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Recovery after aortic valve replacement
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Recovery after aortic valve replacement


  Hi,
  My father underwent AVR on 05/19/98. Prior to the surgery he had lost about 20 pounds. Also he had edema in his lungs, feet and high uric acid levels in his body. All these symtoms (symptoms) were brought under control before the surgery.
  During the angiogram it was discovered that the aorta was dialted. So in addition to AVR, the aorta was cut and narrowed down.
  My question is that my father still feels very weak. Is this normal ?
  He is also not able to sleep at night. But there is no symptom of edema, shortness of breath etc.
  He walks about 40mins a day. What can he do to accelerate his recovery?
  His Pulmunary Artery pressures are around 45 (Was 90 prior to surgery. The PA pressures were brought down by nitric oxide just hours before surgery)
  Has this something to do with his recovery.
  His cardiologist says that recovery will take about 3 months.
  Also my father is a vegetarian. Should he start eating eggs, meat to build back his muscle mass ?
  Thanks
  Smitha
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Dear Smitha,
The three month recovery estimate is fair given the extent of your father's illness
prior to the surgery, so be pateint and do not rush the natural recovery.  It is not
unusual for the aorta to be dilated in aortic stenosis and the significant decrease in
pulmonary artery pressures post surgery is a very good thing.  If your father is not having
trouble breathing, is not having chest pain or the like keeping him up at night it is probably a
combination of medications, recovery, and age (and possibly even anxiety or depression) that
are contributing to his inability to sleep.  Difficulty sleeping and weakness are both fairly
common post surgery, especially in someone so ill prior to the surgical repair, again this is more
true in older patients (>65 yo).  The lack of sleep surely needs to be addressed by your father's
physicians as this could potentially hinder the progress of his rehabilitation.
There are other sources of protein for protein for your father and yes this very, very important in
his recovery, and I would try these (milk, soy protein, etc.)first before asking the patient to eat
something he is against.  Good Luck.  Information provided in the heart forum is intended for general medical informational
purposes only, actual diagnosis and treatment can only be made by your father's physician(s).





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