General Experience After AVR

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Dcano1007

Member
Joined
Aug 19, 2017
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12
Location
Florida
Hello all, this is my first post here, glad I was able to find this foum!

I had emergency surgery on 8/3/17 due to bicuspid AV( never diagnosed) and also endocarditis. As of now, 3 weeks post up I feel good but there have been a few things that have raised some concerns.

My current resting HR is 85-115, fluctuates daily, I was not prescribed any BB, just Coumadin as I chose a ST. jude mech. Also, my HR did drop to 44-48 BPM for about 2 hours 3 days ago, I spoke to my electrophysiologist's PA and he said not to worry as I was asymptomatic. I also occasionally feel my heart stop, skip a beat which is followed by a stronger beat at which point the herat seems to resume regular beating. Ohh I have also started to experience orthostatic hypotension which was never an issue prior to joining the zipper club. I have also been experiencing numb hands and feet.

Has anyone experienced any of this? I am 30, fairly active, slightly overweight, non smoker and occasional drinker( not for the time being)

Cheers and happy clicking!
 

pellicle

Professional Dingbat
Joined
Nov 4, 2012
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Queensland, OzTrayLeeYa
Hi and welcome

Dcano1007;n878496 said:
... As of now, 3 weeks post up I feel good but there have been a few things that have raised some concerns.

My current resting HR is 85-115, fluctuates daily, I was not prescribed any BB, just Coumadin as I chose a ST. jude mech. Also,
yes, my HR was significantly higher post surgery, it started out about 120 (resting) and took weeks to get better ... by weeks I mean lots of weeks ... maybe even better described as months.

I decided that the cause was that somehow my body just didn't know how to deal with having a new valve in it, and the new valve was putting less back pressure against the heart. Now this is my own personal "theory" and by theory I really mean "way of explaining it" ...

So I found that by taking a really deep breath, and holding it that my HR would drop back to about 60 (for about 40 seconds). I started repeating this during the day when my HR was too high (for any known or obvious reason). This seemed to result in a settled rate (say, 10 or 20BMP lower) for a while and I'd have to repeat it again. Over some weeks of this my heart / nervous system seemed to get the hang of this and my resting rate is now in the high 60's to low 70's (or more like low 60's when I've been training a bit more than lately)..

I also occasionally feel my heart stop, skip a beat which is followed by a stronger beat at which point the herat seems to resume regular beating.
Yes, mine does that too on occasion. I suspect it always did, but just now I'm far more aware of my heart beat.

Best Wishes

A Fellow Diesel Valver
 

Dcano1007

Member
Joined
Aug 19, 2017
Messages
12
Location
Florida
Hi and thanks for the response. I have noticed that if I take deep breaths it does lower my heart rate, also when I'm sitting on the porcelain throne and lean forward it lowers it too. However, I am scared that the heart rate may become too low or that my heart would stop.
 

dick0236

Eat the elephant one bite at a time
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Feb 10, 2007
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louisville, KY USA
Welcome Dcano 1007. As Pellicle says, you, like all of us, are now more aware of your heart function. Most of the things going on have probably been there for a long time....we just don't notice them. Early on, I was very afraid that my valve (an old ball valve) would stick open or closed. Those feelings will greatly subside. Someone posted recently that post OHS establishes a "new normal" for us and it takes a little while to get used to it.
 

Dcano1007

Member
Joined
Aug 19, 2017
Messages
12
Location
Florida
Thanks for the response. Hoping that I am able to stablish my "new normal" soon. I guess with time all my current worries and fears will fade away.
 

Rob88

Member
Joined
Aug 4, 2017
Messages
19
Location
Canada
Welcome :)

A lot of what you are saying sounds familiar. I am 6 weeks post-op now and my resting heart rate was about 50 pre-surgery (although I was taking bisoprolol). Post surgery my heart rate was in the 80s, then gradually rose to 90s until I had my pericardial effusion drained. Once they got rid of all the fluid my heart rate started going down and is now below 60 again (on metoprolol)

I also have to be careful with how quickly I stand up because if I'm up too quick I get dizzy/lightheaded. I feel this is slowly getting better with time though.
 

Dcano1007

Member
Joined
Aug 19, 2017
Messages
12
Location
Florida
​Hello Rob,

Glad you're doing better. Was your pericardium removed? My was to attemt to avoid an effusion.
 

Rob88

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Aug 4, 2017
Messages
19
Location
Canada
Dcano1007;n878520 said:
​Hello Rob,

Glad you're doing better. Was your pericardium removed? My was to attemt to avoid an effusion.
The procedure was called a pericardial window, so they cut a small hole in the pericardium to allow the fluid to be drained. They left a drain in overnight and once they removed the drain I was sent home a couple hours after. They made my incision from the valve replacement surgery longer to allow them to do this and didn't have to open me up again or anything.
 

ForeverThankful

VR.org Supporter
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Oct 22, 2015
Messages
159
Location
Long Island, New York
Hi Dcano1007 and Welcome!

I had my BAV surgery almost two years ago, like you I chose a St Jude Mechanical.

As for my resting HR, it went down into the 40's quite often in the beginning and my cardiologist assured me this wasn't a problem. Now my resting HR is usually in the 60's and sometimes the 50's.

As far as the skipped heart beats, I also had this happen. I was told it was PVC's (pre-ventricular contractions) and not dangerous. It happened a lot during the first year after surgery and now, at 1 year and 10 months after surgery it still happens occasionally.

I never experienced orthostatic hypotension.

I had numbness in my right arm and was reassured that it would clear up within a few months and it did.
 

cldlhd

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 9, 2014
Messages
1,279
Location
Levittown ,Pa 19054
My resting heart rate was in the low 60's before surgery, shot up to approximately 90 to 100 post surgery. It's back in the low 60's now. The skipped beat might actually be an extra beat or a PVC.
 

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