Should I Stil Have Shortness Of Breath One Week Post Surgery?

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DebraB

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Joined
Jun 3, 2022
Messages
11
Hi all! I had OHS on Friday May 27th to replace My Aortic valve with a cow valve. They were supposed to repair my leaky mitral valve but it starting working fine after the aorta was replaced.

The only symptoms I had prior to diagnosis were tiredness and SOB when doing any minor activity like walking 30 feet.
I assumed that replacing the valve would “cure” me of the SOB. I still have it and it’s quite scary thinking maybe something went wrong?

All my vitals were good while in the hospital.
I see the surgeon for first post op visit in June 14th.
So I guess my question is, should my SOB have gone away immediately after surgery?
Thanks in advance 🙂❤️
 

pellicle

Professional Dingbat
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Queensland, OzTrayLeeYa
welcome aboard

I'm not sure I like SOB for shortness of breath (often has a connotation of Son of a ...) but it depends. ;-)

If you were worn down before surgery (meaning IMO they did surgery far too late) then it will take time to gather your fitness again.

If you were exersizing with no obvious symptoms before surgery then you should quickly return to that state (a few weeks after surgery).

your bio does not tell anything about you so I can't say much more. The main purpose of the bio (or the "about" you is to allow anyone answering to look at it and understand the context that the question is asked from.

Best Wishes
 

DebraB

Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2022
Messages
11
welcome aboard

I'm not sure I like SOB for shortness of breath (often has a connotation of Son of a ...) but it depends. ;-)

If you were worn down before surgery (meaning IMO they did surgery far too late) then it will take time to gather your fitness again.

If you were exersizing with no obvious symptoms before surgery then you should quickly return to that state (a few weeks after surgery).

your bio does not tell anything about you so I can't say much more. The main purpose of the bio (or the "about" you is to allow anyone answering to look at it and understand the context that the question is asked from.

Best Wishes
Thanks for your quick reply! I’ll be sure to fill out my bio. I could barely walk 30 ft prior to surgery. They said the valve was very bad. Thanks again 🙂
 

Chuck C

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Dec 5, 2020
Messages
1,694
Hi Debra and welcome to the forum.

Getting shortness of breath from just walking 30 feet, as you described your situation prior to surgery, is pretty significant symptoms. By this point, often the heart has enlarged to compensate for your narrowed valve. When this happens, the cardiac output is often diminished, as the LV chamber, with its thickened walls, can not hold as much blood, and often the ejection fraction drops from this. Additionally, your heart has likely been working very hard to get what blood in can through your narrowed aortic valve. Most likely it's pretty tired- like it just ran back to back marathons.
If your heart did enlarge, it will take time to reverse. In most cases, as long as the patient did not put surgery off too long, the heart size will recover back to its normal size, or close too it. This along with your heart having time to rest and recover, in the new normal pressure environment, will probably cause the shortness of breath to eventually abate, as your heart returns to normal function in time.

In other words, your heart just went through heck in dealing with getting blood through the narrowed valve and it might take awhile to return to normal function.

As pellicle indicated, other information, such as your age, would be helpful as well. If you are 95 years old, I would not want to get your expectations up for reversing the shortness of breath. If you are 25, much more likely.
 

Dodgy Ticker

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Location
France (unfortunately)
Not wanting to put the fear of god into you, but a potentially early warning by telling you of my own experience. The chances that you have the same or similar is somewhat (or highly) unlikely, however you never know..........

Prior to my twin valve replacements, I was - as you say - SOB. I had, additionally, being getting a stiffened back over many years. It annoyed me but I lived with it by using NSAIDs such as Ketoprofene. Due to the new valves and Warfarin, however, I could no longer use these, so didn't.

To make a long and complex story nauseous, I emerged from surgery somewhat like you, being stiff and extremely SOB!!

Last year, after 25 years of slowly but increasing stiffness and being SOB, I had a final and definitive diagnosis of Ankylosing Spondiitis (aka AS). And since then I am at your level - pretty much unable to walk more than a few steps because I am totally out of breath.

The Rhumatologist told me that opening my thoracic cavity for my heart surgery would have no doubt impacted the state of my spine. The result is that the AS squeezes my thorax, making me structurally SOB.

AS is an auto-immune disease with its own particluarities, however you might - if things don't improve quickly - have your back checked, as there are several other forms of Arthritis that can have the same effect.

I hope for dear life that you are NOT similarly afflicted, but in any event, a proper and thorough Rhumatological checkup might be the next best route if things don't improve. And take my advice - DON'T just go through the X-Ray machine, as these completely miss a whole bunch of signs and fractures (as I discovered after 4 previous visits to a Rhumatologist which resulted in "clean" X-Rays). The ONLY way are through CT scans and extensive blood tests.

I wish you the best of luck, and please - keep us informed....
 

almost_hectic

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Jun 30, 2015
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naples, florida
Walk, every day. Even 2 or 3 times a day. Don’t push yourself too much at first, but gradually increase how long you walk for. Keep increasing, I was told walking was the best thing I could do after my heart surgery. My recovery was slow but I kep at it. Was well worth it to get on to feeling great.
 

DebraB

Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2022
Messages
11
Excellent explanations and advice! I really appreciate it! I am 57, about 210 lbs, no issues with blockages, and they did say my heart had enlarged because it was working so hard.
I’m actually feeling a lot better today (day 8 post op).
I will continue to do some walking in the house and follow up with my appointments.
@Dodgy Ticker I appreciate your advice and will look into that. I sure hope you are feeling better!
 

