Excercise and post-surgery recovery

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Jmprosser.lab

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Hey everyone!

Wondered if some one of you who have already had surgery wouldn’t mind sharing what your recovery was like. How
long until you could excercise? How long till you felt “normal”? How were the first few weeks?

Also, what has excercising been like post op? What restrictions did you get from your cardio? Do you feel like there was a big drop off in your abilities?

Look forward to hearing your stories!
 

honeybunny

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I was 61 and out of shape (overweight) when I had my surgery in 2015. I had pleural effusion and two drawings to get rid of the fluid so I was home for 8 weeks instead of the expected 6; the fluid buildup had kept me from moving around as I should have been doing. Though I can’t say for sure when I felt I was back to my old self, it was probably 3-4 months. I did 12 weeks of cardio rehab and that helped.

Others here with more more active lifestyles will give you a better idea of how quickly they resumed their activities.
 
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Rob88

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I had my surgery just over a year ago when I was 28. I spent the first two months doing walking only. I had a program to follow from the hospital that started with multiple short walks a day and gradually increased to less walks but longer periods of time.

At around 2 months my cardio said I could do some stairs, biking. I also did some cardiac rehab at this time but felt it was geared more towards older patients who had bypass surgery.

At 3 months after my follow up with my surgeon I was given the go ahead for weights. He also gave me no weightlifting restrictions but recommended against powerlifting. I started out very light and gradually increased the weights. Certain exercises like barbell bench press and dips gave me some sternal pain so I stayed away.

Ive been consistent since then and am now stronger and look better compared to before the surgery. Currently I'm at the gym 6 times a week.

Recovery certainly wasn't easy, and I did have some complications during the first couple months. It's tough to say exactly when I felt normal, probably after a few months. I was out doing everyday stuff within a week or so, although I couldnt drive myself. The few differences from now and before surgery are the ticking, medication and scars. All are a small price to pay for still being able to live life :)
 

Paleowoman

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Rob88;n884451 said:
I had my surgery just over a year ago when I was 28. I spent the first two months doing walking only. I had a program to follow from the hospital that started with multiple short walks a day and gradually increased to less walks but longer periods of time.

At around 2 months my cardio said I could do some stairs
Stairs at two months ? In the UK they make sure you can do a flight of stairs before you are discharged from hospital after AVR. Otherwise how would people who live in houses be able to get upstairs to the bathroom ? Once I got home on day 6 post AVR I was doing stairs several times a day - exhausting, had to rest half way up, but I had no choice. Also walking daily (indoors as it was winter) which they had me and other AVR patients doing in hospital, laps of the hospital corridors.

I started cardio rehab at about 8 weeks post op and started weight lifting about 3 months post op (I've never got back to my pre-surgery level of fitness but that's antother story).
 

Rob88

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Paleowoman;n884457 said:
Stairs at two months ? In the UK they make sure you can do a flight of stairs before you are discharged from hospital after AVR. Otherwise how would people who live in houses be able to get upstairs to the bathroom ? Once I got home on day 6 post AVR I was doing stairs several times a day - exhausting, had to rest half way up, but I had no choice. Also walking daily (indoors as it was winter) which they had me and other AVR patients doing in hospital, laps of the hospital corridors.

I started cardio rehab at about 8 weeks post op and started weight lifting about 3 months post op (I've never got back to my pre-surgery level of fitness but that's antother story).
Sorry I meant stairs as a form of exercise, like the stair master. I was able to do a flight before being discharged but they told me initially to try and stay on the main level of my house to try to avoid going up and down multiple times.
 

pellicle

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Rob88;n884451 said:
I had my surgery just over a year ago when I was 28.
...
Ive been consistent since then and am now stronger and look better compared to before the surgery. Currently I'm at the gym 6 times a week.

Recovery certainly wasn't easy, and I did have some complications during the first couple months. The few differences from now and before surgery are the ticking, medication and scars. All are a small price to pay for still being able to live life :)
Hats off

Great to read of the good news stories

Congratulations

:)
 

Paleowoman

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Rob88;n884458 said:
Sorry I meant stairs as a form of exercise, like the stair master. I was able to do a flight before being discharged but they told me initially to try and stay on the main level of my house to try to avoid going up and down multiple times
That's good to know, thanks for clearing that up ! Stairs are a very good form of exercise.
 

epstns

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I'm sure I was not the "usual" patient during recovery. I will tell a bit of my story - not to scare you but to show you that even if things go sideways, most of us end up just fine.

I had LOTS of complications after surgery. Actually even before. I was 63 and in pretty good shape - 5 days/week gym rat, runner, etc. During surgery, I also had a single bypass. Then after surgery, I had so many severe heart rate and rhythm issues that ended up with a pacemaker. I had lots of post-op intestinal and digestive problems that kept me out of even the rehab program until 3 months out. Things really started to turn around once I started rehab.

I completed 3 months of rehab, which left me at 6 months out. The rehab program was 3 days a week, but I went to my own fitness center on the other days. By the time rehab ended, I was back to the gym 5 days a week. I switched from running to either elliptical or stationary bicycle because my knees would no longer tolerate running, but I was still at the aerobic stuff 5 days a week. My cardio instructed me to keep the weights light but increase reps. By 6 months out, I could do almost all of what I did before. I just didn't feel "right" doing push-ups (press-ups in the UK) or bench presses until about a year after surgery.

I'm now at almost 7 1/2 years post-op, and I'm in better shape now than I was going into surgery (and I'm now 70, to boot). My best advice is "Never give up."
 

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