OUT OF BREATH AFTER 1 min Jogging after AVR

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MidlifeCrisis

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Sep 6, 2016
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Los Angeles, CA
I'm a 45 year old male who used to be in top physical condition. I was a former college swimmer and water polo player and continued to lift, run, swim and do HIIT training until a routine physical led to a cardiologist telling me my aortic valve was in the severe range and I needed to have open heart surgery. Long story short, I had a less evasive open heart surgery 12/08/2016 and my aortic valve was replaced with a pig valve. I started working out 2 months after. At first I couldn't jog 2 min now I can do almost 4 miles without stopping HOWEVER---- I went from running 8:30 min miles to 11:30-12:30 min mile and after 1 min I'm completely outta breath its like someone switched my cardio vascular system out with a 98-year-old 2 packs a day smoker. It's not me and I've been at it for last 3 months and although I can go a little further it takes all I got in will and pain to muscle out 3 miles or so without stopping. I'm going so slow and I'm so out of breath and it doesn't seem to get any better. No matter what I'm outta breath in a minute and want to stop but I push through. I did a stress test on treadmill for my cardiologist and it was all good. I told him of my out of breath woes and he was like keep at it, it may never come back fully. Now I should mention I'm on 12.5mg of metoprolol extended release 25mg losartan and baby aspirin. I told him I was reading the internets and the metoprolol might be cause and he wouldn't take me off it just yet. Oh yeah I went into afib 2 days after surgery and they had to shock me to get me back to rhythm and then I went into fib again a month after surgery working 5 days in a row on a public speaking gig I had to travel to. Crazy I know but I needed the money and the Dr cleared me. I was fueled by caffeine, norco and adderall which his what I'm sure put me into afib. I had been on adderall or some sorta ADHD meds for 20 years prior to surgery. I went off for surgery but started taking right before speaking gig for about a week until I went into afib. I stopped adderall immediately after afib and haven't returned. Anyway, has anyone had this experience with being out of breath while working out and it not getting any better?? Sorry for poorly written all over the place post.
 

MarkU

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Jul 22, 2001
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Sarasota, FL
It took me 9-12 months to fully recover and regain my stamina after my AVR. My doc had me do some LTHR (lactic threshold heart rate) testing at a lab to establish my heart rate training zones before releasing me to train again. At first it seemed that I was having to walk all the time to keep my HR in range. It eventually got better, but seemed to take forever. I eventually scrapped the heart rate monitor and went to a Galloway run/walk training regimen, setting my pace by RPE and adjusting my run/walk ratio as I regained my fitness. I've seen a big change in my recovery needs, probably not due just to my cardiac issues, but also age.
Good luck. Keep at it and be patient.
 

mikeccolella

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Dec 31, 2016
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Indiana pa
I am almost 5 months post surgery and what I notice more than anything is that I need a lot more time to warm up. Like 10-12 minutes before I can push hard. I used to need only 2-3 minutes. Also it is pretty common for A Fib after surgery. I read somewhere its like 40% so its very common.
 

LondonAndy

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Aug 1, 2015
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I think you are right, MidLifeCrisis, to point to the Metoprolol as a possible cause - was this a new medication? I get very short of breath too since being put on it. My neighbour takes the same one as me (Nebivolol, which I found has less side-effects than Metoprolol) and had a lung test this week. The specialist singled out a Beta Blocker as the most likely cause of her breathlessness.
 

peners

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Apr 17, 2015
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Location
uk
I am about 7 years post avr bovine i'm 48 and also had an a post op ablation , I play football (soccer) and I am ok for short periods then I am completely out of breath heart beating so hard, need to rest and recover before I can go again. I came off my low dose of beta blockers but that hasn't improved it either. It is frustrating as I have been exercising regularly all my life and still get breathless easily , not sure what to do, live with it I guess.
 

pellicle

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Nov 4, 2012
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Queensland, OzTrayLeeYa
Anyway, has anyone had this experience with being out of breath while working out and it not getting any better??
it gets worse as you get older. My operation at 28 years old (AVR) took at least a year to get back to being fit again (because I'd fallen a ways) and my operation at 48 took a bit longer again (at least two).

It takes what it takes. My advice is don't push hard, but push gently and consistently.
 

Suckyvalvegurl

Active member
Joined
Jan 26, 2019
Messages
35
Location
Tx
I had my minimally invasive AVR last February (age 57 - been working out 30+ years). It has taken this long for the lung that had to be deflated during surgery to feel like I can fully inhale again. That said, I have only been doing 30 min on level 5 on the eliptical daily and walking at a brisk pace 2 - 3 miles a day. I haven't tried going back to serious aerobics and pylo yet. Only because I also had a synovial spine cyst that I am also recovering from. All that said I would really blame the medication mostly. I was on it for 6 weeks and it totally reduced my exercise tolerance (Metropolol). Have felt great since off it.
 

tom in MO

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Jan 17, 2012
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MO USA
I am about 7 years post avr bovine i'm 48 and also had an a post op ablation , I play football (soccer) and I am ok for short periods then I am completely out of breath heart beating so hard, need to rest and recover before I can go again. I came off my low dose of beta blockers but that hasn't improved it either. It is frustrating as I have been exercising regularly all my life and still get breathless easily , not sure what to do, live with it I guess.
There have been many testimonials concerning people returning to all sport activities after an AVR. There also have been testimonials concerning post-AVR problems due to too small valve, damage due to endocarditis, early tissue valve degradation, etc.. I'd bring this problem up with your primary care physician and cardiologist. Be an advocate for your health!
 

peners

Member
Joined
Apr 17, 2015
Messages
9
Location
uk
I will definitely bring it up , my next appointment is January. I understand getting older is part of it but I am ok for a bit then boom I am completely shattered and have to wait a while to recover and I can go again
 

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