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<font color='#3BB9FF'>Two weeks ago I felt a bit out of breath after a dive and had trouble hauling my gear in the back of the van. As I was planning a dive trip to Puerto Galera in a couple of weeks I thought a visit to the doc. was in order for a few anti-biotics for what I thought was probably a chest infection. However, he whipped me back to the UK straight away (I was in Saudi) and I am now the none too chuffed possessor of a brand new heart vavlve (tissue, not mechanical) The consultant seemed to think there was no real reason why I shouldn't eventually dive again but as I feel like shit and am breathless after a three minute walk I'm not so convinced!  Has anyone else had this done? I'm 49, a non-smoker and up to this would have said I was in pretty good nick.
Don't be shy, share your experiences if you have any.
      Many thanks,
      Trevor
 

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Hi trev

Sorry to hear about your experience.  I am not a diving medicine doctor, so I can't coment about the being able to dive, but I can tell you that you have had a big op and it is going to take you some time to recover.  Build your exercise tolerance up gradually, and there is no reason on the basis of what you have said here that you shouldn't be back to normal within a couple of months.  Remember the sea bottom will still be there later this year/ next year!

One good thing though - as you have a tissue valve rather than a prosthetic valve you won't need to be on lifelong warfarin - AIUI that can be a problem with diving.

I would suggest that when your exercise tolerance has improved you see a diving medicine doctor for an OK from someone in the know with all the facts before them.

HTH

Good luck mate

Fee
 

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<font color='#3BB9FF'>Thanks Fee,
I delibrately went for the tissue valve rather than the mechanical one for that reason i.e. I didn't fancy a dose of rat poison for the rest of my life!  The consultant also said that with the mechanical valve I wouldn't be able to dive deeper than 15 metres which is no use to me.
As you  say all I can do is be patient and hope for the best.
   Cheers
      Trevor
 

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<font color='#000080'>Get well soon Trevor, must have been a real scare expecting a couple of pills and ending up with heart-surgery. On the bright side at least it was nipped in the bud.
    All the best,
                     Terry
 

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Cheers Terry,
  Yes it was a bit of a shock to say the least. I had a lot planned for the rest of the year too.  Ah well, with luck I'll be back in the water '04
 
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