Left ventricular dysfunction - British Heart Fou...

British Heart Foundation

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Left ventricular dysfunction


I'm 48 non smoker not overweight just been diagnosed with left ventricular dysfunction and not a cardiologist appointment till next month. No groups seem to be for my diagnosis so feeling lost and scared.

17 Replies
Kristin1812Heart Star

Welcome to the forum, Vicks. You have come to the right place.....I am very confident someone with a similar problem will reply soon, and I hope give you a good picture of what might happen and how they have dealt with it.

It is understandably a terribly worrying time when you first find out you have heart problems, and dont know what’s happening or what can be done to help.

It’s good you have a Cardio appointment in place. ...even a month away. You have time to prepare and jot down the questions you most need answering,

Thank you for your reply, just knowing other people are here for each other really helps


May I suggest turning this feeling on its head?

They HAVE found a problem with your heart and are now starting the process of putting it right - as opposed to you finding out via a heart attack and an urgent life saving trip to A&E!

Evidence for my thinking is as follows:

Last May (2019) I bought myself a new bike to replace my 20+ year old bike, and on its very first ride found myself brought to my knees with breathlessness. It was one of those hot days we had in 2019 and thoiught it must be my Astham acting up (Diagnosis for 15 years at that point). A trip to see my GP to confirm my theory proved otherwise.

My GP called an Ambulance because he thought it was my heart and wanted me admitted for tests ASAP to validate his prognosis. A 4 day stay in hospital and some testing left me being sent home without any diagnosis of note, until September - when I was asked to pop in to my local Cardiology Clinic where I was told I was experiencing a "heart failure".

Now 'heart failure' is a generic term used to cover a multitiude of ailments involving the heart and not a death sentence like once would have been the case. So, please do not panic if you hear such a term.

My problem was suspected to be a leaking LV, or maybe weak muscles in the LV, either option hopefully managed via just a clever mix of medication to counteract the effects of either or both options.

An MRI has shown that my conditions is actually to do with my Aortic Valve, and a TOE Echocardiogram (yesterday) advised that it is actually an artery from my Aortic Valve that is highly enlarged and impacting on the workings of the Aortic Valve that is the issue.

Next week I will have an Angriogram or CT Scan to nail down the specifics that the surgeon needs to correct during an operation (that will hopefully take place in about 4-5 months time). That surgery WILL replace my Aortic Valve as a matter of course, and probably correct the failing artery via stent or actual replacement. The LV and parts linking the 2 valves together and associated arteries will also get an MOT and service so that when I wake up, I can start the process of living my life as once I did.

Of course, I will never live my life as once I did. I will probably never undertake bike rides of 120+ miles in length around the many tranquil and scenic roads in Suffolk. I will probably never go Scuba Diving again. My photographic interests will have to be modified as I will no longer be able to lug around camera kit that weighed so much that Geoff Capes would have used for training when at his 'strong man peak'.

But I WILL be alive. I WILL be able to do many things, as much as many people do in their ordinary lives.

And that is because someone FOUND the problem with my heart before it was allowed to deteriorate to the point of a heart attack.

My journey thus far is not without issues, i'm not saying its a bed of roses - it isn't. But people are working extemely hard to make my life as near to what it was before that day in May 2019 - and I'm grateful for all they are doing and will do.

My glass is half full, not half empty, and I am 56.

My only concern is: that this will all be done in time for me to commence studies at University in September. I need a new career choice because I can no longer undertake my old career, and a 3 year course at University will give me that option. THAT is the level of my concern.

You are NOT alone. You are just like all the other people who come to this forum, or discover they are experiencing a heart failure. You are initially shocked, worried, scared stupid. And that is normal. But you are NOT alone. You are like all the others who come to this forum.

So welcome to the forum (I'm still a relative newcomer like you) and I hope you get the reassurance that there is light at the end of the tunnel and, as slow as things may appear to move, it is all done with purpose and at the behest of people who know what they are doing.

I wish you well in your forthcoming months and look forward to reading all about your treatment and the benefits it has brought you. You will have many questions as well, but hopefully, one day will be able to offer comfort to some one else who finds themselves in your position.

Vicks7005 in reply to Hidden

Thank you so much for reply, sounds like a journey you have been on so glad that something is being done. I do feel a bit better after reading this. The worst was being told I have this condition then you look on the internet and it says life span 1-5 years, I have a 12 year old daughter and the thought of not seeing her grow up breaks me. I really hope I get some more answers soon. Today it's a follow up with my respiratory chap who started the wheels turning so I'm hoping for some answers even though he wont have them all. Glad I found this group. Thank you

Hidden in reply to Vicks7005

I'm glad to have helped in any way possible.

The internet is a great place in some aspects, but a terrible place in other aspects.

Stick to coming on here for info, or ask your clinicians. Like Cancer, a Heart Failure is no longer the death sentence it once was. It a failing of a part of the body, of a muscle, and something they understand so much of nowadays.

