Can I excersize?

I had my ASD closure via open heart 8 weeks ago tomorrow.
Unfortunately my appointment to have a check up with my surgeon has been postponed till the end of Jan (the nhs for you!) and I’m itching to get excersizing again (especially as its Christmas - those mince pies aren’t going to do my weight any good!)
I used to circuit train (cardio and stength) and I’m a healthy 9st 6, do you think its ok to go back to the circuit training?


Congrats on your successful closure and sounds like you are doing very well. In my case, I had robotic open heart surgery and used my phyio therapist for post surgery rehab. Basically was walking all over the place (sitting down when I felt tired and resting whenever I needed it). after about two weeks. Under the care of physio, I was back in the gym after less than a month. I used a heart monitor religiously for the six plus months post closure when I was in the gym. I listened to my physio and my body.

The final test was at 2 months when he made me swim a few laps and then stand up and walk out of the pull via the stairs in the shallow end. This was to see how my body reacted to being worked and going from horizontal to vertical. My body and heart did fine. My surgeon gave me the all clear to do anything after 5 1/2 months and I ran a marathon less than six months post closure.

I am not sure about circuit training. It seems like a push for your body. I would definitely ask a professional.

if im truly honest i would wait until you have seen the cardiologist as you should realistically be given the clear to exercise not because there is anything wrong with your heart but because it takes 12 weeks for your sternum to truly heal and anything too strenuous can effect it and set you back.

Can you find out if you have cardiac rehab in your area? i had cardiac rehab which i started 8 weeks post op and your monitored very very closely and this is the best way to start exercising for
1. everythings still healing you will get niggles pains tugging etc...
2. your heart shouldnt be worked too hard after surgery as your heart as with your other parts need time to recover as its been threw a lot
3. should anything happen you have support around you very unlikely but you cant take the risk.

Im 21 and i am 9 months this week post op for my asd closure and vein redirection and its only the last 5 months ive been exercising fully 4 times a week in the gym at full training mode and i still feel it if i do anything too much. And when i first started in the gym i was doing once a week and built up and now do four times a week for the last 3 months its really about building up and starting off doing little steps.

Dont underestimate what you have been through at 8 weeks post op i tried to go back to work thinking i was amazing but in actual fact it was very early days. You need to take it easy for a year i think and from talking to a friend who also had ohs 3 years ago she still feels it now. If i were to answer your question with a simple answer it would be definetly no exercising like circuits etc... and i really really suggest joining a cardiac rehab group. The weight you will gain from eating a few mince pies will drop off when u start exercising again as i lost loads when i started exercising, i really would not worry about a few pounds over christmas and more about your health and what you have been threw.

Im afraid to say 8 weeks is nothing at 8 months you will look back and thank god you didnt do exercise as you will realise at 8 weeks it was still very raw.

look after yourself enjoy christmas but please dont overdo it. Definetly go for nice long walks that helps really well.


Well said Izzi and great advice.

My surgery was a little different in that it was still open heart (stop the heart, use the heart and lung machine, cut the heart open etc) but they went through the slits in my ribs as opposed to breaking my sternum (regular way open heart surgery - like you had).

I know I would have followed a different plan had I had the normal open heart surgery.

its so difficult at 8 weeks post op i just cant stress enough how much the body goes threw being in the same position during the op and then how you hold yourself after the surgery that doctors dont warn about or even go into and then you have to think about how much your heart needs to be recover as well as you do as its been touched and exposed to air and these arent normal for your insides so it needs to re adjust to everything.

Im very lucky that three quarters of my family are medical..drs physios and surgeons and so i had constant advice etc and i now talk to people after surgery as without the advice i had i dont think id have had a clue. There are studies out there ive looked at about the stages you go through post open heart surgery and a lot of the studies talk about the stage of 'denial' at 8-10 weeks post op where pain has gone you feel much better and you start to get bored and feel like miracle man and it will only take that wrong turn to set you back and i cant express enough how little time 8 weeks post op is.

No exercise! go for a walk eat your mince pies enjoy your time sitting on your backside it will be gone before you know it :)