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dennisprater (@dennisprater)

Heart transplant recovery: What to expect?

Transplants | Last Active: Feb 9, 2020 | Replies (22)

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Hi Dennis. I am entering my third year post TX on January 7. I definitely felt muscle loss in my body and also felt stronger- I know it sounds like a contradiction but I think recovery is so individual. Part of the need for my transplant was the fact that my heart was getting only 30% of the needed oxygen to my muscle masses. I was working out prior to the transplant, (my insurance allowed me to do this through cardiac rehab after I needed cardioversion), and I was on IV meds. I was in "good shape' after surgery and was out of my bed later in the day. I was walking around the ICU the next day. I felt great. But I could tell I lost muscle control in my 'behind'… and in my arms. So my first business was to try to recover this. I was 63 at the time of my surgery and I still feel unconditioned at times and have to 'start over'. At times, things don't seem to progress with exercise, but I persevere. Hope this helps!

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Replies to "Hi Dennis. I am entering my third year post TX on January 7. I definitely felt..."

@estrada53, I believe that you intended this reply to go to @dennisprater. I know that he will want to hear from you, so when I included his @name he will be sent an email notification that there is a message.

@estrada53, I want to add my Happy Transplant Anniversary greeting to you. I am happy to read how well you are doing since your heart transplant 3 years ago. Do you have any special plans to celebrate or to honor this special occasion?

@estrada53 Recovery is individual but I think you would have to be bionic to not lose some muscle during recovery. I worked out a lot, almost right up to transplant — I had to stop 3 or 4 weeks before it. Then of course after transplant, I had to wait to heal and recover. By the time I was finally able to return to the gym and to the pool, I could really feel a huge difference.
I was told by a hospitalist at one point, that for each day you are in the hospital it takes about 4 days to recover! I presume that is true for recovery time also.

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