They even talk about my prospective operation being a 'routine operation' - can you even grasp the idea that an operation on your heart could be considered as 'routine'?

'Routine' should be taken in context, it is of course much more serious than setting a broken bone before adding a bit of plaster, or using Radiotherapy to manage the lesser cancers (yes, there are such things as 'lesser cancers') - but my operation is considered as routine as any heart surgery can get. It is done daily at many hospitals in the UK and around the world.

My case is managed by a pair of Nurse Practitioners on a daily level. They are there to answer any questions and resolve any concnerns. I have a direct line to them during 'office hours' and have found them to be absolutely amazing in terms of support and reassurance. Most of all, I like the way they put things in a reassuring manor:

"yes, it could go wrong and you may end up not surviving - but that could be said of crossing the road" ;-) -and that is the thing to remember...

Trust in your clinicians, but do not be afraid to ask all the questions - after all, it is what they are there for. Your skills clearly lie in another area of expertise (as did mine).

Your 12 year old daughter need not stop turning in to that grumpy adolescent she is due to become in a years time. Nor should she worry that you wont be paying some one to take her off your hands at the Church Aisle in the future. All these things are still there to happen - just you will have to take a different route to get there.

Prada47 in reply to Hidden

I liked your post we appear to share the same attitude Positive !!

Only comment I have on your excellent post are you sure you are only 56 ??

I thought anyone who could remember Geoff Capes must be at least 70 LOL

Hidden in reply to Prada47

I remember him well, he was a policeman in my TV news area before he became a strongman, and East Anglia was not known for much outside Bernard Matthews in those days - though historically we did have a few other names to pull out of the hat in Sir Thomas Wolsey and John Constable - but i think they were around before TV and Radio so not sure they count ;-)

Vicks7005 in reply to Prada47

Haha I'm 48 I remember him he was an officer in my area . Think he was based at same station I am at

Hidden in reply to Vicks7005

Definitely a living legend for those of us at the time. And if me mory serves, a genuinely nice person as well

Hi there :)

How was it diagnosed and what are your symptoms?

Vicks7005 in reply to TRST

I was just having lung function tests then a heart scan as I get out of breath then they found it on the heart scan and sent me a letter informing me its left ventricular dysfunction

Well saw the respiratory consultant yday he didn't have any answers 4 me ssid I have to wait to see a cardiologist, he put me on a combined inhaler, but looking at symptoms for left ventricular dysfunction breathlessness is one of them so pretty sure he should have waited really.got a voice message from my local surgery yday they are trying to move my cancelled appointment forward again so will find out today fingers crossed.still dont know what I should and shouldn't be doing at the moment and have to go on stronger meds next week

Latest update:

Had my telephone appointment today with the cardiologist all went very well at last I'm pleased to say. I have a mild weakness in the heart muscle but good news is caught it early and not at the next stage yet, I will be on ramipril meds for life and they will try and put me on beta blockers as well to try and strengthen my heart. I will need a cardiac mri as they dont know what has caused this so cant rule out heart disease/coronary artery problems as they dont know until the scan,but either way would treat all the same on the meds I am on now. I also need another echo cardiogram in 3 months to see if things have improved. Problem is at the hospitals they are closing all services so may not get the scans and full answers till 6 months. She said I wont suddenly have a heart attack and die so no worry there 😁 at the moment with the virus to stay away from people as I am more at risk. When I go back to work at the moment with the virus needs to be desk based and if I go out to wear a mask😳 in future when virus all over I can go out and do gentle things but obviously no running or chasing people etc, and with the meds need to take into account I will feel tired. But at the moment it's more positive then not, just wish I could have had a call like that when I got sent the letter telling me about the darn condition.

Update**This week I am being put on beta blockers as well as the ramipril they said may have to half ramipril dose as blood pressure sitting at 91/64ish,its usually low anyway. They said ejection fraction is 45% and when covid goes can get cardiac mri and another echo

Hi, are your symptoms like angina pain, ,chest pain, burning sensation, breathlessness? If you dont mind me asking. As i had a mikd l v r diagnosis, and unsure if its this,or my other conditiions causing symptoms.

No sharp pains, just get out of breath bit too easy

2stents in reply to Goldenheart


I do have stents 22 & 12 years ago been having a lot of problem the last few years, admitted to hospital over a week ago

Had the quickest heart scan ( the person doing the scan had beeps going off left right & centre )

So was obviously in a rush!!!!

Anyway on my discharge form it also says mild LSVD no one as explained this to me, I’m now on beta blockers but still feeling poorly, yesterday I did a small food shop my fit bit read heart rate 140

I don’t know if that’s high or not,

Still getting sharp chest pains/ tired/ short of breath walking up stairs and especially when it’s hot..

Please let me know how you get on

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