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Topic Title: Aortic Dissection- Does Anyone Out There Surf After??
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Created On: 03/22/2021 02:16 PM
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 03/22/2021 02:16 PM
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coolchange

Posts: 105
Joined Forum: 08/28/2011

Hey Guys- so.... a very dear friend, just rounding the 60 year mark, was struck down about two months ago with a major heart situation. He had what they called "Aortic Dissection" which led to an internal rupture, but luckily not the full rupture. He went through an emergency 10 hours of open heart surgery to replace the aorta with man made material, survived the episode, and is now in route to recovery. What he went through, only 20% of the folks encountering it live - amazing. So now the question is.....what in the heck can he expect to do in the time he is now given. He is mending and working hard at recovery, as he was in top shape prior to this. Do any of you have any experience with this? Has anyone come back to surf , if even casually on some small waves??? Love to hear what your thoughts are as this board always has some thoughtful folks- and some of you have maybe even been trough it- thanks for sharing what your thoughts are- love to hear it!! Take Advantage of every Day- Cheers to you all!
 03/22/2021 03:03 PM
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Central Floridave

Posts: 49448
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Air360 had a heart transplant and is still surfing. Anything is possible.
 03/22/2021 03:50 PM
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CurtisEflush

Posts: 266
Joined Forum: 09/28/2012

There's an ER doc who pops in here every now and then, and it sure ain't me! Maybe he'll chime in.

But it's definitely a topic for your friend to discuss with his doctor, and more doctors if he can find good ones willing to consult.

NOTE: Don't believe anything you read online, including this!


Anyway, some interesting hits came up when I googled "aortic dissection athlete recovery forums"

There are a few people out there talking about it from a first-hand perspective.

One hit that caught my eye was:
Aortic Dissection in a Healthy Male Athlete

Some snippets, in short:

A young otherwise healthy 27-year-old male who has been using anabolic steroids for a long time developed Type I aortic dissection associated with heavy weightlifting.


Our patient has been using anabolic steroids chronically that might be a contributing factor to aortic dissection but there is no clear association found between use of anabolic steroids and aortic root dilatation and dissection in the literature. More importantly he was likely having underlying mild aortic enlargement that concomitant with hemodynamic changes of heavy weightlifting raised aortic wall stress to a level that begets aortic dissection.



For this article, the key outcomes (after "he is still alive") are:

He was strongly encouraged to avoid weightlifting and all anabolic steroid use.


He has been able to return to aerobic exercise without recurrence of symptoms and is seen regularly in the outpatient cardiology clinic.


The article breaks stuff down by Type I / II / III aortic dissections, so one big caveat here is that none of this may be applicable to your friend's case, depending on Type.

One doc I've followed has an online blog occasionally responds. He's a cardiac electrophysiologist who is also a competitive bicyclist that has Afib. He wrote a book for non-medical readers about the effects on hardcore exercise on the heart. Some of it discusses internal pressures and stresses under different conditions. https://www.drjohnm.org/

It sounds like heavy weightlifting would be in the very problematic category. I imagine surfing big waves in cold water would be as well. Longboarding on a sunny, low-stress, 2-foot day might be a different case, but keep in mind that any adverse event requiring water rescue adds a long delay before treatment can begin.

Sorry about the non-specific rambling. I've done OK with surfing and exercise despite my heart issues, although they're nowhere as serious as your friend's.

Best wishes to your friend for future health, enjoyable exercise, and open communication with a good, caring cardiologist.

-----

Edit: Another site with some interesting info and links:
https://athletewithstent.com/a...c-dissection-exercise/


Edited: 03/22/2021 at 03:57 PM by CurtisEflush
 03/22/2021 04:43 PM
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Zeus

Posts: 1378
Joined Forum: 07/25/2003

I had the same thing happen to me about 15 years ago and received a synthetic graft and valve repair. Got a helicopter ride out of it and everything. Was only in the hospital 3 days and had to live with what I thought would be a terminal brain freeze from the surgery for a week after that. But 6 weeks after the op I was back to normal and in the Mentawai Islands on a two week boat trip. I was still a bit off my game, but still had fun and was really glad to just be alive. In hind sight I've had other injuries that were much bigger setbacks. Best of luck to your friend
 03/23/2021 08:31 AM
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coolchange

Posts: 105
Joined Forum: 08/28/2011

Guys- as always great feed back on this board- I THANK YOU for all your solid insights!! I will share this with our boy- as I do think it's really an individual situation- case by case- so thanks again!!!
 03/23/2021 11:02 AM
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Quadro

Posts: 121
Joined Forum: 11/14/2017

Go surf. The graft is stronger than what he had prior. Of course ask your doctor but I'd keep surfing. Just try not to do anything that make your neck veins bulge. Maybe avoid Mavericks and Jaws as well.
 03/23/2021 12:28 PM
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IamSAW2

Posts: 122
Joined Forum: 01/10/2014

Originally posted by: Quadro Just try not to do anything that make your neck veins bulge. Maybe avoid Mavericks and Jaws as well.
and teenagers......
 03/23/2021 05:21 PM
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Kimo63

Posts: 481
Joined Forum: 04/22/2012

This guy had the full on emergent surgery , It's not the same as getting a stent put in. He is lucky to survived , first thing he needs to do is get out of the post op healing process . Then he needs to be evaluated for other artery problems ,such as his Kidneys , Carotid and brain . If that looks ok , then he can start on core strengthening . Then it will be up to him .
 03/24/2021 01:41 AM
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Greensleeves

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Good luck to him

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 03/24/2021 09:20 AM
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Sharktower

Posts: 2042
Joined Forum: 03/19/2004

I haven't checked this forum in a while and just saw this. I don't know if I'm the ER doctor referred to above, but I'm happy to add some input from a doctor's perspective. First, sorry your friend went through that. Aortic dissection is usually a killer and the fact that your friend is even debating surfing is a blessing. Second, not all aortic dissections are the same. They come in two main flavors--ascending and descending. Ascending, or dissections from where the aorta meets your heart going up to the top of the aorta, almost always require surgery and are typically worse. This sounds like your friend's case. Descending dissections are usually managed medically--BP control and sometimes with procedures where they will go in through an artery in your groin and snake into the aorta and place an endovascular graft. Third and most importantly, the vascular surgeon should have the last word on all of this. Heart rate and blood pressure and big factors in managing a dissection. Your vascular surgeon will be the authority on what type of procedure was done and what it can withstand. HR and BP will both jump up when surfing. Hope this helps. Your buddy has some healing to do. No rush for now. Just get better, optimize your health, and then tackle issues like surfing. Fortunately, the ocean ain't going nowhere. edit: Not sure why I can't make paragraph breaks. Sorry.

-------------------------

we are they, they are us -- Thich Nhat Hanh



Edited: 03/24/2021 at 09:23 AM by Sharktower
 03/24/2021 04:45 PM
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coolchange

Posts: 105
Joined Forum: 08/28/2011

To Sharktower, Kimo, Greensleeves and all of you- thanks so much for all your feedback. Yes, he had an ascending aorta dissection , which was fixed with man made material. Step two comes in early April when they scan the descending aorta- and make the decision to go in with stints or not and how they should handle . That is the next big step- so we will see what that brings. If we can get him through that- it's go time for the beginning of a long and concentrated come back physically. All of your experiences and insights help a ton as he has been reading all your in puts- so THANK YOU for all that you have shared. This is a tricky situation and having knowledge is a big piece to gripping where you are at- so THANK YOU- Good Karma to you all!
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