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Life after bypass
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Life after bypass

Last year my husband had triple bypass surgery. Minor heart attack, no damage to the heart. Heart cath showed severe blockage. He was rushed into surgery the next day. He now takes plavix,statins, and blood pressure meds.
He never did have high blood pressure, why would he need this? At his cardiologist appointment he was just told that he could do cardio excercises but not to do any lifting. We thought that was only right after the surgery, not a life long ban. He is only 34 and we have two young children. Should he stop picking them up?  If he is doing cardio excercises, isn't that raising the heart rate? I think that metoprolol would slow the heart rate. Wouldn't excercise raise blood pressure?  He does not feel like he can't do these things. If he builds muscle, isn't that good for his overall health?
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63984_tn?1385441539
I'm not a health care provider, and I haven't had bypass surgery, so take my comments within that context.  I have had quite a number of stents and other cardiac issues/procedures, however.  Was your husband offered a cardiac rehabilitation program?  I've been to these 'classes' twice, once eight years ago and again recently, and they are very valuable as one's heart is monitored while exercising and the questions your husband has can be answered.

My best wishes to your husband and to all the family.  
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Avatar_n_tn
I had 5 bypasses 4.5 years ago with lots of heart damage.  I went through cardio rehab and have continued exercising on my own since then.  My cardiologist has told me repeatedly not to lift weights in a workout setting but if I do I need to keep the weight down to 10 pounds.  Like your husband I never ever had high blood pressure.  My cardio doc explained that lifting weights in a gym type setting raises and lowers blood pressure in a very rapid fashion not a gradual buildup and slow down like normal everyday living.  He told me few people can control the urge to lift heavier and heavier weight in a setting like that or even alone.  They end up straining to get that last "rep" in.  I guess it's human nature to always want to do more.  That is where the problems come in.  The heavier and heavier weight puts more and more pressure on your heart to supply blood to all the muscles screaming for it.

Lifting his kids probably isn't a problem unless they weigh alot and he is bench pressing them 20 times over and over.

For me, after 4.5 years with a low EF and a beat up heart, walking on a tread mill for a couple of miles and 3-400 calories keeps me pretty toned.  I am able to control my heart rate, I feel good and can do the things I want within reason.  I also have 20 years on your husband so I am sure it's different for me than it is for him.

I really think he should talk to his doctor and get some realistic parameters that both the doctor and your husband feel they can live with.  If your husband has no heart damage I would think the doctor is going to be pretty open to a more aggressive workout regimen.  That of course would be dependant on family history, health risk factors and your husband's overall health.

You also need to keep in mind it probably took a long time for his heart to get to the point where bypass was necessary.  It's also going to take a pretty long time to get completely healthy again.  If a person has heart problems they have to think and do things more gradual.

Good luck to the both of you.
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152159_tn?1200086054
Sounds like you might want to go to a major cardio center (research hospital) if you are not at one already...they typically have the best advice on something like this.

Did they give any reason for why your husband had such advanced heart disease at only 34 years of age? Family history? Cholesterol?

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Avatar_m_tn
Hmmm.  I never was told anything about not lifting, except for immediately after the surgery.

There doesn't have to be a reason for advanced heart disease at any age.  Just one of those things.  As my cardiologist says, "S--t happens".
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Avatar_f_tn
My father in law:  Bypass about 5 yrs ago.  Several heart attacks.  In his 70s, lift heavy objects, does a lot of yard labor ( not just weeds, but planting trees as well as small plants) same meds basically.  Did his cardiorehab as prescribed.

Mom:  Bypass about 7 years ago.  No known heart attack but servere blockages.  80s, lifts furniture to vacuum, lifts my niece who is a bit chunky.  Carrys her fat cat all over.  She is very active, did no cardiorehab.

Good friend: 50s, bypass last year.  I stopped by his motorcycle shop the other day and watched him and his mechanic (coincidentally he had bypass also) lift an ATV into a trailer while the young boy who owned it watched them...  

My MIL always says, he will stop when he knows he has done enough.  Your husband would be hurt more not being able to pick up his child.  He knows his limitations, let him set them.  
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Avatar_f_tn
At age 37 I had my 5 bypasses. No heart attack, strong family history, high cholesterol. I'm 40 now. I have never, and I say NEVER, felt so well in my whole life. Last weekend I ran a city-sponsored 5Km in 30 minutes, which can be considered a "standard" time. Felt great and I am very satisfied with this outcome. After my surgery I did go through rehab with classes from nutritionists, physiotherapists, psychologists, the works. All I was told was: take your medication, eat well, keep your weight at the right spot, do aerobic workout _most days of the week_ for at least 30 minutes keeping your heart rate between 150 and 160. That's it. That's what I've tried to follow since.

I had to re-learn how to eat, how to walk and how to run, and had to relearn the meaning of moderation. In the beginning I did not believe it was possible to get better; the whole thing was a big puzzle. I know now that I am not superman, but I can do *really* everything with moderation, and this gets me to a point physically which is way beyond most of my 40 year-old friends. Your husband doesn't need to benchpress 200lb 20 times, 7 days a week. In fact, there is no use for that. He can tone his muscles with much less than that (less load and repetitions), and do that for the next 20 years. The ironic part is that if we -- bypassed folks -- follow our given recipe, we'll see lots of supermen going underground way before we do.

All the best to you guys.
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Avatar_n_tn
hi, last year i have a double bypass at age 39. i  have a history of high blood pressure.

Lifting is prohibited if what he intends to do is building muscles (like terminator?). he will have to do heavy lifting and that is really not allowed anymore. toning the muscle yes. as what coronary_plug have said.

moderation is the name of the game.

well me i am still trying to adjust to this whole new setup. food intake, exercises.....  

and yes get help from qualified persons.
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