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Three weeks post myectomy and excercise


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  • Three weeks post myectomy and excercise

    Today I am three weeks post myectomy. I have been walking every day since i left the hospital. 45-60 minutes a day. I have been breaking the walks up into 5-6 segments and walking several times a day until monday of last week. I am so impatient so I thought I would do a little different and walk 4 - 15 minute segments. I have been doing this every day since last Monday and have been tolerating it fine. This week i started doing 3 - 20 minute segments.

    My speed on the treadmill has been 2.5 (I feel like i can walk faster but didn't want to overdo it). I have been resting 3 minutes in between each segment. While walking, my HR has stayed around 100, when i stop and rest the three minutes my HR is down to 78.

    I have been going to cardiac rehab and here is my problem...Today's schedule for me consisted of the following:
    • [Arm pedaling 3 mins then they check BP and it was good]
    • [Recumbent bike 5 mins then they check BP and it was good]
    • [Walk the floor (they won't let me on treadmill yet?) 5 mins then they check BP and it was good]
    • [Recumbent bike 5 mins then they check BP and it was 132/90]

    They stopped me for the day and told me just to rest for the remainder of the day and not to do my usual walking! Grrrrr!!!

    I am so skeptical!!! The other day this happened right after i rode the bike but it was right after and i had my feet still on the peddle's and I put them flat on the floor and rested my arm while she checked my BP and the bottom number was 80 instead of 90.

    I can't help it but the Mayo Clinic has spoiled me with their level of professionalism. This cardiac rehab is probably fine with very nice people (they actually announced today "We are now officially certified")

    I guess I am just ranting!!! but I do have a couple of questions.

    Three weeks post surgery am I doing too much. Aren't I supposed to walk 30-60 minutes a day. Am I supposed to split that up or is the way i am doing it ok?

    Just because I may feel like I am tolerating the exercise I know that their is a possibility that my BP may not be responding as hoped. I will start monitoring my BP at home after walking on the treadmill in between segments.

    The Mayo Clinic didn't really tell me how much to walk but from what I have read...30-60 minutes a day is fine.

    Also...I asked Dr. Dearani's PA a specific question about the elliptical arm movement and she said "Elliptical without the arm movement is fine now but you need to wait the full 6 weeks before you use the arm movement part". My current cardiac rehab here at home said they will add the upper body (Nustep) exercise next week and this makes me a little uncomfortable. This Nustep machine is from a seated position where you push legs back and forth while holding on the arm bars that go back and forth. The arm motion seems similar to that arm motion on a elliptical machine. I may have to tell them what my surgeons PA said. What is your experience with arm exercises three weeks out and beyond?

    Sorry for all the questions but I want to get back to the gym and I honestly feel that the cardiac rehab people are scaring me for no reason.

    I do not want to be held back and not do my walking just because they may not be reading the blood pressure cuff correctly. The circumference of my arm calls for "adult large" and they are using "large". Also, my arm is not "resting" like it supposed to be, I am holding it in the air for them. I may be nitpicking but I am skeptical.

    I want to believe that they are doing their job but what makes me skeptical is my history in this small town and the medical care (or lack thereof) It took 12 years of misdiagnosis for someone to finally tell me "you need to get the Mayo Clinic"

    Can someone just give me some guidance on exercise timetables?

    What were you doing at three weeks out? Four weeks? Six Weeks? Eight Weeks?

    Thanks HCM Family for your help.
    • Diagnosed with HOCM 7/09
    • ICD implanted 8/3/09 - Mayo Clinic
    • Septal Myectomy at Mayo by Dr. Dearani on August 16th, 2012
    • I left a piece of my heart at Mayo Clinic and I am forever grateful
    • I currently take Metoprolol Tartrate 50 MG twice daily

  • #2
    Re: Three weeks post myectomy and excercise

    I wasn't in cardiac rehab until 8 weeks after my surgery - that was what was recommended for me. At 3 weeks, I don't think I was up to walking 60 min/day; I probably was doing about 15 or 20 min, twice daily.

    I can't tell you whether your rehab folks are doing the right things, but I think erring on the side of caution is the wise thing to do here.

    I do think you probably want to avoid arm exercises. Your chest is still recovering from trauma.

    I don't think there is a set timetable. Why don't you talk with Dr. Dearani's PA about talking with your rehab staff, so they can both be on the same wavelength?

    Myectomy on Feb. 5, 2007.


    • #3
      Re: Three weeks post myectomy and excercise

      I agree with Gordon - try to coordinate between Dr. Dearani's PA and your rehab staff. Your doctors should be guiding your care. Your surgeon should be clearing you for the arm exercises. Restrictions should have been clearly noted to the rehab staff. Just tell them what you were told by the PA, give them the # to call and ask for a copy of restrictions to be faxed/emailed to your rehab staff. Ask for a written copy for yourself if you don't have one.

