Enlarged Heart

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Ok, before my AVR, my cardiologist had showed me via x-ray and echo that my heart was slightly enlarged.

its been 10 years since my surgery, and as of my last appointment with him 3 weeks ago, my heart is still enlarged.

Has anyone else experienced this? He doesnt think this is a dangerous thing, but of course I worry about it. Has anyone's heart size gone down after surgery?

Any feedback would be helpful.


big hearted

big hearted

I used to just tell everyone I was a big hearted person. Aint all bad. After my 2nd surgery, my heart size never decreased. After my third and fourth, they returned to "near" normal size. If you have any doubt about your Dr opinion, I'd ask another. Cant hurt.


I think it varies a lot.

My heart enlargement is what caused the severe increase in symptoms after 25 years of milder symptoms and precipitated my need for surgery. I have the numbers somewhere, but my heart was significantly enlarged and my cardiologist and surgeon were both concerned that I not wait to have surgery until the heart enlargement was 'irreversible'.

Both of them also said it normally takes 1-3 years after surgery for the heart enlargement to be reversed back to normal.

Miracles of miracles, my echo one month after surgery showed that my heart had already returned back to normal dimensions.

It seems that, if you have the surgery before it's too late, the heart enlargement is definitely reversible and the risks associated with it (atrial fibrillation, muscle density, arrythmias, etc.) are removed.

I'm sure many others have different experiences with this to share. In any case, physicians are usually not so alarmed by mild heart enlargement, but what they are more concerned with is the rate of increase in heart size. If that rate speeds up, I think most cardiologists would become very concerned at that point.

Good luck.


My heart at the time of my surgery (Mitral valve repair) last October was the size of a softball. My surgeon told me that they can expand to canteloupe size... I find that truly amazing!

My heart has not decreased significantly because of other medical problems.... but Steve is right... a cardio doesn't worry as much about the heart size as the rate of enlargement.

Take care,