Quick Bio. I had a heart attack several decades ago. Just a year and 1/2 ago I had some weirdness (Not PVCs) and ended up having a Quad Bypass. Roughly a year after the bypass I've been getting nightly PVCs (multiple times a minute) these vary its not any set rhythm like 1 2 3 PVC 1 2 3 PVC its just random. They also happen during the day (Sometimes I don't notice)
They make it really hard to sleep and frankly it scares the _____ out of me. I've tried 3 different Beta Blockers. They don't seem to change anything. My Cardio Doc said we will do a Holter for 48 hours to see how it looks over a day. Then if it still bugs me I'm to be sent to a doctor who does Rhythm meds. The doc I was talking to said I need to really think twice before asking to go on these kinds of meds because they are filled with side effects and PVCs are "mostly" not harmful. I've done some reading and I'm wondering if the PVCs are like those folks who report 3 or 4 a day?
If anyone can give me some advice I would greatly appreciate it.
In a healthy heart isolated pvcs are not a threat and correcting them can actually create more issues so it really isn't advised unless a person is having upwards of 20,000 a day, if they are causing symptoms that inhibit a person's ability to function or if they are causing one to fall into sustained ventricular tachycardia. But considering you have had a previous heart attack I would definitely get the holter to see what is going on and have the doctor determine if your pvcs are a threat to you or not. They likely aren't but your doctor who has your case history would be the best judge. What I will say is there are many on this board who get thousands of them and they are not suffering any undue health issues from them all though as you have discovered they can be a bit disconcerting and distracting. Big triggers for them are stomach issues and stress so if you have any of those issues try to work on clearing them up but do follow up with your doctor to get these evaluated considering you had the heart attack and bypass surgery. Good luck and hopefully the pvcs will ease up and settle down enough that you stop feeling them. Take care and keep us posted on how you are doing.
While PVCs are not dangerous in a healthy heart, it sounds like you have coronary artery disease (since you had a 4x bypass), but unless you've had a heart attack or some other actual damage to the heart, it's not necessarily dangerous, but your cardiologist should evaluate this.
The Holter test will not only reveal how many PVCs you have, but if they have certain patterns and timing that may cause bad rhythms (as described above). Your general heart function, both with or without exercise, is also important.
The PVCs you get at night before sleep are generally the least dangerous, in the setting of CAD it's far worse if they worsened with exercise or produced symptoms like dizziness or fainting.
Beta blockers are effective in some people, not all. In some people they may actually make the problems worse as they slow the heart rate, making more "room" for the PVCs to occur. Beta blockers are great for reducing stress/anxiety-provoked arrhythmias; PACs, SVT, etc, not necessarily PVCs.
Rhythm meds can have severe side effects, in some people, not all, so this is up to you and your electrophysiologist/cardiologist. This doctor will probably be able to tell you if you are at any risk with or without those meds. If your PVCs turn out to be benign, the best alternative is possibly just to not be afraid of them and stop paying attention to them (easier said than done......) but this is something you and your doctors must decide
Its all kind of the chicken versus the egg. Am I stressing out and causing PVCs or are the PVCs causing the Stress. I think we all have some stress but in my case I really do think the PVCs are the cause - not the effect. I see the Cardio Doc (After being wired up to a holter) and I guess thats the time to say how I'm doing with them. BTW I do feel them and don't need a device to know when my heart beats (or PVCs out) Maybe that unusual?
I am not certain it is or isn't unusual to feel the pvcs. Some people do some don't. I feel most of mine though not all of them. Maybe it has to do with where they are coming from or something else but the device is really for the doctor to be able to evaluate the beats to see what they look like and what sort of pattern they are in. This will tell him a lot about where they are possibly coming from and how dangerous they might be especially if it turns out there are a lot of them. Well good luck with the doctor. Let us know how it goes.
Thanks Michellepetuk: I guess with my history any weirdnesses with the heart are alarming. The stuff that brought me into the ER (And ended up having Quad Bypass) was pretty subtle so when I started having the PVCs I was more then a little alarmed.
For a month I wore a heart monitor (Not exactly a Holter) where you press the button when things like PVCs started up. I pressed that button until I wore out three sets of batteries. I've decided to go back to the place I did Cardio Rehab and do a program (Treadmills etc) *I've not been doing my 30 minutes of walking 5 days a week. The super hot weather has been a "permi-Excuse" and not doing it makes me feel lousy (and crabby)
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