Exercise recommendations after bovine AVR

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carolinemc

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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.
The reason after surgery, they recommend no weight lifting is due to the fact the sternum is healing, takes one year for the sternum to completely heal. And since you have been weight lifting since 2006, no chance of the blow out. Never heard of it.
 

carolinemc

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" 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.
That is just after surgery, while you are healing. Afterward, you can hold your breathe for as long as you want.
 

tom in MO

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That is just after surgery, while you are healing. Afterward, you can hold your breathe for as long as you want.
At the end of my cardiac rehab, I asked about any type of exercise that I should avoid, other than lifting heavy weights before my sternum healed. I specifically asked about isometric exercises since being Irish/German I am cheap and don't want to pay for equipment or a gym membership :) The nurse and the therapist told me I can do anything but to avoid any exercise that required me to hold my breath. Holding one's breath doing something physically strenuous often results in a blood pressure spike. Some isometric exercises have you hold your breath. With a valve sewed into my aorta and genetic predisposition to aneurysm (I was a BAV), I found this minor restriction sensible.
 

epstns

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Can anyone cite a specific case where lifting weights directly caused a valve to "blow out."

Look up Arnold Schwartzenneger's (sp?) history. IIRC, he had his aortic valve replaced, healed for a while, then went back to heavy lifting. Had to have the valve re-done right after that./
 

hevishot

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Arnold had his valve replaced in 1997 and in 2018. That's 21 years apart. I don't see how you can attribute that to heavy weight lifting. There are many people here on this site that never lifted weights and had their valves give out long before 21 years. I just don't understand what the danger is. Is it fear of popping a suture? A rupture? A stroke? Again I can't find a single example of heavy weightlifting causing a valve to give out. I understand about the sternum. I get that. I waited a year before I started lifting again. I'm talking about the valve.
 
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tom in MO

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Asking for knowledge about blow-outs to prove heavy lifting is OK, is trying to prove something with an absence of data. It won't work.

Plus, when you die the only way anyone would know it was due to "blowing out your valve" is if there was an autopsy. Per the CDC only 8.5% of US deaths have an autopsy.

My friend's dad died of an abdominal aneurysm. He vomited blood all over the car at a 7-11 in a difficult part of town. They though he died of a gunshot wound so they did an autopsy. If you have a BAV, you are more likely to suffer from an aneurysm. I wouldn't think heavy lifting is good for one of those. I had a BAV and my father had an aneurysm so we are proof of the genetic link :)

Tissue valves die due to unknown things, but mostly the patient's genes and body chemistry determine how long it lasts not any type of exercise, heavy or otherwise. Arnold's tissue valve lasted 20 years which means he was a very lucky man since most die within 10-15. However on the repeat valve replacement, he wasn't so lucky. He wanted to have a minimally invasive, transcather device implanted but a surgical valve was ultimately used with an open-heart procedure. That should be a warning to those betting on TAVI for a future replacement. https://www.heart-valve-surgery.com/arnold-schwarzenegger.php
 

epstns

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@hevishot - try to look deeper into Arnold's 1997 replacement. That is the one that I thought I remembered reading of an extremely premature failure due to going back to heavy weights. Something like just months, not years.

Of course, I'm not getting any younger, so I could be "mis-remembering."
 

newarrior

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Schwarzenegger was born with a bicuspid aortic valve, an aortic valve with only two leaflets (a normal aortic valve has three leaflets).[181][182] He opted in 1997 for a replacement heart valve made of his own transplanted tissue; medical experts predicted he would require heart valve replacement surgery in the following two to eight years as his valve would progressively degrade. Schwarzenegger apparently opted against a mechanical valve, the only permanent solution available at the time of his surgery, because it would have sharply limited his physical activity and capacity to exercise.[183] On March 29, 2018, Schwarzenegger underwent emergency open-heart surgery.[184] He said about his recovery: "I underwent open-heart surgery this spring, I had to use a walker. I had to do breathing exercises five times a day to retrain my lungs. I was frustrated and angry, and in my worst moments, I couldn't see the way back to my old self."[185
 

hevishot

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Looked into the Arnold thing a little deeper. In 97 he had the ross procedure and had his pulmonary valve placed in the aortic position. It failed and 2 hours later he was back in surgery. I doubt he was doing any heavy weight lifting 2 hours after surgery. The procedure failed because the pulmonary valve couldn't take the pressure in the aortic position. At least that's my understanding of what happened.
 

jcgtok17

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Hevishot, I life weights several times a week, but you have to be reasonable I would say. Perhaps the most famous case is Arnold Schwarzenegger, he blew out a value returning to big weight too soon requiring a 2nd surgery. He is still with us though!
 
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