Aortic dissection & aortic aneurysm information support group

Aortic dissection, aortic aneurysm - The aorta - Life after an aortic dissection

Hi All

After my first opp, repair of the descending arch & valve, it took a good 8/9 months to start to feel normal again.

This time around I had a Dacron implant from the rear of the left shoulder.The healing is going well after seven months, but it’s not back to normal yet. I still feel pain along the scar & general tissue / muscle ache, especially after exercise,  & wondered generally how long it’s taken you.

Are there any herbal remedies or exercises you have undertaken that have helped?

Thanks Harry

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Comment by Tim Manning on March 28, 2012 at 9:51

Hi Harry,

Glad to hear you're doing so well.  I've just passed the first anniversary of my dacron implant (which was done from the centre of my chest), and though most of the time I don't notice anything, this week I painted my bedroom, and some bits of my scar have itched like mad for a couple of days.  

I think there are probably all sorts of small adhesions etc. and nerve endings which will take a long time to find their new place in the world.  I had a similar experience with a knee operation after a snapped ligament some years ago, so it's not entirely unexpected.

To be honest, it's walking that's been the key to my recovery, and I was genuinely surprised at how much it has improved my lung function.  And time. If anyone asks me now how long it took to recover, I tell them a year, because 12 months have made the difference between "I'm alive and feel remarkably good considering" at about 9 months, and occasionally having to remind myself to take care and not do things I shouldn't, even though I feel I could.

Your scars are something you'll notice much more than others will. I just made myself go to the beach and sunbathe (plenty of high factor on the scar, mind), and walk round.  You suddenly realise that lots of people have scars (I live in Spain, and it's a nude beach), and a year on, mine is almost white now, even though bits of it are raised. No one has pointed at it and asked "what happened?" go swimming if you'd like to.

Comment by Harry on March 28, 2012 at 8:49

Thanks Cheryl

You always have kind words of strength & wisdom in your heart!

I am at that point where the frustration is kicking in. I was in the garden yesterday & out of breath for most of it! The neighbours were also out & had no problems coping, sad to say I realise those days of being able are gone……..

 I know the healing time will take longer & it’s slowed down, but I am within reach! But maybe I am looking for the tooth fairy that never arrives?

 I found this on the net, it’s an opinion from a Doctor on healing times & returning to work, but I realise we are all different.

I think the meds (beater blockers) are a main cause of my discomfort. They are there to stop me from doing too much, but how much is too much???  I think its time to go & see the Cardiologist again. The thing is my BP is normal now, so messing around with my meds isn’t something I am keen on – but I am frustrated as I have reached a plateau.

Your right Cher, maybe more exercise – Swimming…mmmmm. Not sure with all my scars its something I want to show off, anyway I need to convince myself. As for Pilates I will be out of breath within seconds, so will give that a miss.

I hope your review goes well & I will be thinking of you & I will keep you updated – time to go back to work now!



Comment by Cheryl Kerber on March 27, 2012 at 21:28

Hey Harry --- I don't have any suggestions - I'm winging it like you!  I meet with my surgeon next Wednesday as I look like I got a softball pushing through my incision on my left side.  Could be a hernia, but could just be weakened muscle with all the nerves that were cut.

I do remember after the first surgery that each year got a bit better - so that is what I'm holding on to in regards to the muscle/nerve pain post surgery (even though it's been 8 months for me).

Every time I research herbal remedies - I chicken out as I don't know how they would react with the meds I'm on.  There are some that sound so promissing, but then I read up on the reactions/risks - and then I just decide not to.

I think the pain from the exercise is probably because of the severed nerves from surgery - as long as it's not in your aorta area!!!!

I won't ever be a body builder, nor have a Victoria Secret model body(not that I had it before my surgeries - haha) but I still do some light weights to keep up whatever muscles I do have working in my arms and such.

One thought for you is - do you have access to a pool?  I know that people have had great results with pool workouts - like yoga and strength building - because it puts less strain on our muscles.

I also keep hearing that pilates is great for pain(like fibromyalgia and so forth) --- but I think I might check that out after a year --- still trying to get back to "my" normal first.

Love ya Harry --- I know that sounds weird --- but you are my parallel!

We will be "better" than our "old selves" --- in a few more months!!!!

Keep in touch, and if my surgeon gives me any new advice next Wednesday - I'll update you.  I know they are great at the surgeries --- just not sure they really know how to help us "heal" in all the other ways post surgery.

take care,



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