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One factor with the increased heart rate in your recover from this surgery would be due to your anemia. It sounds that this is something that will improve with time but as long as your blood counts are below normal then the heart has to increase rate to compensate for a lower blood count/hemoglobin level.
It is also common for the heart to be in a weakened state immediately following such surgery and this is something that would be expected to continue to improve as well. Along with this gradual ongoing expected improvement you should feel better in terms of improved exercise tolerance. You will probably have gradual return of your heart rate toward your normal baseline. Your follow up should include follow up checks of your blood count and iron levels.
The fluid in the legs is likely a degree of heart failure in your recovery period. (heart failure in the sense that your heart has a period of time in which it struggles to keep its output up to normal amounts that keep the fluid pressure down and not have any fluid build up in the legs or lungs. This aspect of your symptoms would be expected to improve with time as well. All these factors should be monitored in your ongoing recovery.
I hope this information helps. Further questions are welcome if you have others. If my answer has been helpful and to your satisfaction then please remember to press the "ACCEPT" button. Thank You and Best Regards,
Anthony Bray MD
You did not give me a time line as to when you think my symtoms should return to normal. I would like to return to work ASAP but only if I am 100%
You did not give me a time line as to when I should expect blood, heart rate and fluid retention returning to normal since I want to return to work ASAP but must be 100%.
It is hard to be precise with a time line without benefit of exam and knowing your laboratory results. Open heart surgery is a very major surgery of course. I would give you a best rough estimate that you would most probably be expecting continued gradual improvement. From the sounds of your history I would estimate that you are likely about halfway to the point at which you may be well enough to return to work. I would estimate that you will likely need another four to six weeks to recover in order to return to work. At this point I would not expect you to necessarily feel 100% of normal even then but probably 80 to 90% of normal. With successful heart valve surgery you should eventually feel even better than before surgery! Your pace with cardiac rehab will depend on your cardiologist's evaluation of your status. It would be typical for you to be starting a graduated and monitored program by now though.
I hope this information helps some. Further questions are welcome. I will be happy to get back with you. Best regards XXXXX XXXXX continued recovery,