AVR Surgery 2/19/21 Update

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Unicusp

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 30, 2021
Messages
169
*This note is mainly for those who are approaching surgery soon.
*It can be a very scary time. I had my unicuspid aortic valve replaced with an On-X valve (full sternotomy) at the Cleveland Clinic 3 weeks ago this past Friday. It was also a re-surgery.
*Sometimes when I think about it, I still can't believe that it was done already and have to look at my scar to confirm I'm not dreaming.
*I have no pain and really have not had any in the last 1.5 weeks. Sleeping well on back and sides without issues.
*Try to walk everyday between 2 and 4 miles. Did a nice hilly 2.5 mile walk today at 3.5mph avg speed with HR avg of only 109.
*I am already in almost the same shape (aerobically) as before surgery other than of course the rib cage, and some lost muscle mass due to no real exercise.
*I'm going to wait the full 6 weeks before starting weight training again. Will be lower weights and higher & longer reps. Don't want to upset anything in there.
*So, just wanted to share that this scary operation can go very well with great results.
*Go into surgery in the best possible physical & mental condition (It definitely helps in recovery).
*Do your research early, make the decisions, then just trust your surgical team and hospital.
*And finally, no regrets on my valve choice!
 

epstns

Premium User
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Dec 26, 2002
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Uni - I, too, returned to physical activity pretty aggressively. One point I will share from my own experience, though, is that although I went back to all of my aerobic activities very quickly, not only did I take it slower with weights (even now. . . low weight, high reps) but if you do push-ups, be very sure to listen to your own body. Although I was back to the weights soon, it was almost a full year before I was comfortable doing push-ups again. Then, of course, it took a long time to get back to my target rep level. It just "didn't feel right."
 

Unicusp

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 30, 2021
Messages
169
Thanks. Although I don't believe I am being aggressive but more of "carefully measured". I am in tune with my body pretty well. I agree no push-ups for awhile. Before that, I will use lower weights on my weight machine for bench press and gradually increase. Resistance will initially be less than a push up. Funny as I was using the hotel exercise room the night before surgery and doing one legged push ups using hand weights in front to protect wrists. Felt good. I'm going slow and steady. Taking no risks to cause sternal separation. Not worth it!
 
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