best Wishes
 

matty

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Hi,

I've only had the one surgery (so far). My heart rate was elevated to the level you describe for quite a while... Can't remember exactly but it was months.
And I was on amiodorone from the day after surgery. I continued with 200mg also for 3 months. I wasn't comfortable with the drug, my cardiologist got quite annoyed when i raised my concerns after researching. I suffered no ill effects from the drug and have had no AFIB since that initial bout.

Can't comment on your other queries.
 

jwinter

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My heart rate stayed pretty much the same through both my surgeries but my bp and heart rate have always been a little on the low side so take that for what it is worth.

Those first couple months of walking were difficult for me as I had such shortness of breath.

I was on Amiodorone after one of my surgeries and only thing I really remember was that it acted like a beta blocker to me and felt like I was dragging a load of bricks most of the time.

Feeling after second surgery 4 weeks out. Pretty crappy, and one evening I had a pain come on that was horrible. I thought it seemed lower like between my chest and stomach.......went to ER and was flown to larger hospital to have two small surgeries (that I can barely remember now) to insert tube and drain fluid around my heart.(Pericardial Effusion). It was a bit scary but I understand it is fairly common. This event and your number 5 statement lead me to say that I think you should see your cardiologist.

Nice to see you post, tigerlily, and take care now.
 

Paleowoman

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I had pleural effusions in both lungs when I was discharged after AVR. No one commented on it but I recognised it having worked in x-ray some years previously. I showed the x-ray to my respiratory consultant three months later when I saw him and he arranged for another chest x-ray to see if the effusions had resolved - they had. So these things do resolve but probably a good idea to have a follow up x-ray one done at some point if your GP or cardiologist is concerned or you have symptoms.
 

tigerlily

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Thank you everyone for your input. I had my surgery at a different hospital from where my old cardiologist was and it doesn't seem to make a lot of sense to go back to him. I was assigned a cardiologist at UNC Rex who did my catheterization and followed me while I was in the hospital. Since then, I have had one appointment at his office but I was only able to see his PA. She was OK but I would have rather seen him. He's booked until April so his PA is my only choice. Have any of you ever switched practitioners in the same system? I'd like to change from the Cardiologist who followed my at UNC REX (the one where I can only see his PA) to a Cardiologist at the valve center at UNC Chapel Hill. It's closer to me anyway. It's the same system so medical records will be easy. Does anyone see a problem with that? I tried to get an appointment with him today but long story, they put me off until Monday to see if I can get an appointment.
 

DDT77

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tigerlily;n886413 said:
1. Resting heart rate is higher than it was pre-surgery. It use to be around 72 but now it stays in the 80s and reaches 90 sometimes.
Similar, heartbeat like a hummingbird...
tigerlily;n886413 said:
2. I've been walking about a mile the last 2 days but it's a slow mile. Took me 45 minutes to walk a mile in our hilly neighborhood today. I know it's early days but I don't feel quite well. I feel somewhat breathless while walking and a bit weak.
Yup, takes awhile to regain endurance.

tigerlily;n886413 said:
3. I'm on Amiodarone and Eloquis because I went into AFIB in the hospital. I take 200 mg of Amiodarone once a day. I've heard it's a bad drug with scary side effects but it did stop the AFIB. I will be on it almost 4 months before they put a monitor on me for a month to see if I stay in sinus rhythm. Is this a common drug to use these days? Does that seem like a long time to be on it?
No idea, no AFIB here...

tigerlily;n886413 said:
4. How were you feeling 4 weeks post op? Especially interested if it was your second surgery.
had 2nd try little more than year ago. When sitting around, was eager to get mentally active (back to work), then when first back, realized how off normal I was.

tigerlily;n886413 said:
5. I got a chest Xray test result back today and they saw small left pleural effusion. That was done 13 days after surgery. I understand that is water on the lung. Is that something that will take care of itself?
Seems so.

tigerlily;n886413 said:
I tried to get an appointment with him today but long story, they put me off until Monday to see if I can get an appointment.
Looks like he's not concerned.
 

Paleowoman

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tigerlily;n886423 said:
I'd like to change from the Cardiologist who followed my at UNC REX (the one where I can only see his PA) to a Cardiologist at the valve center at UNC Chapel Hill. It's closer to me anyway. It's the same system so medical records will be easy. Does anyone see a problem with that? I tried to get an appointment with him today but long story, they put me off until Monday to see if I can get an appointment.
I don't see a problem with seeing the cardiologist you originially saw who is closer to where you live and who can access your records. I can't see how they are taking you seriously at the hospital where you had surgery if the cardiologist can't see you till April and you can only see his PA - you're only four weeks out of surgery ! Have you seen your GP for an opinion and advice ? I've no idea how American insurance works though - would that be an issue ?
 

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