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Shortness of Breath Three months after Aortic Valve Replacement
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Shortness of Breath Three months after Aortic Valve Replacement


Posted by Lewis Poplak on April 16, 1999 at 16:11:52
I had my bicuspid aortic valve replce  2 1/2 months ago with a St Jude mechanical valve. Recently, in the past week and a half, I have been experiencing episodic shortness of breath. I am not restricted by the breath shortness, however it does weigh on me psychologically. Today I had a TEE, yesterday a surface ECHO, and my cardiologist says that everything is normal. However, I still have to deal with this annoying sensation of not being able to get enough air. My blood oxygen levels are normal, my haemoglobin is normal, lung function good etc, etc. No indicators exist to suggest why I am experiencing the breathing problem at all. Do you have any suggestions as to what this may be?

Posted by CCF CARDIO MD-APS on April 22, 1999 at 22:08:44
Dear Lewis,
As Hank says in his response, they did do all the necessary tests to reevaluate you and this "episodic" shortness of breath.  I wonder a couple of things:
1) how exactly did they assess your lung function; with pulmonary function tests or just a CXR.
2) is there any fluid left over from the surgery in your chest?
3) Have they looked on the TEE and TTE for unusual diagnosis such as constriction and or restrictive properties (of your pericardium and the valve respectively?)
Although the unusual diagnosis are highly unlikely, it concerns me that you have symptoms.  The best thing to do is not ignore your symptoms and press for answers if they do not go away or if they get any worse.
I hope this information is useful. Information provided in the heart forum is for
general purposes only.  Only your physician can provided specific diagnoses and therapies.
Feel free to write back with further questions. Good luck!
If you would like to make an appointment at the Cleveland Clinic Heart Center, please
call 1-800-CCF-CARE or inquire online by using the Heart Center website at
www.ccf.org/heartcenter. The Heart Center website contains a directory of the
cardiology staff that can be used to select the physician best suited to address your
cardiac problem.



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