Breathing difficulties : It is 4 months... - British Heart Fou...

British Heart Foundation
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Breathing difficulties

It is 4 months since my AVR. I’ve struggled but thought I was doing very well. On a good day I can walk 5 miles on the flat and a couple of miles uphill. Yesterday I struggled to breathe after 2 or 300 yards. Granted there was a cold wind and slight incline. In the afternoon when it was warmer I didn’t have a problem. Has anyone experienced this with AVR or should I be asking for medical advice? Phil Garner.

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Hi Phil,

Extremes of weather do affect hearties, be it cold, heat or indeed wind. So, cold and wind, constrict your blood vessels and your lung function, neither good for heart functions.

Now I'm not sure where in the UK you are but given it's been fairly mild, indeed warm, the wind would have to have literally taken your breath away yesterday.

Were you tired? Had you overdone things previously? Are you ok today?

Three months is still a short time, there will be relapses, so you're doing just fine, if you feel ok then its a blip, if not please go to A&E, dial 111.

Take care Mark

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Thanks for that Mark. You make some good points. Yes I may have pushed the limits a couple of days ago plus I am feeling more tired than normal. I am feeling better today but still out of breathe at times and tired. I guess when things have gone well I expect them to continue. Thanks for your support. It really helps to discuss. I forget at times I’m not as young as I think I am. You do help many people and I for one am very grateful. I’ll see how things go and just do gentle exercises for the moment. Have a good weekend Mark.

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Happy to help I think we all fall foul thinking oh god we're better, it's still a learning curve.

Have a good one too

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I got back to normal walking a few days after keyhole Heart surgery. I was scared tho but was told it was cool as my heart needed the exercise.

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Yes I am usually able to walk about 20 miles a week up until my query. I’d had a replacement valve fitted. My breastbone was cut in two. Was yours? My lungs were deflated. Were yours? My op lasted nearly 5 hours. My heart was stopped and my breathing was looked after by a mechanical device. My heart was started artificially. I hope that shows you it is a physical impossibility to walk after an AVR. Yes you walk a few steps a couple of days after the op but it takes 6 weeks for the breast bone to heal. It was the fact I couldn’t breathe properly after 4 months that concerned me.

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I was told it may hurt but the carry on but have pain meds. My breast bone was cut but they didn’t think that mattered with walking but can certain sports at heart he mo as nearly a year after the valve replacement just had a valve repair.

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Have you actually read my reply. Was your breast bone cut in two.

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Good point, Phil. If it's keyhole and minimally invasive, there's none of the colossal physical trauma of mechanically splitting apart the rib cage and stressing the surrounding musculature. Then your entire circulation is processed and battered whilst you're on the bypass machine whilst your heart experiences induced hypothermia. The mechanically processed blood once returned induces inflammation in the major organs. There is absolutely no comparison in terms of trauma and recovery time with keyhole surgery. Today I read a gentlemen was dancing and cycling 4weeks after CABG. Really?

I find it unhelpful if people fail to publish real world, accurate accounts as we have a collective responsibility for accuracy and honesty within the forum.

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Thankyou very much for your detailed reply. I also think that we owe it to people to be sympathetic and show empathy . We also must be truthful in our replies and compare like with like. It annoys me when people think I am swinging the lead when I have worked everyday at trying to get fit. Once again thankyou for taking time to reply. Phil

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AVR is a big ask of your mind and body but unless you are close to it, it is unlikely that you will have any appreciation of the length of the journey or the personal commitment and focus required to reap the benefits of surgery and the reward of near restored life expectancy. Thankfully, this forum provides a platform to improve understanding and appreciation of all matters cardiovascular. It is however a broad church with a range of expectations and needs. It's not perfect but I wouldn't be without it as I count my post AVR recovery in weeks (2). Good luck with your ongoing recovery Phil. I'm sure your commitment will see you through.

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Thanks. This is why so many of us are grateful to this forum

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Hi Phil,

I had an angiogram in June 17, informed that all my arteries were clear but needed an AVR.

I had the AVR operation in October 17 and all went well but I was informed I had a small regurgitation from the valve not being secured.

With the agreement of my consultant at the end of January I went to NZ to escape the cold weather in the UK. Three weeks later I had a heart attack while in NZ. This resulted in 7 nights in hospital and another Angiogram and I was fitted with a stent due to a blocked artery.

My advise to you would be to see you GP if you notice any changes in your condition, don't wait and see.

Regards

John

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Thanks for the advice John. I will give it some serious thought. I hope you continue to improve and thankyou for taking the time to help me. Phil

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