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Anthony Bray, MD
Anthony Bray, MD, Doctor
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 10341
Experience:  14 years as clinician in the field of Family Practice
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My heart rate six weeks after aortic valve replacement

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My heart rate six weeks after aortic valve replacement surgery is running in the morning at 90bpm. I take labetalol for H/P and the heart rate will come down to 85bpm.My heart rate prior to surgery ran at 72bpm with labetalol. Will my heart rate return to 72bpm? How long will it take. My Cardiologist said I must take a stress test in August before he will start me on cardio rahab. I lost 2&1/2 pints of blood during sugery and they would not give me a blood transfusion for fear of a blood clot.I am on 325mg iron sulfate twice @day but still have a low blood count.Also I did not get rid of 15 pounds of fluid after surgery and was put on 120cc IV of lasix for six days to loose the fluid. Now I weigh myself every morning and take 2mg of bumex for fluid. Cloud I start cardio rehab sooner than August? I had fluid in lower portion of legs prior to sugery and still have it now. Will that ever go away? In good health otherwise.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Anthony Bray, MD replied 7 years ago.


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

Customer: replied 7 years ago.

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%

Customer: replied 7 years ago.

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%.

Expert:  Anthony Bray, MD replied 7 years ago.


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 ***** ***** continued recovery,

Anthony Bray MD

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