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short of breath
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short of breath

I am a 38 y/o white female and have been experiencing increasing shortness of breath, both upon exertion and at rest.  Within the last several months I have also experienced chest pain and pressure of varying degrees, mostly slightly left of midsternal and sometimes radiating to the left shoulder.  I had a normal ECG and was prescribed xanax for "anxiety", and then prevacid for GERD.  Neither helped.  Finally, I was referred for a stress echo which revealed abnormal ejection fraction slightly less than 50%, and trace mitral valve regurgitation.  The cardiologist did not feel it was serious enough to treat at this time.  I am still experiencing all of the same symptoms, especially shortness of breath, even at night.  I have been sleeping poorly, and using several pillows to prop myself up.  Walking up a flight of stairs, or eating, leaves me unable to speak for a few minutes because I am out of breath.  Should I request another opinion or wait and see how things go?  I should add that I am not necessarily athletic, but not unhealthy or overweight, 5'3" and 123 lbs.
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224799_tn?1339359440
Speaking from experience --- I have undergone OHS (open-heart surgery) 3 times & I have an artficial mitral & aortic valves & I know the symptoms of CHF (congestive heart failure) & that my friend is what you are experiencing & you should seek a 2nd opinion immediately.  I too remember having to sleep propped up, almost at a sitting position because if I laid down flat I felt like I was drowning or was being suffocated.  Have you noticed any abrupt weight gain or swelling around your ankles or around your stomach or upper torso??    You need to see a cardiologist if you're not already seeing one & if you are, you need to request an ECHO done pronto!  

Also, you may want to go into www.ValveReplacement.com & pose your question to the forum there.  You will get feedback from a lot of informed & good people there.  Check it out.  Best wishes to you & I hope you get the medical help you are in need of.  Take care,

Norma
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463356_tn?1207099801
Hi Sara, I agree with Norma.  I had a mitral valve replaced 12 weeks ago, I had the symptoms.  My cardiologist, ordered a heart cath and a TEE. The cath showed the valve was leaking but not enough, nothing they could not fix by putting in a balloon, but when they performed the TEE, ( putting the camera thrue my mouth to be able to see the back of the valve, you are at sleep), it showed that it was badly leaking and it had to be replace, sometimes they could be repair.

I researched every Sargent and Hospitals, that's when I met Adam, he has a Blog(adampick.com), if the information is not there you can E Mail him, he is great. Thanks to him, I new from what questions to ask to the actual surgery step by step, before during and after.  Is a piece of cake if you have the right surgeon and hospital.

Let me know if I could be of any help, I will help you with the research and so will Adam.  You need to have the surgery, you want to do it while you can walk in the Hospital, not having to do it in an Emergency.  See another Cardiologist, this one mite be right, but do you want to take the chance?
Which you the best, I'm here if you need someone to talk to, I know how scare I was.  
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463356_tn?1207099801
Hi Norma,

Like I explained above, I had a St. Jude mechanical mitral valve replace 12 weeks
ago, did you have problems getting the Cumidum mg. adjusted?

They still playing with mine.  

Thanks, Luisa  
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Avatar_m_tn
sara, my wife went through same thing ekg , stress test, echo,so forth , i fialy took her to  adiff caroigist and he ddi another echo and the TEE that wa sthe test that shoed she had a very bad Mitro valve and it can  be repaired at times , also if it comes toa bad mitro valve be sure and ask the Dr how many of open heart operations he has done, allso ask him or  her he he has done the Mininal evavise tyep surgey,it a lot easier on yuo if  yuo can ahev this type doen but i dont recomen it if the surgen hasnt done plenty of them, hope this helps and wish  yuo wel, one thig for sure se another cardoligest!
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Avatar_f_tn
Nope, dont wait, get a second opinion. Your ejection fraction is mildly reduced as you say slightly below 50%.
you are not obese, nor list any real issues but symptoms of shortness of breath. In women, that is one of the major complaints of heart disease. Forget the left arm stuff in women, thats guys only.

But you passed your stress test. So, yay. Now figure out what the hell is going on why your ejection fraction is mildly reduced.

Women can have very small vessel blockages. Ok, I said too much, just get a second opinion or even a third. Perhaps get a lung function test. Hopefully you dont smoke
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216614_tn?1195668672
Most of the population has trace mitral valve regurge...if it is truly trace, I would not worry about it.  The ef is not bad...

Did the doc check for fluid in your lungs?  If your SOB is as bad as you state, you could be retaining fluid....cut out the sodium...and know that sodium is in all things...if the doc cannot or will not discuss your being so symptomatic, by all means, get a second opinion...something is causing the SOB....
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