Post Surgery A-Fib

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sandra

Active member
Joined
Dec 22, 2023
Messages
36
Location
Victoria, Australia
This morning is day 13 post surgery for my re-do Aortic Valve.
The operation went very well and my 19mm previous valve was replaced with a 21mm inspiris valve.
I was in ICU for 3 days - 2.5 days asleep and intubated. Woke up and went to the ward the next day. Went home on day 7.
On day 10, my heart rate started wildly racing and slowing alternately. I did some deep breathing and it leveled out again. Woke up later with the same thing happening. Again deep breathing leveled it out and l then went to a doctor who didn't seem too concerned. My rate was fluctuating between 28 and 180 beats per minute and in between l was light headed. I was concerned!.
Episode 3 happened in the evening, only this time l collapsed twice, the second time smashing my head into the tiled floor. Called an ambulance. They monitored me via ECG and l was having 10 second gaps where my heart stopped. They took me to the closest hospital 45 minutes away. By the time we got there, the extremes had stopped but my beats were coming in doubles. I was in casualty and l had a CT brain scan and a CT heart scan. I was then transferred to another hospital with a cardiac unit (not the original city hospital where l had the op).
It is early Monday morning here as l type. In the past 34 hours my heart has been regular. Just been told that overnight no problems with beat at all.
Today, l am having a Loop recorder implanted under my skin to monitor my heartbeat. I have been started on a medication (2 doses yesterday) that keeps my heart rhythm normal. Not sure of name (ade' something?). Also on clexane at the moment, but will get a blood thinner tablet apparently.
My question is: is afib after surgery common? How long after surgery? Do you think it will settle down, or am l going to be on meds forever? I guess it depends on what might show up or not show up on the loop recorder over a period of time. I have never been on meds before. My blood pressure is normally low, and because of meds l have spent most of the last two weeks on my back with a BP of 85/55 drinking loads of water. My resting pulse rate was around 60 before my op.
 
Sandra - I am sorry to hear about your problems with your heart rate. I am not an expert, but I'll try to share what I know.
is afib after surgery common
Yes, it is. The cuts in your heart heal with scar tissue, which does not transmit electricity the same as the original heart tissue. This causes the electrical signals between the different sections of the heart to get out of sync. I suggest looking at "Dr Afib"'s website https://drafib.com/. Dr Peter Morales is an electrophysiologist cardiologist who explains things well.

You're doing the right things for now: talking with your Drs, getting the loop recorder to gather more data, etc. There are lots of tools to work with: Lifestyle changes, drugs, etc.

I did some deep breathing and it leveled out again

I am glad to read your use of "deep breathing". Tools like this are an important part of managing afib. You can handle this!
 
Sandra - I am sorry to hear about your problems with your heart rate. I am not an expert, but I'll try to share what I know.

Yes, it is. The cuts in your heart heal with scar tissue, which does not transmit electricity the same as the original heart tissue. This causes the electrical signals between the different sections of the heart to get out of sync. I suggest looking at "Dr Afib"'s website https://drafib.com/. Dr Peter Morales is an electrophysiologist cardiologist who explains things well.

You're doing the right things for now: talking with your Drs, getting the loop recorder to gather more data, etc. There are lots of tools to work with: Lifestyle changes, drugs, etc.



I am glad to read your use of "deep breathing". Tools like this are an important part of managing afib. You can handle this!
Thank you for your reply. I will read over the link you've attached. I also just read that practising yoga is associated with a 50% reduction in A-Fib symptoms, so my instinct to deep breath really was favourable. I am training to be a yoga teacher at the moment.
I am thinking these episodes were due to the heart healing pro surgery as you say
 
Hi

Today, l am having a Loop recorder implanted under my skin to monitor my heartbeat. I have been started on a medication (2 doses yesterday) that keeps my heart rhythm normal. Not sure of name (ade' something?).

just wondering if its this:

Amiodarone belongs to the group of medicines known as antiarrhythmics. It works directly on the heart tissue and will slow the nerve impulses in the heart. This helps keep your heart rhythm normal.​

Also on clexane at the moment, but will get a blood thinner tablet apparently.
may be warfarin ... maybe not ... depends

My question is: is afib after surgery common?
yes
Postoperative atrial fibrillation (POAF) is the most frequent complication of cardiac surgery, with an incidence ranging from 15% to 40%.

How long after surgery?
it varies, sometimes even in ICU ...

Do you think it will settle down, or am l going to be on meds forever?
it varies, it may (higher probability) but may even come back years later (lower but not non-zero probability).

Take it as it comes, and take you medicine as directed ;-)

Best wishes
 
Hi



just wondering if its this:

Amiodarone belongs to the group of medicines known as antiarrhythmics. It works directly on the heart tissue and will slow the nerve impulses in the heart. This helps keep your heart rhythm normal.​


may be warfarin ... maybe not ... depends


yes
Postoperative atrial fibrillation (POAF) is the most frequent complication of cardiac surgery, with an incidence ranging from 15% to 40%.


it varies, sometimes even in ICU ...


it varies, it may (higher probability) but may even come back years later (lower but not non-zero probability).

Take it as it comes, and take you medicine as directed ;-)

Best wishes
Thanks Pellicle. Yes it is Amioderone
 
My question is: is afib after surgery common? How long after surgery?
I had 2 occasions: 2 days after surgery and 4 weeks after.

Do you think it will settle down, or am l going to be on meds forever?
Mine settled down (never happened since). I believe in most cases it does.

If Afib continues, then they will probably change the course of actions. Amiodarone is a strong medication (it has like 3 different action mechanisms), but AFAIK it's only for short-term use (few weeks).

In principle, there are many people with Afib, and it's possible to manage it.

I also think it's really wonderful that you used deep breathing to control the pace. (y)
 

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