“Dizzy After Heart Valve Surgery?” Asks Rick

I just received a very interesting question from Rick about dizziness after heart valve surgery.

Rick writes, “Adam – On August 7, 2009, I had mitral valve repair surgery. Two weeks after surgery I am home and walking four times per day around our neighborhood. Everything feels good except when I first stand up from a sitting position.  I get dizzy even when I stand up slowly. Do other patients experience this? Thanks, Rick”

Dizzy after heart valve surgery

To answer Rick’s question, I can share that I too had bouts of dizziness after heart valve replacement surgery. The dizzy spells were very similar to how Rick described it… When standing up, I would become slightly off-balance for one or two seconds. To learn more about dizziness after open heart surgery, I did some research. According to MedHelp, “Dizziness is not a common post-operative problem in patients who have had heart valve replacements, so this problem may be unrelated to the valve surgery.”

That said, The Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) suggests that “being dizzy” after heart surgery may be related to medication. The STS notes that medicines used in the hospital can cause several side effects. The STS then lists a series of side effects (shown below) which explicitly includes “dizzy or lightheaded when standing”:

  • Excessive nausea, diarrhea, constipation, or stomach pain
  • Vomiting
  • Dizzy or lightheaded when standing
  • Confusion
  • Tingling in hands and feet
  • Extremely slow or fast pulse
  • Skin rash
  • Unusual bruising or bleeding

If you are reading this and you already had heart valve surgery, I’m curious… Did you experience any issues with dizziness following heart valve surgery? Please click here to leave a comment!

Also… You can scroll down to read over 125 comments from patients.

Keep on tickin!

Adam Pick
Written by Adam Pick

Adam Pick is a patient, author of The Patient's Guide To Heart Valve Surgery and the founder of HeartValveSurgery.com.

To learn how Adam has helped millions of people with heart valve disease, watch Adam's video, subscribe to his free newsletter, or visit his Facebook, or Twitter pages.

  • maureen ellis

    I truly hope thing work out

  • maureen ellis

    yes I have the same things I have a pigs valve to maybe that’s the problem

  • maureen ellis

    I am trying to find out myself

  • maureen ellis

    if you find out let us know

  • maureen ellis

    I hope there is hope I was lead to Believe I would be better it is a nightmare this is not me with a lot of us having the same issue you would think these intelligent
    doctors would know So many of us are describing the same thing

  • Don Wilson

    I had mitril ring repair on 2/21/17 and thought i was doing well. Went to rehab and it didnt go well. Hrt rate went to 170 and shortness of breath after walkink briskly for only 1min 40 sec.I have afib that can’t be fixed. Now when at home i get winded and dizzy easily. Very worried feel the end is close.65 yr old man

  • Don Wilson

    I feel the same as you. Was told I would die in less than 4 yrs without surgery. So I had it but now have a bunch of new problems. Wish I could help you.Afraid of death but this isn’t a life worth living.God Bless you.

  • maureen ellis

    I’ve had every test they still have no answers however my blood pressure drops when It happens Sometimes. It hasn’t happened for a while Thank God I am on medication to increase the blood pressure I’m just grateful time being I truly wish you the best if you have any answers? please email me

  • Don Wilson

    I had mitril repair on feb 21st and have severe dizzyness to the point of blacking out. Doctors say its meds but mostly fluid around the heart. I am back in the hospital march 13th and will probably have the fluid drained. More risky heart surgery 3 weeks after the valve repair. And the fluid could rtn. Don’t think I can get any lower. If I was a horse they would shoot me.

  • John Cousins

    15 weeks post AVR and Aortic Root replacement and I felt better a month ago than I do now. I am dizzy with both standing and sitting. I have had appointments with a neurologist and a CT scan of my brain along with meeting with my Cardiologist. It appears that my blood pressure is low and it MAY be causing a lot of this. I have been taken off the Metropolol. I was only on a small dose of 12.5 (split a 25) once a day and I would get readings of 96/60 regularly. It is creeping back up and averages 106/70 now. I am wearing an event monitor and my heart rate is usually pretty steady unless I am having an “episode”. About twice a week, I nearly pass out. My legs get heavy, my vision clouds around the edges and my pulse quickens. I am hoping this gets figured out really soon, because I WAS just getting to the point where I felt better than ever and wanted to start some serious workouts.

  • Alexander

    My mother has the same thing but is not standing up, is more to do when she is walking around, turning her head left and right looking at things when dizziness attack, she often loses balance but can stop the dizziness by staying still. My mum has an open heart surgery to fix her valve and having a cardiac bypass. It took her about a year with physiotherapy and other supportive treatment to fully recover. I think it has more to do with medication and more often to do with hypertension, aspirin and cholestrol medication as well as dehydration, especially most people with cardiac surgery often end up too careful with diet and fluid intake that they end up with even lower blood pressure than before, especially those who has hypertension for a long time that their bodies are so used to high blood pressure, the body does not used to normal to lower than normal blood pressure. That is what I believe anyway. After her stopped half of the blood pressure medication, attack seems less frequent.

    My mum’s case was very complicated which rendered her in ICU for well over half year but she is fully recovered now and healthy as a horse. For many of you who had the same experience, be patient and follow doctor and nurse post operative and discharge care and follow up supportive treatment. You will recover too. Good luck.

  • berni

    I had mitral valve repair exactly 8 weeks ago and today experienced feeling lightheaded, dizzy and feeling hot around my neck and everything going black for approx 2-3 hours..I am on a beta blocker and aspirin once daily…. after trying sweet drinks and no change in my symptoms .. I remembered a GP years ago advising a patient who felt faint to try eating salted crisps as the sodium would help raise any low blood pressure.. I ate the crisps adding a little extra salt and then rested with a good result feeling a lot better an hour or 2 later…I am seeing my consultant for my post op check up tomorrow.. if he offers any further advice or insight into why this happens .. I will add this to this blog…I will also try the tip added by Robin Hirsch which i have copied and pasted ..”One trick the physical therapist taught me is that before standing up or sitting up after an extended time in the position is to move your legs and arms, flexing and unflexing the muscles before standing. The contraction of the muscles force the blood to circulate and raise your blood pressure. This should ease the dizziness.”

  • WallyGibby

    I’m 12 days post aortic valve replacement, left atrial appendage clipp, triple cabg.
    I also began to get very dizzy 7 day’s post discharge when I stand up, quickly or slowly.
    They changed my bp meds upon discharge from norvasc to meptropol (sp) sorry…..that’s probably it.

  • Ken Drinkard

    Its been 8 mos.since open heart surgery.I jad 5 cabg. Im still dizzy when Im moving. I cant drive a car and no riding abike or motorcycle.Im ready to give up.Im to weak for exercise. How long will Ilive?

  • Ken Drinkard

    I take100 mg. Of Metropolol.

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