Dodgy Ticker

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Joined
May 3, 2020
Messages
60
Location
France (unfortunately)
Excellent explanations and advice! I really appreciate it! I am 57, about 210 lbs, no issues with blockages, and they did say my heart had enlarged because it was working so hard.
I’m actually feeling a lot better today (day 8 post op).
I will continue to do some walking in the house and follow up with my appointments.
@Dodgy Ticker I appreciate your advice and will look into that. I sure hope you are feeling better!

Great news, and long may the improvement continue...
 

cp172

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Dec 25, 2007
Messages
563
Location
Middle Ga.
Glad to hear you are doing better. Make sure you are not retaining fluids. After my surgery I could barely walk. When cardiologist saw me he put me on diuretic which made me feel much better. They had pumped a lot of fluids in me during surgery . It will take time to recover. I started out at 5 minutes three times day. I built up a few minutes each day.
 

oo0Michael0oo

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Joined
Aug 18, 2021
Messages
23
Location
United States
Hi all! I had OHS on Friday May 27th to replace My Aortic valve with a cow valve. They were supposed to repair my leaky mitral valve but it starting working fine after the aorta was replaced.

The only symptoms I had prior to diagnosis were tiredness and SOB when doing any minor activity like walking 30 feet.
I assumed that replacing the valve would “cure” me of the SOB. I still have it and it’s quite scary thinking maybe something went wrong?

All my vitals were good while in the hospital.
I see the surgeon for first post op visit in June 14th.
So I guess my question is, should my SOB have gone away immediately after surgery?
Thanks in advance 🙂❤️
My symptoms were like yours SOB, lack of stamina......this all of a sudden when I had been very active. Suddenly I had no reserve in me either. Had Aortic valve replaced. Once the I recovered from the effects of the surgery I still had no stamina, no reserve and SOB would come quickly when exerting myself. Have had extensive tests along way partly because I needed to demonstrate readiness to return to my physically strenuous job ASAP. Surgeon and Cardiologist say everything is fine with heart. It has now been over a year. Focusing on rest helps a little but I never did that ever. Was told by surgeon he was surprised how little space in valve was left pre-surgery. Was genetic, started as murmur. I exoected to experience a boost. I think they say that to everyone. We cant ask to have replaced parts given back to us like with car repairs so we have to take their word for it.
 

carolinemc

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May 31, 2010
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1,258
Location
kansas city, mo
My symptoms were like yours SOB, lack of stamina......this all of a sudden when I had been very active. Suddenly I had no reserve in me either. Had Aortic valve replaced. Once the I recovered from the effects of the surgery I still had no stamina, no reserve and SOB would come quickly when exerting myself. Have had extensive tests along way partly because I needed to demonstrate readiness to return to my physically strenuous job ASAP. Surgeon and Cardiologist say everything is fine with heart. It has now been over a year. Focusing on rest helps a little but I never did that ever. Was told by surgeon he was surprised how little space in valve was left pre-surgery. Was genetic, started as murmur. I exoected to experience a boost. I think they say that to everyone. We cant ask to have replaced parts given back to us like with car repairs so we have to take their word for it.
Are you still have SOB? Should have your stamina built up by now, or if there is still a problem with it.
 

thomas999

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sterling heights, michigan, usa
Excellent explanations and advice! I really appreciate it! I am 57, about 210 lbs, no issues with blockages, and they did say my heart had enlarged because it was working so hard.
I’m actually feeling a lot better today (day 8 post op).
It's good that you are feeling better. A sensitive subject to talk about is proper weight. I don't know your body type but I can't imagine 210 lb being ideal. I recently lost 20 lbs and feel exponentially better. I got to believe that you losing some weight would provide several benefits, both physically and mentally. It's difficult, but worth it.
 

DebraB

Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2022
Messages
11
It's good that you are feeling better. A sensitive subject to talk about is proper weight. I don't know your body type but I can't imagine 210 lb being ideal. I recently lost 20 lbs and feel exponentially better. I got to believe that you losing some weight would provide several benefits, both physically and mentally. It's difficult, but worth it.
Definitely feeling much better at 3 months post op! I have always battled my weight and I'm sure it will help me to lose a good bit of it! I'm a stress eater so I ate a lot pre and post surgery. I will do my best and hope to report back soon with some weight loss :)
 

Eva

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Aug 7, 2008
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…..
I’m actually feeling a lot better today (day 8 post op).
I will continue to do some walking in the house and follow up with my appointments.
@Dodgy Ticker I appreciate your advice and will look into that. I sure hope you are feeling better!
Hope you continue to improve.
When you were discharged, they might have given you “instruction” on how to exercise/walk, increase your speed, etc.
You may also ask your cardio to send you for cardiac rehab! Best of luck.
 

Eva

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… I have always battled my weight and I'm sure it will help me to lose a good bit of it! I'm a stress eater so I ate a lot pre and post surgery. I will do my best and hope to report back soon with some weight loss :)
I’m a stress eater too, but I learned that when I start my day with healthy food filled with protein, fiber, no sugar, good fat only, the less I ate or craved for food during the day! stay away from sodas or worse diet sodas!
 

DebraB

Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2022
Messages
11
I’m a stress eater too, but I learned that when I start my day with healthy food filled with protein, fiber, no sugar, good fat only, the less I ate or craved for food during the day! stay away from sodas or worse diet sodas!
Yes, I feel I do best with lots of protein!
 
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