Exercise recommendations after bovine AVR

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RD123

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Oct 14, 2019
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Hi

I had a bovine aortic valve replacement in 2013 at age 21. Life has been great since, I have always been very active and normally do a couple of hours of cardio and some light weight lifting during the week. I haven’t participated in any sports, aside from skiing, since my surgery.

My Doctor has always said avoid any bench pressing or activity that puts pressure on the valve as well as avoiding lifting weights above the head.

Does anyone here have any alternative recommendations for building shoulder strength and traps?

Many thanks
R
 

nobog

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Jun 14, 2019
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The only thing that puts "pressure" on the valve is your own blood pressure. It is simply a one-way check valve.

So... watch and maintain a reasonable blood pressure is the bottom line.

and.. welcome to the forum ❤
 

tom in MO

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I had a mechanical valve installed and was told the only thing to avoid was exercises where you hold your breath. I was told weights were fine, but I had to breath. I believe holding your breath increases your blood pressure but don't remember the specifics.
 
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RD123

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Guys-thanks for all your responses so far very helpful and for the warm welcome to the forum :)

Thanks Sumo I love swimming-don't get as often as I'd like though.

Same question for building the chest as well-anyone had any experience of this without bench pressing or putting much pressure on?
 

pellicle

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the way it was explained to me was to avoid "competitive sports" and exersize which required straining. Interestingly The Gym Guy must strain in power lifting ...

However I've done high rep and cardiovascular and endurance training as the way I train(ed) from my 20's till my 50's (with a variety of valves). I got good milage out of my homograft and I hope to get good milage out of my mechanical

:)
 
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Thomas

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Aurora, Ontario, Canada
Mechanical valve here.
Re:Weight Training: I lift 3 times per week religiously.
No issues with pressing or any other exercise.
My Cardio only recommended that if I was doing curls to not do alternating lifts as this puts unbalanced pressure on the sternum. Not sure if he was right or not but I listened and don't do them that way. Doesn't make a difference to the workout. I haven't had any issue what so ever with my routine.

You can build muscle using light weights (legs are tougher) but not so much new strength. You develop better endurance with light weights because of the higher rep counts. Strength develops more with heavy weights. Both types develop more muscle.
If you've ever lifted you know it's definitely a cardio workout and especially now with the advent of HIIT training routines.
View attachment 887226
 

pellicle

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To let medicine/technology advance for more future options.
when I had my homograft on my then second operation, my surgeon made the side remark "that we don't want you on warfarin just yet" ... at the time (1992, and being 28) I wasn't entirely sure what that meant but I can say that I wouldn't have been doing all the things I do now (with my mechanical and all the advances in anticoagulation therapy monitoring) had I taken the mechanical option then. Being free of AC-Therapy liberated me to have 20 years of travel and career outside of Australia (and trust me I knew that it all counted and I didn't want to waste my life in a 5h1t situation or job).

If this is your first operation then I guess that's not a bad position to have taken. Arthur C Clarke once observed that predictions of the future often failed for two reasons: anticipating more changes in the future than actually happened and not anticipating the level of changes that happened.

Its not my place to predict the future, but even if nothing much more happens I am sure its not a bad choice, for only the utter fall of the medical health system back to a pre-1960's level of funding and access would make that a bad call. Out of all the possibilities that's possible I think its a reasonable bet.

PS, as you're still young I wanted to add something: Do not let what you were born with dictate what you can become or what you can do. Some examples of the above mentioned live before my mechanical

Japan (worked there as an engineer for a few years) where being the resident Gaijin got me roped into every local matsuri:

887227


887228


Korea where I did a semester exchange during my masters a few years later, this is Mt Halla on Jeju where I walked to the top (yes, from Sea Level, note clouds in the background to indicate altitude which is nearly 2000 meters)

887229


the DMZ was interesting too.

Finland where I did quite a number of ski trips pulling sleds over the years (2007 onwards)
My mate astride his sled beside mine

887230


887231


... and yes it was friggin cold.

My message to you is this: Don't wait till you're dead to live life.

