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DDT77

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I'm not advocating for anything here, just pondering what is possible for people post-surgery and how varied the medical advice is.
I'm curious as well. I have ascending graft with ON-X AVR. My surgeon discouraged even (modified) pushups. I thought it might have been fatigue life of the graft. No- He explained that graft is relatively stiff while the remaining aorta is compliant, and the connection between the two are these sutures - that is where stress concentrations occur. ~60 bpm over 3 decades is a billion cycles!
 

Cactus52

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I waited 4 months after my surgery and now I lift 4 times a week but only enough weight to do 15 reps per set. I make sure I'm breathing correctly and I am having no issues, getting stronger and I am getting stronger and adding weight.
 

Rapidman

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Even though I was given minimal restrictions by my surgeon the advice I was given was to be able to breath through your reps and avoid holding your breath and straining. The other advise was don’t skip follow up echos and scans.
 

Thomas

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My cardio said 6 months before I could go back to light lifting. Last time I saw him in March (2 years and 2 months post surgery) he said no lifting restrictions but I don't think he's an expert on weight lifting other than maybe a golf bag...

I find now my body tells me when it's time to ease up or stop much more than pre-surgery. Maybe I'm just more aware.
I've been a drummer on cruise ships for many years (its how I used to make a living). After my surgery - on return to work, I initially tried to lift 3 days a week while playing 2 shows a day. I was continually fatigued and had to cut back the lifting intensity to compensate. Once I found the proper balance everything was better.
 

Pete81

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Had my annual TTE check up last week. It’s been a rocky road the past years because of gradients over the valve and some para valvular leaks. We now know the leaks are stable and so is the gradient (30mm Hg) and is now linked to my 25mm StJude in my 200 lbs, 6’6” body; the valve is a little small apparently. Despite this, last year my cardiologist said ‘you can do everything’. So earlier this year I was running some 10 and 15 mile trail runs but then I got injured on my left calf. Because of that, Over the summer started doing bootcamps in the park and with one of the instructors started doing compound exercises as well. Really enjoying that. I also noticed that the strength from training has kept me from getting injured again although I have cut back a little on mileage.
Now, going over last weeks TTE results and the message ‘you can continue to do everything’ I mentioned my new regime. He made it quite clear that squatting 330 is not in the ‘everything’ category.
Have been going over the comments here while digesting my results and advise from the cardiologist. I guess it seems wise to stop what I was doing but now that I have experienced these compound exercises I can really relate to some of you mentioning the addiction, a set of clean and presses just feels amazingly good. Now that things have landed will write letter to cardiologist asking for advise, surely there must be something in between, I hope at least. A push-up in my case is still doing 120, would that be ok?
 

pellicle

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... So earlier this year I was running some 10 and 15 mile trail runs but then I got injured on my left calf. Because of that, Over the summer started doing bootcamps in the park and with one of the instructors started doing compound exercises as well. Really enjoying that. I also noticed that the strength from training has kept me from getting injured again although I have cut back a little on mileage.
.... I guess it seems wise to stop what I was doing but now that I have experienced these compound exercises I can really relate to some of you mentioning the addiction,
remember, we exersize ultimately for health. If you're failing to observe that you are aging and also that you've had a break from the levels of fitness then you may just simply be hurting yourself. That's not a health oriented goal.

"I do have a lot of pressure, the audience never think I am getting old, they think 'Jackie, yes, he can do anything'. I'm not Superman, I'm getting old, I'm 60."
Jackie Chan
 

Pete81

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remember, we exersize ultimately for health. If you're failing to observe that you are aging and also that you've had a break from the levels of fitness then you may just simply be hurting yourself. That's not a health oriented goal.

"I do have a lot of pressure, the audience never think I am getting old, they think 'Jackie, yes, he can do anything'. I'm not Superman, I'm getting old, I'm 60."
Jackie Chan
Absolutely, health comes first, and maybe because I took it for granted before it may not have always been like that. Therefore, I am now enjoying reclaiming some of that time I perhaps lost earlier in my roaring twenties when it comes to doing sports. I think at almost fourty, unlike J.C., the body is only just around the tipping point and because I am not an athlete, marine or stunt artist, I think I should still be able to focus on a bit of gain rather than maintain. Of course that’s all if the heart will let me. My main focus is on keeping it as strong as possible and that is definitely listening to advice from my cardiologist. I told my GP, I can get worried about the heart at any time but never during exercising that’s how much I enjoy it and therefore would like to know more about all it has to offer for me.
I have learned that cardiologists do not necessarily know a lot about all the different forms of exercise and therefore may give very good but generic and maybe conservative suggestions. Therefore I am quite curious if there are sports physicians that speak both languages allowing progression in a safe manner in a way Cardiac Rehab part II.
 

pellicle

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Absolutely, health comes first, and maybe because I took it for granted before it may not have always been like that.
I'm sure it wasn't, life is change. We spend our formative years learning out limits and extending them. From about 40 it's learning how to adjust to changes we don't like. The most we can do is to learn how to do that and remain happy.
 

