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  1. #1
    Member hjbiker43's Avatar
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    Mitral valve prolapse

    About 10 years ago (presently age 61), I was diagnosed with Mitral Valve Prolapse, a heart condition where one of the valves in the heart does not close completely allowing a backflow (regurgitation) of blood which can cause the heart to enlarge. Although I do not have any symtoms (shortness of breath, chest pains, etc.), I do have moderate to severe regurgitation. Therefore, I will have surgery to repair the valve this August. I'm still riding, but not at the level I used to (centuries, club rides, cross country mt biking) as the doctors have told me not to push it. Have any of you had this condition and the surgery? How long of a recovery period can I expect and when can I get back on the bike (I know I'll have to ride a trainer until the sternum heals sufficiently). I would like to do the Solvang Century next year.

  2. #2
    Senior Member pmseattle's Avatar
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    I found out that I have this also, at my last CDL physical. I am 51 years old. The condition was discovered during an EKG followed by ultrasound. The doctors tell me the severity is "moderate" and advised me to refrain from strenuous physical activity. They informed me that this condition is usually caused by rheumatic fever ( which I never had in my life ) during childhood, or that a few people are born with it.
    Oddly enough, I have been an avid cylist, hiker, and climber ever since I was a kid. I have never felt short of breath, had chest pains, or any other indications of trouble. In violation of the doctor's recommendation, I still ride daily, and I plan to climb as much as I have always done this summer.

  3. #3
    Senior Member edp773's Avatar
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    I had a bypass surgery and it does take the sternum some time to heal. You will most likely be on an air-dyne and a monarch bike in rehab. Good luck and a speedy recovery.
    Last edited by edp773; 05-27-05 at 08:27 AM.

  4. #4
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hjbiker43
    About 10 years ago (presently age 61), I was diagnosed with Mitral Valve Prolapse, a heart condition where one of the valves in the heart does not close completely allowing a backflow (regurgitation) of blood which can cause the heart to enlarge. Although I do not have any symtoms (shortness of breath, chest pains, etc.), I do have moderate to severe regurgitation. Therefore, I will have surgery to repair the valve this August. I'm still riding, but not at the level I used to (centuries, club rides, cross country mt biking) as the doctors have told me not to push it. Have any of you had this condition and the surgery? How long of a recovery period can I expect and when can I get back on the bike (I know I'll have to ride a trainer until the sternum heals sufficiently). I would like to do the Solvang Century next year.
    Cannot tell you about your particular problem, but I presume your surgeon will be able to tell you as to whether a complete cure has been made, and as to whether there are any limitations as to your future physical exercise to be made.
    I had a bypass in 99,and got back into cycling ASAP. The surgeon had no experience of a Fitness Fanatic wanting to get back riding so we had to suck it and see. Back on the bike up and down the road after 3 weeks. that hurt. Modified the bike to give me a more upright stance and went for a gentle 5 miler a week later. 6 weeks did a 30 miler with my mates but had a problem in HR not getting over 130 due to beta blockers. 9 weeks did a 40 miler and surprised myself. got HR up to 165 standing next to the ambulance on this organised ride, but it came down. No Heart problems on the ride but the body did suffer after 5 months of virtually no exercise.
    I know this is not the accepted way to do it now, as the Sternum is still fragile for about 3 months from the operation. Me and the Surgeon know that now, but We got away with it.
    Incidentally Had the Op in August 99 Started really training around december, and although took it steady, was back 30 mile offroading with some of my old speed by this time. March 2000 did my first metric century on the road, In June did 100miler on the road, In September 2000 did my best 100mile time ever. Its been downhill ever since(Or at least I wish it was), but within a year, all you will have to remember the Problems you currently have, Are the scars.

  5. #5
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    My father in law had mitral valve replaced at 84yrs(!!) of age. He was vertical in about 5d and on a mild exercise program in 10d. during the first 2mo the docs were very strident about him not doing anything that could result in trauma to the sternum.....stationary bike only. After that it was pretty much do what you feel. He had quite a few years on you, but it seemed like he got at it pretty quickly nontheless. Boy...I saw him just before the surgery and was with him in ICU right after...he looked a lot better! His skin was pink and human again. He kept saying that the sternum didn't hurt all that bad. You have my best wishes! I bet that you will be able to rip my legs off on the next Solvang.

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