Mechanical aortic valves and weight lifting

Valve Replacement Forums

Help Support Valve Replacement Forums:

RobThatsMe

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 11, 2001
Messages
1,446
Location
USA - TN
^^^
I have this..and I have been doing pushups and sit ups. Lifting some mediocre size weights. Maybe Im hurting myself :( Maybe I should stop till I reach a year :(

I think you should be OK. Situps are not bad. I myself question push-up, as that means I am lifting more than 50 lbs. I do these myself, but I also make sure that I am not holding my breath, and stop when I feel strained. I plan to ask my surgeon about doing these next month when I go for my annual checkup. The best advise I ever got from a doctor is, " You know yourself what is reasonable, don't overdo it". Other doctors say that I should not lift over 50 lbs, and never move furniture, etc.

I am not trying to build body mass these days, just trying to maintain body tone. My routine is a combination of cardio and light weight, high rep sets. I should also mention that I was working out regularly between my 1st surgery and my 2nd surgery, and that they discovered an aneurym in my aortic arch, that was not there for several years after my 1st surgery.

I have spent a good part of this first year of recovering from my recent surgery getting back in shape, as best I can, and really want a chat with my surgeon on this upcoming visit as to the "Do's and Don't's".

Rob
 

hook

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 5, 2010
Messages
289
Location
Nashville, TN
Every cardio I have ever seen in my last 25 years tells me No heavy weights. I have never gotten a straight answer on what light weight means though. When looking at bench press, 50lbs is nothing, but for curls is it heavy. My interpretation is how you respond to the weight, and do you increase your pressures to an unhealthy point. I try to do 12 to 16 reps so that my muscles fail before I have to strain.

I think the heavy straining is the downfall, depending on your individual situation. Regardless of the level of exertion, I agree the most important part is proper breathing.
 

Sjrlax69

Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2011
Messages
23
Location
NJ
Well I don't have a mechanical valve but I had mine repaired. I am currently 6 months post op and back to lifting heavy weights. I saw someone posted to avoid heavy chest exorsizes however, I have been doing bench press for over a month now with no problems. I am back to benching my own weights 160-65 so if you put your mind to it and your doctor OK's it I am sure you will be fine. A good rule of thumb is do what you can tolerate and take it slow. Best of luck !
 

sandpoet

Member
Joined
Nov 29, 2009
Messages
12
Location
San Luis Obispo, CA
Mechanical valve and weightlifting

Mechanical valve and weightlifting

Hi TARANJIT,

You are correct. Many people who have mechanical heart valves do lift heavy. It all depends on the diagnosis / condition that caused the valve to be replaced.

If a person had a valve replaced because it was faulty, they most likely can go on and lift heavy weights.

If however, a person had valve replacement surgery due to Marfans, aortic artery disection, or aneurysm repair, they should "NOT" lift heavy weights as this may lead to further disection or new aneurysm development.

Each case is different, and the activities of each are limited, based upon the conditions of each individual's diagnosis.

Rob
(With a mechanical heart valve and a condition which could kill me if I lifted heavy again... BUT... I can still run for Governor!)

Rob-

I had two heart valve replacements(aortic). They implanted St Judes 23mm. Condition was bacterial endocarditis. The cardiac surgeon told me to limit weights to 25# dumbbells, max. After all, he said, who needs more than that? I researched extensively and read studies performed by two PHD kineselogists. The consensus was that 75% of max weight for less than 20 seconds or 15 reps was not harmful. Also, single rep maximum for less than 4 seconds effort was not harmful. I lost 50 lbs of muscle after a 4 month hospital/rehab stay(had a stroke, as well). I worked back into strength training gradually, regaining the 50 lbs in muscle in 4 months post surgery. I lift heavy weights, but not with the intensity pre-surgery. My worst affect was the reconditioning from aerobic endeavors. I was running 6:30 miles at 185#, pre-surgery and I am having difficulty running 800 meters at a time at a 9 minute pace. I attribute this to training and I must push myself todo more. My body fat is now about 12%, versus 8-10% pre-surgery.(mostly due to not running 3-4x week. I told the cardiac surgeon after our conversation; Do you think Arnold lifted only 25# weights after surgery? He looked at me like I was insulting his intelligence. Also, when I entered the hospital, my total cholesterol was 140. They put me on the american heart diet and when I left the hospital I was at a total of 200. They can fix the engine, but they try to kill it by fueling it with kerosene! Anyway, I am healthy, thus far and hope to live to see my children out of college(they are 5 & 7 today) I am 57 today and live for them. I learned not to fear death after this horrible 4 months in 2008. My wife filed for divorce, I lost my job and my Dad died, all within 6 months. Not a good year!
I don't like the anticoagulants, the anti-seizure drugs or thyroid meds, but I have reduced my meds intake to a bare minimum to stay alive, avoid blood clots and seizures. Send any questions back via this site or to sand [email protected].
Best, David
 