Meathead TV

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I have learned that cardiologists do not necessarily know a lot about all the different forms of exercise and therefore may give very good but generic and maybe conservative suggestions. Therefore I am quite curious if there are sports physicians that speak both languages allowing progression in a safe manner in a way Cardiac Rehab part II.
One of the most frustrating things in trying to find out what is safe for me to do is that the answers I've gotten have varied so much. I've visited 3 "leading" cardiologists (2 of them sportscardiologists) in addition to the annual check-ups with different cardiologists.

The answers I've gotten regarding weightlifting:
- You can lift heavy, as long as you don't go below 6 reps
- Anything above 10 reps is okay
- You should keep your heart rate steady, do circuit training
- If you are going to do powerlifting, keep monitoring your condition actively, it might affect your condition.

in addition I've gotten the ridiculous "nothing above 20 kilograms" and "have you tried golf?" answers.

Drives me crazy.
 

Wiles Darkwinter

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Just a quick background, I'm a 26 year old male, I've been lifting weights since I was 16-17. I was diagnosed as a child with BAV and currently (without trying to butcher what the doc's have told) the heart is functioning great, there is small leakage and I have an aneurysm at approximately 4.7cm. So not too large to operate yet, according to my doctors.

I've been struggling for the past 10 years on how I can lift weights/train safely. As younger, I didn't really care, I lifted as hard and heavy as I wanted to to. But over the years I've become more and more concerned with my aorta rupturing and getting myself killed. Heavy squats, deadlifts, overhead presses I gave up on years ago and never really worked as much on them, as early on a doctor told me I should especially avoid those exercises. I've competed in bench press several times between 2013-2017 and unfortunately considering my condition, I'm pretty good at that. Which makes it hard even harder for me to give up on heavy lifting.

I do yearly check-ups with a cardiologist, getting MRI's and ultra's done regularly. Every time I ask the cardiologist, what are my limits when it comes to lifting weights? I've been told "don't lift more than 20 kilograms" (44 lbs, didn't specify exercise), "another time I was told I should just avoid maxing out", "anything over 10 reps is okay", "anything over 15 reps is okay", "have I considered playing golf?"

I've read everything on the subject that I can, but there is not a lot of clear cut data. So I understand why the doctors can't really give me clear answers. It's still extremely frustrating, as every time I go into a yearly check-up I basically leave with more questions then I went in with.

Has anyone here dealt with same questions and have you possibly found any answers?
Hey bro,
In a similar boat to you. I’m turning 30 this year. Been in the military for 10 years, all time served has been in the infantry - so naturally included some hard yards. I’ve always been fairly fit. Not your level of lifting ability however I’ve always tried to maintain a body weight bench press, 1.5x body weight squat and 2x body weight deadlift.

In the last 12 months I found out that I have a 50mm (and growing) ascending aortic aneurysm. Normal valve function. My Father had a failing aortic valve which they replaced not long ago. He also had mild dilation in his aorta however not enough to require a repair.

I feel your pain re: confusion over the limitations being set by doctors. I’m due to have my ascending aorta replaced with a Dacron tube (David’s procedure) in 2 weeks (9th feb) here in Sydney, Australia. My surgeon has told me I will have no restrictions post surgery (providing I survive the operating table... good odds but ya never know and I like surprises)
He told me that as long as there’s no dramatic spike in BP ie from lying down on the lounge straight into power cleans, I should be sweet. As long as you’re warming up steadily, you should be fine.

keen to touch base and chat with anyone who’s for a similar problem. I know it’s a mental battle.

xxx
 

pellicle

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Hi
welcome aboard

In the last 12 months I found out that I have a 50mm (and growing) ascending aortic aneurysm. Normal valve function.
just a word to the wise, when my aneurysm was identified it was 53~56mm (I can't recall exactly) and my wife said that if I burst my aneurysm (a possibility at that diameter) she would give me a thrashing which would embarrass my father (she's Finnish, that's a saying). I know better than to argue with her (and nor would I wish to).

