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Living With Congenital Heart Defects by Ben's Friends

ASD/Septal Defects - Aortic and Vessel Defects - Single Ventricle Defects - Tetrology of Fallot - Transposition of the Great Arteries - Valve Defects

Living With Congenital Heart Defects

Running and working out

I'm almost 4 weeks post ASD closure. I had the Gore Helex device placed through catheter. My doctor advised me not to do anything "strenuous" for a month. Is it truly long enough? I'm anxious to get back to running and working out but don't really feel my energy has returned. Just nervous I guess. How long after the procedure did any of you start working out and or running. How long did you workout and how far did you run?

Bryan

Mine was a pericardial patch via open heart surgery, so the times are probably not comparable at all. I STILL (almost 5 years later) have to be careful with the bone structure, even though I'm under NO medical restrictions.

The thing I would definitely advise is to be walking. Keep the blood flow up. Based on how I was feeling post OHS a month later, yeah, I would say you could start some stuff in a month. I mean, my chest had healed up really well in a month, so I'm quite sure the heart tissue will be containing the Helex in that time :)

Hi Bryan - How are you doing? I had my procedure last June (June 15th) via the Gore Helex Device as well. For the first 30 days I just went walking. After 30 days I started running again without any restrictions and I was fine. Didn't have any issues at all. I would even do high intensity work outs on the treadmill where I had the speed up to as high as 10.0 at a time. I know we're all different, but I think you'll be fine after 30 days. Just to be safe take an extra week to ease back in to it. Same things with weights. I was able to lift and get back to my routine after 30 days. But, I did lift lightly for the first week that I was back. I was just glad to be active again.

I hope that helped. If you have any other questions feel free to ask!

--Danny

I had an ASD closure via open heart surgery (patch) 10 yrs ago. I was a senior in high school and was captain of my indoor track team. I ran as soon as I got clearance from my doctor, which was 3 months later. I was always in some sort of pain tho, mostly my ribs, which take long to heal. I would just put an ice pack on my chest after I worked out and the pain would subside. I know your procedure was different, but I would say just take it easier and listen to your body when you do start running. Just don't over do it too soon. :) I know how it is to not work out for a while, we get anxious ;)

I had my ASD closed via robotic open heart surgery in May 2010 at the age of 34 years. I was back in the gym three weeks post surgery as soon as I got clearance from my surgeon. I eased into training and the final sign off came for going full tilt was at two months. Basically I was told to swim a few laps of the pool and then stand up and try to walk out of the pool (carefully out of the pool). This tests how well my could go from swimming (horizontal) to then go vertical. My body reacted fine and I was given full clearanc to do anything. Less than six months post surgery, I ran the NY City Marahton in 3hrs 36 mins. I was lucky I never felt any pain during and after training. My heart beat took a few weeks to get back to pre surgery levels. I always wore my polar heart rate monitor for the months and year plus post surgery.

My advice is listen to your body and ease into working out.

I hope this helped and please feel free to ask.

Congrats on your ASD closure!!!!

John

Hey Bryan,

I had mine closed via the amplatzer device on Dec 20th, 2011. I like running and being active too. At 1 month post closure I did not feel my energy was 100% either.

I started by walking at about 3 weeks and doing yoga at 4 weeks. After a month I was given the clear to run but I was hesitant too. At like 6 weeks I started doing Taebo. I ran for the first time this past Sunday! I felt great and like nothing had ever happened!

Listen to your body and ease into it. You will feel more comfortable doing more every time if you start slow :)

Hope this helps!

Let me know if you have questions!

Jessica

Thanks for the great input from all of you. I'll take your advice and ease into it. Tomorrow will be 4 weeks! Whoohooo! I've been feeling better every day and feel like i'm returning to normal. Amazing how a "simple" procedure can take a toll on your energy. I really haven't felt right in the past weeks. What have you all experienced as far as energy levels when you got back into exercising? Same, better or really noticeable change?

You all are great! Thank you.

Bryan

Danny

I'm doing better thanks. Energy is starting to return to normal. Did you have symptoms pre-closure? How large was the defect?

Bryan


Dannyn30 said:

Hi Bryan - How are you doing? I had my procedure last June (June 15th) via the Gore Helex Device as well. For the first 30 days I just went walking. After 30 days I started running again without any restrictions and I was fine. Didn't have any issues at all. I would even do high intensity work outs on the treadmill where I had the speed up to as high as 10.0 at a time. I know we're all different, but I think you'll be fine after 30 days. Just to be safe take an extra week to ease back in to it. Same things with weights. I was able to lift and get back to my routine after 30 days. But, I did lift lightly for the first week that I was back. I was just glad to be active again.

I hope that helped. If you have any other questions feel free to ask!