RobThatsMe

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 11, 2001
Messages
1,446
Location
USA - TN
Rob-

I had two heart valve replacements(aortic). They implanted St Judes 23mm. Condition was bacterial endocarditis. The cardiac surgeon told me to limit weights to 25# dumbbells, max. After all, he said, who needs more than that? I researched extensively and read studies performed by two PHD kineselogists. The consensus was that 75% of max weight for less than 20 seconds or 15 reps was not harmful. Also, single rep maximum for less than 4 seconds effort was not harmful. I lost 50 lbs of muscle after a 4 month hospital/rehab stay(had a stroke, as well). I worked back into strength training gradually, regaining the 50 lbs in muscle in 4 months post surgery. I lift heavy weights, but not with the intensity pre-surgery. My worst affect was the reconditioning from aerobic endeavors. I was running 6:30 miles at 185#, pre-surgery and I am having difficulty running 800 meters at a time at a 9 minute pace. I attribute this to training and I must push myself todo more. My body fat is now about 12%, versus 8-10% pre-surgery.(mostly due to not running 3-4x week. I told the cardiac surgeon after our conversation; Do you think Arnold lifted only 25# weights after surgery? He looked at me like I was insulting his intelligence. Also, when I entered the hospital, my total cholesterol was 140. They put me on the american heart diet and when I left the hospital I was at a total of 200. They can fix the engine, but they try to kill it by fueling it with kerosene! Anyway, I am healthy, thus far and hope to live to see my children out of college(they are 5 & 7 today) I am 57 today and live for them. I learned not to fear death after this horrible 4 months in 2008. My wife filed for divorce, I lost my job and my Dad died, all within 6 months. Not a good year!
I don't like the anticoagulants, the anti-seizure drugs or thyroid meds, but I have reduced my meds intake to a bare minimum to stay alive, avoid blood clots and seizures. Send any questions back via this site or to sand [email protected].
Best, David

Hi David,

Great success story. So glad to hear that everything worked out, and that life is good for you again!
It appears that you have everything but the kitchen sink thrown at you in 2008.

I don't think the "How much should I lift" question has a "one shoe fits all" answer.
Folks have valve replacement for many different reasons, and for some, heavy lifting, (while still having their on-going condition after surgery could still prove to be a deadly pursuit). For example, my aorta is dissected from my aortic valve, all the way down, and then on to my left knee cap. I also have an aneurysm at the aortic arch. Heavy weights for me personally would not be wise.

I always say, discuss this issue with your doctors. Not just one, but go after several opinions, and then you can make a better informed disision about putting together your exercise program.

Hope your exercise program continues to work for you, and that you have many more healthy years ahead.

Rob
 

sandpoet

Member
Joined
Nov 29, 2009
Messages
12
Location
San Luis Obispo, CA
Heart Valve Recovery

Heart Valve Recovery

Hi David,

Great success story. So glad to hear that everything worked out, and that life is good for you again!
It appears that you have everything but the kitchen sink thrown at you in 2008.

I don't think the "How much should I lift" question has a "one shoe fits all" answer.
Folks have valve replacement for many different reasons, and for some, heavy lifting, (while still having their on-going condition after surgery could still prove to be a deadly pursuit). For example, my aorta is dissected from my aortic valve, all the way down, and then on to my left knee cap. I also have an aneurysm at the aortic arch. Heavy weights for me personally would not be wise.

I always say, discuss this issue with your doctors. Not just one, but go after several opinions, and then you can make a better informed disision about putting together your exercise program.

Hope your exercise program continues to work for you, and that you have many more healthy years ahead.

Rob

Rob-

Thanks for the input. I tend to get multiple sources of heart health advice. Sister is Director of Cardiology at a large hospital; She has had me consult with 3 cardiologists in her home town I go to Stanford for followups, have a local cardiologist and read extensively. I agree, that my experience may not apply to all AVR patients; Reason one is that I have done strength and aerobic training(intense) since 1972. I wasted 50 # of muscle in 30 days in the hospital due to a broad stroke nutrition feed which limited protein and a lack of exercise. What I learned is that there is no customization of care for heart valve patients; unless you have Arnold Swrazzeneggers money. You have to consult several authorities and read extensively. Listen to your body. Most serious bodybuilders/power lifters are keyed into their bodes much more than an average person. I am not trying to be in the place I was pre-surgery. I am now into fitness and living a quality life. If I had to do it again, I would opt for a homograft. I was on a drug for A-fib for two years and my reading and consultations motivated me to pressure the cardiologists to wean me off the drug. I had numerous occasions while on that drug of temporary heart beat skips, which can in worst case scenarios, caused sudden heart death. One thing I was given goo advice on was the "cooling down" phase after an intense aerobic exercise. Gaynor died of sudden heart death because of this phenonoma. Good luck and health o all!!!!
 

