Firstly, I want to express how much finding this group has helped me to not feel alone and to remind me to stay positive.

I had a PM implanted 2 weeks ago (went into 3rd degree HB shortly after aortic valve replacement surgery). I got on the treadmill yesterday hoping that now that I have this great new valve compared to my old one that was severely stenotic (although I had very few symptoms with the original valve) and now that the PM is controlling my HR that I should be able to do so much more physically. However that wasn't the case. I still had SOB and had to stop a couple of times only walking on a very moderate speed.

Do you think this is due to the PM needing to be adjusted? I haven't been to my first appt yet with the device clinic.  Or is this my new normal?  Very frustrating since I thought once my valve was replaced I would be able to do so much more, and I was pretty physically active before the surgery.

Thank you for your help as always. 


SOB with exercise

by AgentX86 - 2020-12-19 14:40:22

If all you have is heart block, then your PM isn't regulating your heart rate.  You SI node would be (if you have only HB) still in charge and your heart rate would fluctuate based on oxygen demand (really excess CO2) of your body.

Could you do this level of exercise before your surgery?  You may just be out of shape and need to go slow until you can ge your conditioning back up to where you want it.

Makes sense

by Srd32 - 2020-12-19 15:41:15

That makes sense thanks. And yes I only have heart block. I was able to exercise vigorously prior to the valve surgery in October. I'm probably out of shape! I'll keep at it and hopefully increase my endurance.

Variables with exercise

by Persephone - 2020-12-19 15:46:56

Hi srd32, as you know since you are an active person, many variables go into how we may respond to a work out, or an attempted work out. The first that comes to mind is that it's only been 2 weeks since your surgery, so be patient with your progress. Others include anxiety - you've been through a great deal recently, so anxiety about moving forward could be part of your experience yesterday; and dehydration -especially as your body is still healing.



by Tracey_E - 2020-12-19 15:51:35

As Agent said, with heart block your sinus node is controlling the pace, the pacer is playing follow the leader and making the ventricles beat when the atria does. 

This is not how it will always be. It's possible you got deconditioned, it's possible you are still recovering from surgery, it's also possible the settings need adjusted. There is absolutely no reason to think this is how it will always be. It's early days yet. 

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Today I explained everything to my doctor, he set my lower rate back to 80 and I felt an immediate improvement.