--Danny

Thanks John. Amazing that you did a marathon that soon and really had an admirable time. Thats really inspirational. Did you feel a dramatic difference in your stamina?

Bryan

John said:

I had my ASD closed via robotic open heart surgery in May 2010 at the age of 34 years. I was back in the gym three weeks post surgery as soon as I got clearance from my surgeon. I eased into training and the final sign off came for going full tilt was at two months. Basically I was told to swim a few laps of the pool and then stand up and try to walk out of the pool (carefully out of the pool). This tests how well my could go from swimming (horizontal) to then go vertical. My body reacted fine and I was given full clearanc to do anything. Less than six months post surgery, I ran the NY City Marahton in 3hrs 36 mins. I was lucky I never felt any pain during and after training. My heart beat took a few weeks to get back to pre surgery levels. I always wore my polar heart rate monitor for the months and year plus post surgery.

My advice is listen to your body and ease into working out.

I hope this helped and please feel free to ask.

Congrats on your ASD closure!!!!

John

Hi Jessi

Good to hear. I think I will ease into it. I've been walking and that feels good. Did you feel more energy on the run?

I think a person's mind goes into overdrive and you start thinking irrational thoughts about the device not seating right or damaging it by over doing it. Still a little surreal that its possible to perform a procedure like this.

I look up to the patients that have had the open procedure. Its amazing some of the stories and how relatively quickly they recovered though. We are all fortunate and I'm very thankful.

Bryan
Jessi said:

Hey Bryan,

I had mine closed via the amplatzer device on Dec 20th, 2011. I like running and being active too. At 1 month post closure I did not feel my energy was 100% either.

I started by walking at about 3 weeks and doing yoga at 4 weeks. After a month I was given the clear to run but I was hesitant too. At like 6 weeks I started doing Taebo. I ran for the first time this past Sunday! I felt great and like nothing had ever happened!

Listen to your body and ease into it. You will feel more comfortable doing more every time if you start slow :)

Hope this helps!

Let me know if you have questions!

Jessica

Hey Bryan,

As I think you know, my ASD was randomly/luckily found in Dec 2009. I was asymptomatic. I was fit going into surgery and came out with the same fitness level. Basically my surgeon and I talked about it before. The debate being whether to wait or get on with it. He left the decision in my shoes and for me, I just wanted to know it was done and dusted and that I could get on with the rest of my life (at the age of 34). For the 12 months post surgery, I had a great awareness for my heart rate - resting, peak etc but now I don't think about it at all. I even wore my heart monitor in the steam and sauna room at my gym.

To answer your question, I was always fit and I am as fit as I was pre surgery and my heart and body feel strong as ever.

Listen to your body.

Please feel free to ask me anything.

Bryan said:

Thanks John. Amazing that you did a marathon that soon and really had an admirable time. Thats really inspirational. Did you feel a dramatic difference in your stamina?

Bryan

John said:

I had my ASD closed via robotic open heart surgery in May 2010 at the age of 34 years. I was back in the gym three weeks post surgery as soon as I got clearance from my surgeon. I eased into training and the final sign off came for going full tilt was at two months. Basically I was told to swim a few laps of the pool and then stand up and try to walk out of the pool (carefully out of the pool). This tests how well my could go from swimming (horizontal) to then go vertical. My body reacted fine and I was given full clearanc to do anything. Less than six months post surgery, I ran the NY City Marahton in 3hrs 36 mins. I was lucky I never felt any pain during and after training. My heart beat took a few weeks to get back to pre surgery levels. I always wore my polar heart rate monitor for the months and year plus post surgery.

My advice is listen to your body and ease into working out.

I hope this helped and please feel free to ask.

Congrats on your ASD closure!!!!

John

Bryan - I had gone to the DR over the last 3-4 years b/c I was having frequent tension-type headaches and last May I went to see my DR again for these issues and asked if he can have my heart checked. He ordered the echocardiogram and that’s when it was discovered.

My defect was 1cm x 1.5cm.

How large was yours?

–Danny

Danny

I work in the Radiology Department and my buddy who is an ultrasound tech pulled me in because they were demoing some new equipment. I wasn't having symptoms. So turns out it was 1.8cm.

Bryan


Dannyn30 said:

Bryan - I had gone to the DR over the last 3-4 years b/c I was having frequent tension-type headaches and last May I went to see my DR again for these issues and asked if he can have my heart checked. He ordered the echocardiogram and that's when it was discovered.

My defect was 1cm x 1.5cm.

How large was yours?

--Danny

Hi Bryan!

I did feel great on the run, just like before, but I thought that since it had been a couple of months w/out running, I shouldn't push it. So I did a relatively short one and I plan on doing more short ones and increase the miles gradually. My ultimate goal is to do an Insanity workout :)

Hope you're feeling great :D

Jessica

Bryan said:

Hi Jessi

Good to hear. I think I will ease into it. I've been walking and that feels good. Did you feel more energy on the run?