I often remind people that the purpose of exersize is fundamentally health, if your exersize contributes to your death then its pretty hard to regain your health after that.

Best Wishes

PS: reach out if you want an ear to chew
 

Wiles Darkwinter

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Hi
welcome aboard



just a word to the wise, when my aneurysm was identified it was 53~56mm (I can't recall exactly) and my wife said that if I burst my aneurysm (a possibility at that diameter) she would give me a thrashing which would embarrass my father (she's Finnish, that's a saying). I know better than to argue with her (and nor would I wish to).

I often remind people that the purpose of exersize is fundamentally health, if your exersize contributes to your death then its pretty hard to regain your health after that.

Best Wishes

PS: reach out if you want an ear to chew

G'day,

Thanks for the welcome.

From your mentions of the threats of violence, your wife seems much like mine. I've been threatened with a posthumous "punch in the head" and her family background is Norwegian! Uncharacteristically aggressive from these Scandinavian women, it would seem.

I concede your point that exercise's purpose is fundamentally health. However, I think it all depends on how individuals view life and the role of physicality within it. Moreover, the role physicality plays in MENTAL health, especially in young men.

Although I don't let these titles define me, I am a soldier, a rock climber, a runner, a weight lifter, a spearfisherman. All those things require pushing the limits physically (if you really wanna have a go), in their own realms. Of course I don't recommend throwing caution to the wind and risking a rupture for a PB deadlift. But I also understand how someone can be so involved in an activity that it would seem worth it. I also would add that my "Just warm up and crack on" advice was for POST aortic repair, as instructed by my Surgeon.

I'll just add a bit more, apologies if this has been beaten to death already but I'm new and I haven't had a chance to scroll through the entire blog...

I can't make any professional medical statements. However we know there is limited data out there regarding young athletes with Aortic dilation and/or valve issues.

My surgeon explained to me it would APPEAR that because heavy lifting and Valsalva increases blood pressure, and we know that an already dilated aorta would, merely from a physics perspective, weaken as it dilates, it makes sense to avoid that sharp BP rise and therefore to avoid heavy lifting. However, the contemporary science isn't claiming that lifting = further dilation. There's not enough evidence that those two are related. So I'd be curious on what evidence a specialist was going on if they're recommending a max of 20kg FOREVER for a young man.

I have found this entire issue to be fascinating and it's brought everything into sharp focus for me. The important things are becoming more clear, and although I still have a lot learn in life, this lesson has been a good one to learn so young. I always put **** on my old man because he found about his valve/aorta when he was 60. He lived a full life, blissfully unaware until his severe regurgitation from the failing valve started to show symptoms. However, he has absolutely set the standard for me regarding how to handle this. He dealt with it like a man who knew his family was watching on looking for inspiration and hope, and he provided that for us, even though he was the one having surgery. He's now back on his pushbike at age 61 racing in amateur road racing (B grade)

I think the bottom line is we all need to work out what's important to us, conduct a risk/benefit analysis with the help of our physicians regarding exercise, work out how hard you're willing to push it, and if indeed that deadlift is worth shuffling off this mortal coil, and if it is then good. I'll bring the chalk.

The other thing my dad taught me is to remember that people have it way worse than us. There are people who are confined to wheelchairs due to their conditions and are still getting after it. Easier said that done. That's what I want for myself. I still have days when I feel very sorry for myself, however I'm hoping that after surgery I'll feel a lot better emotionally.
 

pellicle

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characteristically aggressive from these Scandinavian women, it would seem.
I fixed your spelling error :)

I concede your point that exercise's purpose is fundamentally health. However, I think it all depends on how individuals view life and the role of physicality within it. Moreover, the role physicality plays in MENTAL health, especially in young men.
Your comment seems to suggest I was not young. Because of a murmur I got pulled from nippers and sports at about 8, I had my first OHS at 10, fought to regain my fitness.

Had my second OHS at 28, again fought to regain my fitness.

Had my third at 48, same again ...

Like you I enjoy my fitness


What's a few months in recovery?You can recover from everything except death.

Compared to the rest of time dead?

Yours to call
 
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tom in MO

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...I often remind people that the purpose of exersize is fundamentally health, if your exersize contributes to your death then its pretty hard to regain your health after that...
There's some people who exercise for reasons other than physical health.
 

tom in MO

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I know people who exercise to avoid their families. Some people exercise to attract the opposite sex or because they have no social life. The classic is the person who stops going to the gym as soon as they get a partner.
 

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