Breathing issues after ASD closure

Hi, I am back and feel like a broken record. I feel breathless, run out of breath while talking. Did new tests and doctors say all reports are clear and that it is probably because i am overweight.

Don’t know what to do.


I have had the same problems since the closure was found. I get out of breath from minor things like going up stairs, carrying things and even talking. It is certainly not from being overweight as I am 5’11 and only 142 pounds.

All my tests come back clear as well. It’s just something I have learned to live with.

How long are you all since closure? I had open heart surgery 7 months ago, I’ve tried some exercise on the treadmill which I seem to cope with better now but I still get breathless doing everyday tasks and wondered if this is normal? I’m back working 4 full days but I still get extremely tired and it doesn’t leave me any real energy for exercise as yet

So thoughtful of you. Pulmonary hypertension is ruled out due to test results. This is why I feel as though I am going round in circles. I am really just living with my condition now. I never thought I would be in such a situation where my symptoms are there just for me to experience . I was visiting friends and they noticed I get breathless but were of the opinion that I am out of shape and need to exercise. God bless them and you guys. :blush:

Hello All! I am 2 weeks post ASD closure. I am right there with you on the breathlessness!!
I didn’t have any symptoms prior to my closure, they said that after the surgery I would be the same or better. However I was much worse. I couldn’t even walk 20 feet without being completely out of breath with bad chest pain. I returned to the hospital and ended up there for 4 days, they did every test they could think of and “everything was fine” Since giving it a little time (the 2 weeks), I’m doing better, still not great. I can’t even go grocery shopping because I get so out of breath and my chest pain gets so bad then takes hours for my chest pain to go down. I also notice that duringall of this my heart rate easily goes up from 80 to 120 just by walking 10 feet which is crazy. I’ve had to take leave from work and can barely care for my baby. I’m grateful for the surgery, they saif I would not have lived more than 10 more years and I’m only 35, but I also feel like at this point I’m barely living my life.
I’m wondering what the size was of your guys’s ASD’s???

Also I’m 5’6" female and 120 pounds, very in shape so I don’t think that weight or physical health have anything to do with the shortness of breath that any of us are experiencing.

Hi MJM, Thanks for sharing and I am grateful for it as I feel less alone but sorry that you have such symptoms too. I did not quite follow are you saying you are in shape and still have symptoms? If yes, then from what I understand of you and Andrew my breathlessness is being casually ascribed to me being overweight by my cardiologist. I really hope not as I really trust my doctor and now dont want to go hunting for another one. I had a 28mm size or something I dont remember now and try not to think of it. But they said it was quite big and I lived with it for 46 years! lol

My ASD was 23mm. I wonder if the recovery is harder for people like us with very large holes, since small is 4mm & large is 8-10, I think that our cases are quite severe. I was actually able to speak with my surgeon today about all of this. Have you had a repeat echo? My initial echo showed right atrial and right ventricular dilation with a tricuspid valve regurgitation, they said after my surgery that eventualy some of that might return somewhat to almost normal. I had a repeat echo a week after the surgery and it showed that the tricuspid valve regurgitation was gone and the atrial and ventricular dilation is now minimal. My surgeon suggested that he think I may be out of breath, tachycardic and dizzy becasue of vagus nerve stimulation due to my heart returning to normal so fast. Do you get dizzy when you stand up or anything? He also said that it may be similar to POTS caused by that nerve. He also said that it is the same thing as when astronauts return from space, the right side of their heart is stretched out and they return short of breath with chest pain, he said that it typically takes an astronaut 3 months of working out to return to normal. Have you been workng out, I have been doing walks, I started out with 20 feet since that is all I could do and I am now up to making it around the block, I feel like the working out has been helping, even if I have bad chest pain I keep going. I hope some of this helps you, I know what its like to feel helpless and scared that you will be like this the rest of your life, thats where I was the last 2 weeks but the conversation with my surgeon gave me hope.

In terms of working out, I was wondering if you’ve ever been through cardiac physical therapy? According to my great Aunt the heart PT is very different from taking walks (and probably doing things on your own). She also found it very helpful emotionally to go to cardiac PT and be with people with all kinds of heart issues.


I did not know about cardiac pt. will find out.