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Anyone else have High heart rate after CABG?

  • 1.  Anyone else have High heart rate after CABG?

    Posted 06-23-2021 14:56
    I'm at 26 days past my double bypass, and my heart rate is consistently high -- rarely under 90, 100 right now as I sit at my computer.  My surgeon assures me everything looks good, although yesterday he did consider ordering a CT scan in case there is some small thing missed in all the other scans I've had.  But, he's pretty sure it's something that will resolve on its own, just my way of responding to the surgery.  Did anyone else have this?  I don't find anything about it when searching the site.  The first couple weeks, when I tried to walk around, in addition to the higher heart rate I would get a splitting headache, and soon my breath would sound like panting and I would have to sit or lean against something to avoid falling.  The headaches are now less frequent and less severe (and part of that might have been related to hydration), and the panting not as frequent, except in the morning, but I'm certainly not taking morning walks at all, though usually able to walk later in the day.  Am getting both an OT and PT visiting, who are trying to help me work through it, but it seems to concern both of them -- I think their reports may be why the surgeon is considering the CT.  I did get returned to the hospital for a few days the second week, lots and lots of testing.

    I'm 74, and was actually pretty fit prior to my surgery.  Ate well, too, but had had type 1 diabetes since age 8, long before the last 2 decades' very good control was possible, so I attribute the heart damage to that, as well as my father's genetics.

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    Linda OTT
    Washington DC
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  • 2.  RE: Anyone else have High heart rate after CABG?

    Posted 06-23-2021 18:00
    Linda,

    I have had 3 open heart surgeries and have had elevated heart rates after each surgery. I have incurred similar symptoms.   You are doing all right preventative measures. Procedures can be taken to regulate your heart if it continues at this high rate. My heart rate returned to normal after the first two open hearts surgeries. Recovery from this type of "MAJOR" surgery takes up to 6 to 12 months to fully recover. Let us know how you are doing.

    Regards,

    Michael Hinderlie

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    Michael Hinderlie
    Port Charlotte FL
    (941) 421-0482
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  • 3.  RE: Anyone else have High heart rate after CABG?

    Posted 06-24-2021 18:12
    Michael, my reply to you doesn't seem to be showing up here.  I'd written my thanks, and the observation that I actually slept through the night for the first time in quite a while after reading your response to my post.  Just hearing from some one else who has made it through my problem was so very reassuring, even with the problem continuing.

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    Linda OTT
    Washington DC
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  • 4.  RE: Anyone else have High heart rate after CABG?

    Posted 06-24-2021 18:45
    Linda,

    Patients and persistence on your part is a must in cardiology recovery. Your recovery will takes time. Every major surgery I have had, 3 open hearts and 2 spinal surgeries it takes a minimum of 6 months to feel somewhat normal. Take your time in your recovery. Everyone of my surgeries are measured in months and then days. I suggest to everyone to keep a journal of your daily feelings and concerns. Your are going to have great days and lousy days. You will feel light headed and you will feel that you can take on the world. Another occurrences that is never talked about is emotional events will make you fill with joy or sadness. Completely normal...the heart is wonderful organ let your recovery evolve. Try not to push it or live up to what you may think what others expect. Again no one recovers in 6 weeks.


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    Michael Hinderlie
    Port Charlotte FL
    (941) 421-0482
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  • 5.  RE: Anyone else have High heart rate after CABG?

    Posted 06-25-2021 08:04
    Linda,

    My story may prove instructive.  Three and a half years ago, at the age of 67 1/2, I had what they characterized as a "mild" heart attack.  Twenty-four hours later, I underwent emergency quintuple bypass surgery, immediately followed by ventilator induced pneumonia and a two week medically induced coma, during which time I received two rounds of antibiotics to combat the pneumonia plus a third round of antibiotics to combat a c diff infection I developed from the pneumonia drugs.  When I finally was awakened, two weeks after the surgery, during which time I had lived in a hallucinatory world that seemed for all the world like real life, I spent a third week drifting in and out of hallucinations and lucidity.  I did not become fully lucid until I was transferred to a rehab hospital three weeks post-surgery.

    Once in rehab, I was finally able to reflect on my physical state.  I had gone from a powerful, athletic older man three weeks earlier that kids at my gym admired, to a thin, frail looking old man with a blotted stomach due to water retention.  I could not walk.  I could barely stand for a second without getting dizzy and collapsing.  I could night hold a pen to sign my rehab admission papers and could not hold a fork or knife to feed myself.  I also later learned that I could not raise my right arm above waist level and that my hands shook in a manner mimicking Parkinsonism for an hour or so when I awoke in the mornings. The good news is that I experienced no pain whatsoever unless I sneezed and I was not connected to any tubes.  I'd missed that experience by virtue of my coma.

    Over the next three weeks at the rehab hospital, I spent 4-5 hours a day in the gym, learning to stand, walk, exercise, and feed myself again, regaining the use of my right arm and experiencing a gradual diminishment of the Parkinsonism (which disappeared completely about a week after my liberation from rehab, six weeks post-surgery).  What was most remarkable, though, was that none of this disturbed me at the time.  I was a simple observer of all of my physical infirmities, without any negative value judgment whatsoever. I felt no sense of alarm or feeling that this is no good and not the way I'm "supposed to" be.  Instead, I experienced an ongoing sense of immense gratitude just to be alive, just to be able to joke and make fun of my physical therapists, to talk to my wife and daughter, to piss off the hospital security staff by disabling their alarm system that was supposed to go off when I got up out of my wheelchair without supervision.  I would lie in bed, before official wakeup time, and sometimes in the middle of the night, feeling my new and unusual heartbeat (which I now recognize as some sort of transitional arrhythmia) thinking, without any judgment, "oh, this is from my new plumbing."

    Six weeks post-surgery, I returned home, a new man, kissing my front door like some Dostoyevsky character returning home from prison, greeted by my old dog, Argus greeting Odysseus after Troy and the ten year journey home.  Over the next year, I completed outpatient rehab, resumed working out again at a normal people's gym, went back to work, gradually again became the athlete I'd been for my entire life including my old age and all the time feeling this deep sense of gratitude for this borrowed time I have been granted.  I am now 71.  Maybe I'll be dead tomorrow or in 20 years.  It doesn't matter. What a gift each moment is and has been.

    Ira

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    Ira Reid
    Hoboken NJ
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  • 6.  RE: Anyone else have High heart rate after CABG?

    Posted 06-24-2021 07:01
    Hi Linda,

    I agree with Michael.  Heart surgery is just so huge - your body needs months to heal.

    I had OHS to repair a mitral valve and had several arrhythmias and elevated/inconsistent heart rate for at least two months.  After the first cardiologist basically made it worse with various drugs, my current (and very wise) cardiologist told me something I think is very important.  He is an older gentleman and said, "I don't know when people started saying 6 weeks is the post-op recovery.  When I was in medical school, you gave people 6 MONTHS to recover from something this big."  

    Obviously, your doctors are working to help you, but please know that perhaps your healing will just also take more time than you might think.

    Take care and keep us posted.

    Best,
    LL



    Liza Levine

    310 897 2117






  • 7.  RE: Anyone else have High heart rate after CABG?

    Posted 06-24-2021 09:32
    Thanks, Liza.  Patience is clearly called for here.

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    Linda OTT
    Washington DC
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