“Do You Have Stamina After Heart Surgery?” Asks Brad
Earlier today, I received an email from Brad Mueller. Brad is preparing to have the Ross Procedure (aortic and pulmonary valve replacement) in early January, 2008.
Dr. John Oswalt (from Texas) will be performing the operation.
Brad wrote to me, “After surgery, did you regain your stamina. I’ve never been able to run a significant distance and when doing cardio exercises, I get tired relatively quickly. I’m wondering if I’ll see any improvement with a fully functioning three leaflet valve?”
Brad Mueller – Heart Valve Surgery Patient
As we know… Heart valve surgery is typically performed to resolve issues with the opening or closing of the heart valve leaflets. That said, the most prevalent valvular disorders result from stenosis (narrowing of the heart valves) and regurgitation (leaking heart valves).
So, if heart valve surgery is successful, the patient’s blood-flow though the body should be enhanced and heart function should optimize.
Again, that all makes perfect sense, right?
It’s an interesting question. Like Brad, I had a bicuspid aortic valve as well. However, unlike Brad, I was primarily asymptomatic. (That means I experienced no major heart valve symptoms prior to surgery.)
Before my surgery, several patients told me how great I was going to feel after my heart valve replacement. I also have a number of family members who are doctors. Each doctor said pretty much the same thing, “You are going to feel so much better after surgery.”
Well. I have to be honest with you. I feel pretty much the same. I am surfing after heart surgery. I am swimming again. I am running after my bypass operation. I am scuba diving after heart surgery. (However, following my annual checkup last week, it is comforting to know that my heart and my new valves are doing great!)
So, for me, I haven’t really noticed a major change in my stamina after heart surgery.
This is not always the case with heart valve surgery patients. During my 2007 heart valve surgery survey, I did speak with several patients who did note an enhancement in energy level following their surgeries.
I hope this helps explain more about stamina after heart valve surgery. Sorry I do not have any more data on this topic. Perhaps, I will include this question in the 2008 survey.
Keep on tickin!
Adam Pick is a patient, author of The Patient's Guide To Heart Valve Surgery and the founder of HeartValveSurgery.com.