      BTW - the NuStep can be done with legs only if the arms are restricted.

      Best of luck to you. Sounds like you are doing amazingly well!



      • #4
        Re: Three weeks post myectomy and excercise

        Yes, please be very careful with arm exercises. I started rehab at 4 weeks and they had me lift 1 lb weights. OK, sounds like no big deal. However within 24 hours my incision started to open. Needless to say that when it was time to go back, I went to a different program. One that deals with more than MI patients.
        Onward and Upward !

        Diagnosed 4/07 HCM with fixed & dynamic obstruction
        Myectomy with resected cordonae tendonae 4/08 CCF
        ICD 10/08


        • #5
          Re: Three weeks post myectomy and excercise

          I didn't start cardiac rehab until 5 weeks out and I didn't do any upper body stuff for at least 6 weeks. Maybe more. I just walked at home until I started rehab.
          Daughter of Father with HCM
          Diagnosed with HCM 1999.
          Full term pregnancy - Son born 11/01
          ICD implanted 2/03; generator replaced 2/2005 and 2/2012
          Myectomy 8/11/06 - Joe Dearani - Mayo Clinic.


          • #6
            Re: Three weeks post myectomy and excercise

            Originally posted by Cynaburst View Post
            I didn't start cardiac rehab until 5 weeks out and I didn't do any upper body stuff for at least 6 weeks. Maybe more. I just walked at home until I started rehab.
            My walking at home seems to be going fine and I will be going back to work 8 weeks post surgery and once I go back it's going to be a lot of overtime and cardiac rehab won't really be an option. I guess that is why I started so early.

            I thought maybe the rehab might help me but all they seem to want to do is scare me into not walking and only do what they want me to do. I know they just want to be careful with everyone.

            I just wonder if I would be better off just walking at home. Walking at home lifts my spirits and cardiac rehab just brings me down.

            This Cardiac rehab is really geared toward bypass patients and teaching them two things...healthy diet and exercise...I am already committed to those two things. I must add that the reason I went was to be monitored but now I have a real skepticism even about that.

            I wish I wasn't so un-trusting...I went to my local cardiologist today for my post op visit and he wanted to know why I was there and when I told him that the Mayo recommended that I see him 2-3 weeks post op and he said "post op?, what kind of surgery did you have?" so I had to go through the whole thing with him again!!! This time...I almost said "would you please Google Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy and Septal Myectomy!!!GRRRRRR!!!!!

            I must find a cardiologist that at least knows what HCM is and has more than me as a patient. This may put me to driving a couple of hours but maybe will be worth it.

            Anyway...back to cardiac rehab...I don't want to call my cardiac rehab a total waste of time because I can see that it can be useful but if I am walking everyday and am totally committed to leaving the weights alone for at least 2-3 months and even then just do light weights more reps and no holding my breath and straining then shouldn't that be enough...oh yeah and paying attention to my HR and BP.
            • Diagnosed with HOCM 7/09
            • ICD implanted 8/3/09 - Mayo Clinic
            • Septal Myectomy at Mayo by Dr. Dearani on August 16th, 2012
            • I left a piece of my heart at Mayo Clinic and I am forever grateful
            • I currently take Metoprolol Tartrate 50 MG twice daily


            • #7
              Re: Three weeks post myectomy and excercise

              I didn't do Cardiac reHab. I know I walked 1,2,3 times a day for the first month (that and slept & watch oprah or Soprano's on DVD). Increasing my distance and time each time. When I was able to drive (I think it was 4-5 weeks) I went back to gym and use the bikes there. I started with a low time and slowly increased it. Within two weeks I was walking outdoors for 2-3 miles and biking on a real bike for the same and the gym's bike for anywhere from 12-25 miles. My doc's said this was fine as it was similar to what I was doing pre-surgery. At 6 weeks I began lower leg machines (light wieghts) and didn't use upper body machine/weights until 8 weeks.

              Everyone is different and it sounds like your more aware of your limits and abilities than your Rehab folks! Linda's advice to have the doctor's restrictions faxed/emailed to your rehab staff is the most prudent way to go.
              Diagnosed @ 48
              Saw Dr. Michael Debakey @ age 5 - "He's fine, just a little noisy"
              Father to 3 boys 22, 25, 29 (all currently clear - pending genetics)
              AICD - Valentines Day '08, Spark Plug replaced 11/14
              After much research, I had a Myectomy @ Mayo for my 50th Birthday '08
              Quietly going insane . . .


              • #8
                Re: Three weeks post myectomy and excercise

                Another thought for you - share this website with your rehab staff - you will be doing future participants with the same diagnosis a great favor.

                Will be watching for updates.

                Best wishes - Linda


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