Post op and new problems: I had my... - British Heart Fou...

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Post op and new problems


I had my aortic valve replaced in mid August after being all clogged up, from the night before and 3 weeks post op can't remember anything, had a lung infection and sent home apparently after a week, recovered but had a huge abscess bottom of 9 inch vertical scar, then started getting better walking and restart yoga, but since Dec my heart decides to race and the odd palpitations every 20 seconds, last week passed out on a call, 6 hours in A cold A&E, now can't drive and also a real nightmare to get travel insurance, lucky I love walking and good old Great Britain. But I am alive after being told by cold hearted cardiologist you either have op or you will die. Just be great to hear and read of others recovery.

9 Replies

Hi Casey

Sorry to hear you’ve had such a bad time. I had my aortic valve replaced at the beginning of November and I don’t remember anything from being on the ward pre-op and waking up in intensive care. I’ve had three major ops over the last few years and has been the same each time - something I am very happy about. I had a small amount of fluid on the lungs immediately after the op but that cleared up in a matter of days. Unfortunately I had complete heart block so ended up having a pacemaker fitted.

My recovery has gone smoothly apart from an irritating dry cough, but I start back at work on Tuesday and am looking forward to getting back into the swing of it.

Did A&E refer you back to the cardiologist? If not I would give them a ring if you are still having problems with palpitations etc. incase it is something they need to sort out.

Hope you get on okay.


Hidden in reply to Fredders

Yes i was lucky to have a cardiologist appointment yesterday and he said no more driving, need to have another echocardiogram to check valve is working (it's a biological one, as did not fancy being on blood thinners as i am renovating both mine and my son's home) he also said I will have an implant to monitor my heart, and be put under the skin, the size is of a sub drive. Will be better as the moment the ecg is hooked up the palpitations stop typical. My valve was bicuspid (2 flaps ratger than 3) as well & got diagnosed after a trip to local optician he noticed something, referred to GP and eventually a murmur noticed and diagnosed by a heart echo with severe aortic stenosis.

Lucky for me my coronary arteries are clear.

Remember to fully recover I have been told it can take up to 12 months to recover



Nanny72 in reply to Hidden

My coronary arteries were also clear. Had a heart murmur for six years but gp mentioned it on every visit but never acted on it

Four weeks since my aortic valve replacement. It was emergency and I was told to stay in and have the op or go home and die. Was ventilated for eight days which is apparently unusual. I am not recovering as fast as I would like.

Seems minor but I would like to take my dog for a walk without having to wait for someone to come with me

Hidden in reply to Nanny72

Please only go for a walk with someone else, not your dog and then for 15 minutes, slowly build up to 30 minutes but only if can, if the body says stop do.

Also speak to either the cardiac ward or the cardiac nurse before you do. Better to be safe.

I was very lucky as i was relatively fit 8 months before problems started, post op I tried walking for 15 minutes and tired me right out.

I have been told that by the cardiac team. I know I am trying to rush things but I am missing out on so much. My husband will walk with me and hold the dog as will other people. I just miss doing what I want when I want.

I can manage 15 mins or so twice a day. My cardiac rehab starts on 16th Feb.

Thank you for your input


As you had a long recovery I would edge on the cautious side, 8 months before op and the start of symptoms, i was knocking walls down in house i just got, that stopped after the diagnosis, and i went downhill fast. So post op I too was eager to get fit, the body quickly stops you, please always err on the cautious side, it takes time for everything to heal, it can take 12 months to recover, more so if you had post op complications.

My wife always was by my side for first few months and had her mobile.

Good news for cardiac Ŕehab that will be great, the hospital should have given you a booklet on what to expect and when you can do things.


Hi Casey1952, my hubby (48) was diagnosed as bicuspid in June. Had AVR replaced (mechanical) in September. Surgery went well, only complication was the bowel didn’t wake up after surgery so stayed in hospital a lot longer than planned. Completed the cardiac fitness programme & felt great, walking 2-3 miles a day & returned to work after 3 months (builder) but taking it easy. However last few weeks getting shortness of breath & feeling very dizzy at times when walking. Fitness level is going backwards. Doctor has been playing with dosage of meds (warfarin & ramipril) but not helping. Now been referred back to cardiac dept at hospital which we are still waiting on date. Very frustrating as he was doing so well. He is worried he’ll be told he can’t drive again. Hope your doing ok & get answers soon x

Hidden in reply to loubylou08

Between 1972 and 1974, i worked as a cardiac technician and was guinea pig on all new non-invasive diagnostic kit, no murmur was heard yet I was born with the bicuspid valve, diagnostic techniques and equipment is now mind blowing comparing my work up in London at the Middlesex hospital with technology of today, no stents then and only metal valves! Echos were only done on pregnant women.

I recovered from the op and since mid Dec, i too have been getting breathless for me I feel it is down to a flu like virus, i have had the flu vaccine, and actively get all my family too vaccinated. You could try to get your gp to speed up the cardiologist appointment.

I can feel for your husband, sudden breathlessnes is a worry especially after an improvement post op. I am due to have another echocardiogram to check the valve is working, and a special monitoring device hoping to track my palpitations after my fainting.

After being so fit then hit with these problems is a real concern and a worry, so i do empathise how you both are.

Wish you all the best and hope you recover soon


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