Best Wishes
 
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epstns

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I've been dealing with the caution "Don't do any heavy weights" for 17 years now - since I was diagnosed with aortic stenosis. Granted, I am pretty sure I am older than you (I'm almost 72 now), but pre-diagnosis I thought bench-pressing my own weight in long sets was just a warm up.

Since diagnosis, I've been under cardio's orders to obey the "light weight, high rep" direction. I continue to lift, as directed. I did not/do not build much bulk, but I do maintain muscle tone and definition well beyond that which is expected at my age. Last summer, I tore a calf muscle playing volleyball, and had to do some physical therapy for it. All of the therapists were flabbergasted when they read my chart, initially believing that I had to be in my late 50's, maybe 60.

So, it probably depends upon your goals. If you are trying to maintain muscle tone and definition, then you will meet your objectives with light weights/high reps. If you feel you need more bulk, tread with caution. Maybe try increasing weights very gradually - like in 5 pound increments. Don't do anything that causes you to hold your breath or strain. It is that straining that puts excess pressure on your heart and vascular system.
 

pellicle

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Since diagnosis, I've been under cardio's orders to obey the "light weight, high rep" direction. I continue to lift, as directed. I did not/do not build much bulk, but I do maintain muscle tone and definition well beyond that which is expected at my age.
which in my view is as good an outcome as one can reasonably expect. Old race cars get a flog around the track now and then but don't actively compete with the new young race cars.

One day your weight loss will be inevitable ... on point in bringing that day on sooner I say
 

RD123

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Messages
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when I had my homograft on my then second operation, my surgeon made the side remark "that we don't want you on warfarin just yet" ... at the time (1992, and being 28) I wasn't entirely sure what that meant but I can say that I wouldn't have been doing all the things I do now (with my mechanical and all the advances in anticoagulation therapy monitoring) had I taken the mechanical option then. Being free of AC-Therapy liberated me to have 20 years of travel and career outside of Australia (and trust me I knew that it all counted and I didn't want to waste my life in a 5h1t situation or job).

If this is your first operation then I guess that's not a bad position to have taken. Arthur C Clarke once observed that predictions of the future often failed for two reasons: anticipating more changes in the future than actually happened and not anticipating the level of changes that happened.

Its not my place to predict the future, but even if nothing much more happens I am sure its not a bad choice, for only the utter fall of the medical health system back to a pre-1960's level of funding and access would make that a bad call. Out of all the possibilities that's possible I think its a reasonable bet.

PS, as you're still young I wanted to add something: Do not let what you were born with dictate what you can become or what you can do. Some examples of the above mentioned live before my mechanical

Japan (worked there as an engineer for a few years) where being the resident Gaijin got me roped into every local matsuri:

View attachment 887227

View attachment 887228

Korea where I did a semester exchange during my masters a few years later, this is Mt Halla on Jeju where I walked to the top (yes, from Sea Level, note clouds in the background to indicate altitude which is nearly 2000 meters)

View attachment 887229

the DMZ was interesting too.

Finland where I did quite a number of ski trips pulling sleds over the years (2007 onwards)
My mate astride his sled beside mine

View attachment 887230

View attachment 887231

... and yes it was friggin cold.

My message to you is this: Don't wait till you're dead to live life.

Best Wishes
Wow awesome pictures and memories, thanks for sharing. You’ve obviously maximized your life before, and I’m sure you’re doing plenty after, your mechanical valve. I appreciate the advice and wonderful quote from Arthur Clarke.
 

newarrior

Have mild AS live in Thailand
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Location
Bangkok, Thailand
" Don't do anything that causes you to hold your breath or strain. It is that straining that puts excess pressure on your heart and vascular system. " True and good wisdom for anyone but especially those with heart and valve disease/issues.
 

hevishot

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Jan 5, 2017
Messages
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Location
USA
Can anyone cite a specific case where lifting weights directly caused a valve to "blow out." I can't find one example. I suspect the the "don't lift heavy weights camp" are just covering their behinds in the event of a medical malpractice lawsuit. Incidentally I have been powerlifting competitively with a CE bovine tissue valve since 2006 with no issues.
 
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