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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

Slow heart rate

Hello,

I had my ASD fixed with Amplatzer device one year ago when I turned 45 years old. I am feeling better, more energy, I can exercise, and I am lucky I did not get a stroke or atrial fibrillation beforehand. I have noticed since my ASD closure, I have sinus bradycardia: my heart rate at rest is 40 … it can dip down to 35 if I am really relaxed. I did get a stress test and my heart rate goes up with exercise. By the way, I am not an athlete and my heart rate is not low because I work out a lot!!! I am not a couch potato, and I do go for long brisk walks but usually that is the extent of my exercise. I do not have any chest pain or shortness of pain symptoms when my heart rate is low, but I do get dizzy and feel off balance when I am tired. My cardiologist said that as long as I do not have symptoms, I do not need any treatment for the sinus bradycardia … the only treatment would be a pacemaker anyway. I do worry as I get older that my heart rate will slow down even more as many people’s heart rate drops as they age.

Is there anyone experiencing sinus bradycardia after Amplatzer device? How long have you been living with it? Any changes over time? Does it get better/worse? Did you need a pacemaker in the long run?

My heart rate (HR) has always been on the low side; but after the ASD closure, also using the Amplatzer, HR has been up & down but nothing that alarms me. I was taking Metoporol & my HR was consistently low, sometimes I felt it too low & would have to start moving around & then felt better. My Doc has stopped the Metoporol & my heart rate although up & down as mentioned is more in my normal range & I feel a lot better. I also had been using Plavix post-op but stopped at 6mos post op. Was fine at first, but after continued use caused chest pressure, chest pains, & overall feeling of something being very wrong. At 6mos Stopped the Plavix, and started daily 81mg aspirin, am feeling great after getting that stuff out of my system…it was necessary to prevent clots but after that risk was over, was time to canx the Plavix.

Thanks JJ,

Are you on low dose ASA for life?

I’m also taking low dose ASA beyond the first 6 months.

I know you posted a while ago, but I’m 36 & in shape, I had a 23mm ASD closure 10 months ago with the amplatzer. Prior to surgery my heart rate was ALWAYS 72. Since the surgery is has been in the 50’s/Sinus Brady. I often worry about the low heart rate dropping as well. Although I also have POTS due to the surgery so I can get my heart rate to go up with small amounts of exertion, however I track my heart rate all the time and when I sleep it is 48-54, and 54-62 when sitting at my desk. I just attributed it to my heart learning that it does not need to work as hard as it always has and relaxing a bit. I tried a high sodium diet for all of my post surgical symtoms as recommended by my cardiologist and I did not have any change. Sorry I don’t have any answers but you are not alone with the bradycardia, I too worry about a pacemaker in the future as well as A-fib.