I think a person's mind goes into overdrive and you start thinking irrational thoughts about the device not seating right or damaging it by over doing it. Still a little surreal that its possible to perform a procedure like this.

I look up to the patients that have had the open procedure. Its amazing some of the stories and how relatively quickly they recovered though. We are all fortunate and I'm very thankful.

Bryan
Jessi said:

Hey Bryan,

I had mine closed via the amplatzer device on Dec 20th, 2011. I like running and being active too. At 1 month post closure I did not feel my energy was 100% either.

I started by walking at about 3 weeks and doing yoga at 4 weeks. After a month I was given the clear to run but I was hesitant too. At like 6 weeks I started doing Taebo. I ran for the first time this past Sunday! I felt great and like nothing had ever happened!

Listen to your body and ease into it. You will feel more comfortable doing more every time if you start slow :)

Hope this helps!

Let me know if you have questions!

Jessica

Very cool discussion… I’m climbing the walls trying to rest up… This month is gonna just crawl by! I’m also very nervous about being as active as I used to be. I played soccer, did zumba a few times a week, ran in the mornings, lifted weights in the afternoon. I want to go back to feeling normal but I’m scared the little device might move and damage my heart… :frowning: Sheesh… This is what happens when I have nothing to do but sit around. :slight_smile: I’m glad to see you guys back in form… Makes me a little less nervous…

You'll get ther Magda. Do give your body time to heal up and start slowly. Gradually increase the intensity. Your body will tell you :):)

Magda,

I'm still a little nervous and its been 2 months from my procedure. Just glad this group exists and we can talk about these things. Went for a longer run yesterday. I'm still slowly getting back into it. I think the consensuses from the group is listen to your body. No need to rush it if its going to cause you anxiety. A little surreal isn't it? Hang in there.

Bryan

Magda said:

Very cool discussion... I'm climbing the walls trying to rest up... This month is gonna just crawl by! I'm also very nervous about being as active as I used to be. I played soccer, did zumba a few times a week, ran in the mornings, lifted weights in the afternoon. I want to go back to feeling normal but I'm scared the little device might move and damage my heart... :( Sheesh... This is what happens when I have nothing to do but sit around. :) I'm glad to see you guys back in form... Makes me a little less nervous..

Jessi, Bryan, thanks for the words of encouragement. :slight_smile: I’m sneaking in a little more walking and will be driving for the first time today. It’s the sitting around that drives me nuts! I’m even anxious when I start coughing … :frowning: I can’t wait till next week when I’m allowed to go for longer walks. I’m used to pushing my body but now I’m going to let it heal up and let me know when I can do more. Just want to go back to being me, y’know? :frowning:

I know right! Its tuff to sit around. Just to let you know a little about my experience the in the 2 weeks following: Had heart palpitations, four migraines, blood pressure dropped really low, heart rate down into the upper 50s low 60s. Body was all out of wack. Didn't expect it even though I was told these symptoms were likely. When its you and your body, your heart, totally different. I was freaking out too. My heart would just feel like it was racing, sometimes quivering. Doesn't like the foreign body in there but will get use to it. I'd feel these sensations like my heart was racing but take my pulse and it would be 60 beats a minute. Was anxious about it and found other people (this group) with the same experiences. That relieved my anxiety. I was even questioning whether I should have had the procedure. It will get better! I feel great now and so will you! If you have any questions don't hesitate to ask.

Bryan

Magda said:

Jessi, Bryan, thanks for the words of encouragement. :) I'm sneaking in a little more walking and will be driving for the first time today. It's the sitting around that drives me nuts! I'm even anxious when I start coughing .. :( I can't wait till next week when I'm allowed to go for longer walks. I'm used to pushing my body but now I'm going to let it heal up and let me know when I can do more. Just want to go back to being me, y'know? :(

Bryan, thanks so much for your response! Thankfully, I haven’t really had issues with palpitations (a couple here and there, bit nothing major) although I won’t freak as much if I do get them. The left side of my head has felt a little heavy… Kind of tingly and headachy but nothing too bad, and my left arm has felt a little weak and numb, but again, nothing too bad and I can lift it without a problem. Anyone felt this? I considered going go the ER or Urgent Care, thinking it could be a mini stroke but I’ve been reading it could also be due to anxiety. I also start feeling myself getting a little depressed and I’m usually such a happy person! Before this all happened, I was extremely healthy and rarely went to the doctor so I’m feeling very silly with these symptoms. Anyway, thanks again for your encouragement and for sharing your experience!! Definitely helps! :slight_smile: