Post op anxiety: Hello, I’m new here... - British Heart Fou...

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Post op anxiety


Hello, I’m new here although I did reply to a query last week. Has anyone had a Type A dissection of Valsalva Sinus repaired? Apparently it is quite rare and I was lucky to have survived for three months after the tear occurred. I had an attack of chest pain in March and spent some hours in A&E where I was diagnosed with viral pericarditis and had a check up echocardiogram 6 weeks later which revealed a thoracic aneurysm. An urgent CT scan 5 weeks later resulted in an immediate recall to hospital and a blue light and siren ambulance transfer for emergency surgery. I made an amazing recovery after a 7 hour operation and was discharged after 7 days. I’ve continued to improve and I am walking for about half an hour a day now and start cardiac rehab in 2 weeks time but I am aware of my heart beating (sometimes it really pounds ) and this makes me very anxious. I’m taking Bisoprolol and Ramipril 2.5 mgs daily to keep my blood pressure down but find it difficult to stop worrying about my heart. Deep breathing he,os but would love to hear from anyone who has had a similar experience.

13 Replies

Hi and welcome to the forum. I didn't have the procedure you have mentioned but I had a triple bypass in March 18. For the first say 6 weeks all I could hear was a pounding in my ears, when I sat down I swear I could feel my head pounding and when I slept on my right side I could hear the heart beat too. My GP suggested it was just a matter of time before it would settle down, and my heart had been through so much that it was just healing. I'm glad to say that it has settled down, I occasionally hear it but it is significantly less. I did post on here early on about this and some said it could be pulsatile tinnitus so you may want to get it checked out. Best of luck and hope you get things sorted soon xxx

Thank you for your speedy reply. Must change my user name but everything I suggested when I tried to log in was rejected ! My GP also said my heart was healing after major surgery and would settle down. It is only 7 weeks so I must be patient and try to relax. I didn’t have time to worry about my condition as the operation was an emergency so I think that’s why I’m so anxious now. Best wishes for your continued recovery.

I am sure you will get there. I am impatient too to be well. Good luck x

It was me you replied to and I was really grateful. I have an aneurysm on/in the Sinus of Valsalva also another in my abdomen plus another behind my right knee. I have a long way to go before any of them are as large as yours, 6 cm.

After a seven hour operation as serious as yours it's not surprising that you have palpitations, have you noticed when they happen, if you are tired etc.

The Sinus of Valsalva is rare, I have been told 1% of the population. I would be interested which hospital repaired yours.

Good to hear from you again Rosei. I had my operation at Derriford Hospital in Plymouth and was told it was the most serious heart operation they did there otherwise I would have had to go to Bristol or London. The surgical team was brilliant, they saved my life and I had the best of care afterwards. Four days in ICU and three on the Ward before being discharged home. I was told to contact my GP after a week and have seen him twice but have had no other medical or nursing input. I’m looking forward to seeing the cardiac nurses in a couple of weeks as I believe they are very helpful. I’m trying not to worry about my heart as worrying only makes it outdoors more. I hope you are well looked after. Best wishes x

Should have checked before I pressed send as my iPad changed “pounds “ to “outdoors “ !

Thanks for the reply, after my heart attack 18 months ago I went to the cardiac nurses for the the exercises, they were lovely and helpful and you can ring them anytime. Afterwards they organised for me to go to the local gym for a number of weeks, I think that is from the state, so I went for at least six weeks. There were many organisations who participated in the scheme, walking, swimming etc. I now go walking.

Hi and welcome. I think it’s natural to be anxious. You have had such a shock as well as the fact that as your GP and wiltsgirl have said your heart has had major surgery. Great that you’re walking each day. You will find that rehab will give you more confidence also you will get the opportunity to discuss your concerns with the heart nurses. They will also go through issues such as lifestyle diet exercise psychological etc. And they will be a point of contact for you for queries as well. I still contact the team for queries even though I was discharged last November! I hope you continue to recover well. Take care and look after yourself. Zena x

Thank you for your reply Zena. I’m actually feeling very well but just feel anxious all the time. I haven’t got a follow up appointment with the surgeon yet and there are several questions I would like to ask which my GP can’t answer. I know that the more I worry the more my heart pounds so must try to relax. The delay in starting rehab is due to holidays and although I’ve had an initial phone call from the nurse I still have to wait two more weeks to see them. I’m glad to hear that you have found them helpful though. Best wishes.

Been there many times. It deffo scary wen I’ve had heart issues so understand ur fears.

Hi. I’m not sure if this this the same but I had a rupture of my sinus of valsalva and aortic valve 18 years ago ! Mine happened while I was driving my car and I experienced what felt like a panic attack. Very dizzy for a few minutes. This then left me with a very fast heart rate. After several tests this is what I was diagnosed with. 3 months later I had open heart surgery to repair it but was left with total heart block. Therefore was fitted with a pacemaker. It left me with a triscual regurgiation leak. I feel my heart beating all the time and suffer palpitations which have never subsided in the 18 years. My anxiety if this happening again has never left me. However I am still here! My surgeon told me I had more chances of winning the lottery jackpot than this happening and surviving. 18 years on I have now been diagnosed with mild LV systolic dysfunction which apparently is stage B heart failure. I’m assuming this is because of my leak or general condition of my heart. I’m still waiting to be seen over my recent diagnosis.

Did you not need a pacemaker then? They said prior or my surgery I would need a new valve but the surgeon managed to ssalvage my own although it did leave me with a regurgitation leak.

Goodness Suziebear you certainly have had a lot to put up with in the last 18 years and you were very lucky to survive the rupture. I was warned by the surgeon that my aortic valve might be damaged during the operation but fortunately it wasn’t and I just had the aneurysm repaired. My coronary and carotid arteries and heart valves were all checked out pre op in case anything else needed to be done but all was ok so I was very lucky. I still don’t have a follow up appointment with the surgeon so I don’t know what the outlook is but I’m feeling well and doing more each day and I’m trying to distract myself so I’m not so aware of my heart. Hope you get help for your present problems soon. Best wishes.

After a heart attack and two procedures to place stents, I experienced crazy anxiety after being sent home from the hospital. My heart felt like it was beating out of my chest all day long. I thought it was missing beats. I thought it was pulsating with different strength beats all the time. I was so hyper focused on every sensation that it took over all my thoughts. That lasted for about a month. Then it started to fade over the course of about a week. There were times that I would lie in bed and NOT feel my heart beating for a couple of minutes at a time. That was the greatest feeling. Eventually I would have an hour had of no strange sensations and no panic thoughts, then a few hours, then an entire day. Then I strung a few of those good days together back to back. Today was the third day in a row of no horrible sensations or thoughts. I really think the anxiety is very normal and it just takes time for your heart to truly recover, and for your mental state to recover along with it as well.

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