David Robbins

Member
Joined
Jun 4, 2016
Messages
12
Location
none
I am trying to gather some other information regarding light weight training (benching 55lbs in reps of 16-20 and dumbells (15-20lbs). My surgeon has said it is ok and my cardiologist has ok it. I am just wondering if anyone has heard any other info. about it. I don't hold my breath (valsalva) and I count out loud.

Anybody have any info or suggestions.

Thanks
I had an aortic valve replaced with a St Jude mechanical in March 2008 and a redo in July 2008. When I asked the surgeon at Stanford if I could lift waits again, he said you can safely lift 25lb dumbbells. I told him I regularly lifted 50lb dumbbells before my surgery and he said it would put too much pressure on my heart valves. I went back to the gym using Hammerstrength machines so as to avoid bumping my recently split sternum. I stayed at about 60% of what I used to do. Three months post surgery, I went to my internist and shared the surgeons recommendations. He told me that because I was completely healed, my heart was healthier then it had been pre-surgery and I have no limitations. Feeling relieved of the prior recommendations, I began to train more intense and regained about 90% of my pre-surgery strength within 6 months post surgery. At 68, I can still bench press 265lbs and shoulder press 225lbs. I maintain between 10-12 % body fat and have a high rpotein Lo carb diet. Trying intermittent fasting now to maintain bodyweight. I'm 5'9" and 185lbs. I was an amateur competitive bodybuilder in my 20's and have worked out over 50 years. I have Afib from the surgery and a resting pulse of 45bpm.
 

David Robbins

Member
Joined
Jun 4, 2016
Messages
12
Location
none
Hi David,

Great success story. So glad to hear that everything worked out, and that life is good for you again!
It appears that you have everything but the kitchen sink thrown at you in 2008.

I don't think the "How much should I lift" question has a "one shoe fits all" answer.
Folks have valve replacement for many different reasons, and for some, heavy lifting, (while still having their on-going condition after surgery could still prove to be a deadly pursuit). For example, my aorta is dissected from my aortic valve, all the way down, and then on to my left knee cap. I also have an aneurysm at the aortic arch. Heavy weights for me personally would not be wise.

I always say, discuss this issue with your doctors. Not just one, but go after several opinions, and then you can make a better informed disision about putting together your exercise program.

Hope your exercise program continues to work for you, and that you have many more healthy years ahead.

Rob
Thanks, Rob. 14 years out of the hospital and goning strong. Statistically, 40% of people that underwent aortic valve replacements die at 15 years post surgery. I think I'll be an outlier and live a quality life into my 90's.
 

pellicle

Professional Dingbat
Joined
Nov 4, 2012
Messages
10,407
Location
Queensland, OzTrayLeeYa
Statistically, 40% of people that underwent aortic valve replacements die at 15 years post surgery
I'd sure like to see where you got that statistic ...

Unless you mean the 40% are 80 at valve replacement

oh, and zombie thread alert because the post you're replying was from Sep 26, 2011


1662346360634.png
 

pellicle

Professional Dingbat
Joined
Nov 4, 2012
Messages
10,407
Location
Queensland, OzTrayLeeYa
I had an aortic valve replaced with a St Jude mechanical in March 2008 and a redo in July 2008.
and this one was from even earlier 2003
I am trying to gather some other information regarding light weight training (benching 55lbs in reps of 16-20 and dumbells (15-20lbs). My surgeon has said it is ok and my cardiologist has ok it. I am just wondering if anyone has heard any other info. about it. I don't hold my breath (valsalva) and I count out loud.

Anybody have any info or suggestions.

Thanks
 

dick0236

Eat the elephant one bite at a time
Supporting Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2007
Messages
3,363
Location
louisville, KY USA
Statistically, 40% of people that underwent aortic valve replacements die at 15 years post surgery. I think I'll be an outlier and live a quality life into my 90's.

I'm not sure where you got these numbers.....but they need to be put into the proper perspective. Most {maybe 75-80%) of the aortic valve replacements are done on people over the age of 70.........and if they live another 15 years, to age 85, that would be a very good thing and well beyond life expectancy.
 
Last edited:

Latest posts

Top