Aa
A
A
Close
Avatar universal
Low pulse rate after bypass surgery
I had bypass surgery in 11/2006 & blockages of 85, 90, 95 &100%. Surgeon said that @ my age of 72 yrs I was lucky to be living & only because my heart grew its own bypass over the years  I was still alive. I had no obvious symptoms prior to surgery other than a slight pressure in the chest when wheeling a loaded wheelbarrow up a steep hill. Prior to this for (14) years I lived in NM @ 6000 ft evaluation, did 20 min.weight & cycle exercise, walked in the mtns daily besides swimming laps laps regularly. My Internist's EKG'S never found any problems & I never had any shortness of breath or dizziness. Right after surgery they had a problem with my heart rate being very slow (30-40 bpm) & put me on a temporary pacemaker.
Neither the surgeon or cardiologist could explain the problem after numerous tests during my (11) day stay. I still have a heart rate of 40/50 bpm but on a tread mill I reached a pulse rate of 131.I still have no signs of shortness of breath or dizziness. My Internist is pushing for me to get a pacemaker & the cardiologist says we can wait until I have outward  symptoms. My question is, & haven't found it addressed anywhere, is could there be less of a need for the heart to beat @ 60-100 bpm because of natural bypass it grew before surgery. It would appear that there would a considerable reduction in the resistance of the vascular system. I am currently 79 yrs old. Any insight you can give me in regard to this problem would be greatly appreciated.    Thanks!  Al.  
Cancel
1 Answers
Page 1 of 1
Avatar universal
I've had two open-heart surgeries for valve replacement (there've been no coronary artery problems).  Since the second surgery, I have generally had a pulse rate in the 40's immediately upon awakening in the morning -- before I stir in bed.  During the daytime, when I'm alert and upright but not exercising, it's in the mid-50's to the low 60's.  I haven't taken my pulse rate during exercise, so I don't know about that.  

In any case, my resting pulse is lower than it was before I had the two valve surgeries.  It used to be in the low 70's when I was awake and calm.  I assume I have had some damage to the conduction pathways, which I understand sometimes happens with OHS, especially multiple OHS.  But no one has ever said anything to me about getting a pacemaker.  In fact, for many years, I was on a beta blocker -- by prescription, of course -- that kept my heart rate almost as low as yours is now.  I took myself off of the beta blocker because of side effects of lethargy and weight gain.  After getting off of the beta blocker, my heart rate did increase a bit, up to what it is now.  My heart rate is still not what it was prior to my two surgeries, but I do feel better with a slightly higher heart rate than when I was on the beta blocker.  

I don't know about your heart having less of a need to beat faster because of natural bypass.  I kind of doubt it, but I'm not an expert.  What I would suggest is that if you have symptoms secondary to a slow heart rate, than tell your cardiologist about the symptoms, and perhaps the two of you should revisit the pacemaker issue.  Or if you are on a beta blocker, perhaps your cardiologist can adjust that medication to let your heart rate come up a little.  Personally, I would rather reduce my dosage of the beta blocker than get a pacemaker.  But if I ever do truly need a pacemaker, I guess I will get one.

If you are feeling fine, perhaps it is appropriate to leave well enough alone.  I would let the internist's opinions be his business.  You have a cardiologist to handle the cardiology.  My internist sometimes has opinions about my cardiology care, and if I don't wish to do what the internist recommends, I respectfully ignore him.  The only doctor who I do have to deal with about cardiology decisions is my cardiologist.  
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
Your Answer
Avatar universal
Answer
Do you know how to answer? Tap here to leave your answer...
Answer
Answer
Post Answer
A
A
Top Heart Disease Answerers
159619 tn?1318997813
Blank
Salt Lake City, UT
11548417 tn?1440481484
Blank
Netherlands
144586 tn?1284669764
Blank
Avatar universal
Blank
Avatar universal
Blank
Ireland
Blank
BloodPressure Tracker
Monitor Your Blood Pressure
Start Tracking Now
Blank
HeartRhythm Tracker
Track your Heart Condition
Start Tracking Now
Heart Disease Community Resources