Coasters and Open Heart Surgery

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Coasters and Open Heart Surgery

Postby JNoonez » Mon May 05, 2008 6:29 am

Hi everyone,

I'm on the mend from an April 17th open heart surgery to repair an aneurysm in my aorta and to replace a faulty heart valve. It's been a crazy few weeks, but things are slowly returning to normal (other than the massive coaster trip in June I had to cancel!).

Anyway... I asked my surgeon if I'd ever be able to ride coasters again, and he wasn't able to give me a definitive answer. Was wondering if anyone had been through a similar procedure that would be willing to share their experiences.

Thanks,
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Postby ginzo » Mon May 05, 2008 7:12 am

Wow, you've had a rough couple of weeks. Glad you're on the mend. A few things:

1) Problems with the aorta are among the most serious medical problems that people can have. If it does rupture, the prognosis is not good.
2) Follow your cardiologist's orders to the letter. With the issue of roller coasters, he may just not know and would prefer to err on the side of caution. There is almost *zero* medical research on how coasters affect the human body. I think there have been like 2 studies in the last 20 years or something, according to an article I read in JAMA not too long ago.

http://www.or-live.com/HealthEast/1449/ ... ebcast.cfm?

At about 45:30 someone asks if brain aneurysm patients should avoid roller coasters. But they're talking about brain aneurysms, NOT aortic aneurysms. The aorta is under a lot more pressure than any other blood vessel, so the rules might be different.

If I were you, I'd just err on the side of caution and avoid coasters for the time being.
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Postby FeelTheFORCE » Mon May 05, 2008 7:53 am

My dad had a bypass last summer and him and I have been wondering the same thing. He is just going to take it slow for now. I am going to GADV in the first week of June and I doubt he'll be riding Kingda Ka, El Toro, Nitro, Batman, etc. He'll probably only ride the smaller ones like Rolling Thunder, Dark Knight, etc.

Anyone here know if people who have had a heart attack in the past and a single bypass surgery should ride coasters or not? As I'd like to know the same for my dad as well. The thing is, though, he plays tons of sports and is doing just great, so it's not his heartbeat we are worried about because hid pulse and BPM are way higher when he plays racquetball than they will be at the top of a lift hill, rather more the effects the G-Forces will have on his already damaged heart.
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Postby AllenA07 » Mon May 05, 2008 8:52 am

Glad to hear that you're ok, as far as your question I really don't know what to tell you. If it were me however I'd be sure to check, and double check with a Dr before doing anything. All I'm reminded of here however is those warning signs that so many people ignore in front of the rides.
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Postby orangeblue » Mon May 05, 2008 9:24 am

I'd say don't risk it without getting accurate medical information from a doctor that knows about your specific case. Even if people on this forum have gone through certain similiar procedures and were told whether they can or cannot ride roller coasters, they have no way of knowing whether it is the same for your situation. If your doctor dosen't know, then you should ask other doctors, preferably those who specialize in heart surgery, and I would urge you not to base any decisions on the responses of people on the internet that have no medical experience and don't know you.

Good luck getting better!

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Postby Jew » Mon May 05, 2008 9:42 am

FWIW, heart conditions and recent surgeries are common warnings (which means parks recommend you don't ride) on almost every coaster. I would say stick to those warnings unless your doctor specifically says otherwise.

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Re: Coasters and Open Heart Surgery

Postby Sharebear010 » Thu Apr 24, 2014 6:53 am

So I know this is an old thread but I came across it while searching on google. This is probably the closest to my situation. I had open heart surgery on 03/13/13 to repair my aorta because of an aneurism and I had my aortic valve repaired. It is not fully repaired as it does still leak a bit but I am under close observation. They said I am so young (25 now 24 when I had surgery) that they do not want me on coumadin just yet.

So of coarse my first question before my surgery was can I ride roller coasters again as they are my biggest and I mean biggest passion. The question at the time was unclear. When I went to my follow up in 08/13 I asked again if roller coasters were ok and I was told then it was still a bit risky, mostly due to the fact that they break your sternum, and I should just wait a little longer.

I just went back for my next follow up in 03/14 and of coarse the question came up again. This time I was given the all clear to ride them. Mind you my follow ups consist of blood work, an echo, and EKG every time to monitor heart function and to keep an eye on the leak and whether or not an aneurism is forming again. So far so good.

I am still a little worried however, it is a very important procedure and problem and no one really knows the true effects. I look at it this way though, I had just ridden what I consider a very intense ride I305 at KD just months before being put in the hospital with heart failure, and was fine. Also I really trust my cardiologist. I just have a hard time giving up roller coasters. They bring me such joy in life as sad as that may sound. It's one of the only places that I feel truly happy.

That being said I am going to take it very slowly when I go to my home park this weekend (Carowinds). I bought season passes so that I don't have to rush to try and get it all done because it will be forever before I can go back. So I'm going to ride one of the smaller coasters first and wait a little bit and see how Ifeel afterwards and move up from there. I'm going to work my way up to their Intimidator. But I am going to pay very close attention to my body and its cues.

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Re: Coasters and Open Heart Surgery

Postby coasterbill » Thu Apr 24, 2014 7:00 am

While I'm not a doctor, I think I'd ride Intimidator before a lot of the other coasters there. It's very smooth, it won't rattle you around at all and it doesn't have a ton of extreme forces like Nighthawk and Afterburn.

I'm glad to hear your doctor gave you the okay to ride coasters again though, that must have been great news for you.

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Re: Coasters and Open Heart Surgery

Postby Sharebear010 » Thu Apr 24, 2014 7:57 am

I suppose I can see that lol :lol: I was thinking the Goldrusher kid ride first lol and working my way up. Intimidator is very smooth. I am just a touch nervous because it has been awhile and just knowing I had such a huge surgery is on my mind. Like I said though the thing that gets me is the fact I have had this problem my whole life (unknown) and I'm sure I had the aneurysm on my last theme park trip which included marathon rides on every ride in the park at KD (11/2012). In which I was already experiencing side effects of my heart failing but just attributed it to the normal palpitations I had always had and my stress of starting college. But in January of 2013 is when I found out of the severe leak in my heart and in march is when they found the aneurysm. I was in the first stages of heart failure. I couldn't function anymore, I was unable to do normal things IE drying my hair without getting faint.

Now I'm on medication to slow my heart rate because I have always had an abnormally high one ( between 120-140bpm resting) now it is controlled at (70-90bpm resting). So as far as my heart rate being raised on a ride I'm not too concerned about because it will be just like that or normal activity. And it does make me feel better that I am so closely monitored. I also have an appt set up for May so I can see my heart function after these roller coaster trips.

The main thing really is just listening to my body cues. It's really hard to find people in the same situation as me. Alot of people that I have spoke with roller coasters are the last thing on their mind. So not many people to ask how they did on a roller coaster after surgery. And when I searched online most people were just talking about going to Disney world and not riding major thrill rides.

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Re:

Postby mikeslagy » Thu Apr 24, 2014 8:33 am

ginzo wrote:Wow, you've had a rough couple of weeks. Glad you're on the mend. A few things:

1) Problems with the aorta are among the most serious medical problems that people can have. If it does rupture, the prognosis is not good.
2) Follow your cardiologist's orders to the letter. With the issue of roller coasters, he may just not know and would prefer to err on the side of caution. There is almost *zero* medical research on how coasters affect the human body. I think there have been like 2 studies in the last 20 years or something, according to an article I read in JAMA not too long ago.

http://www.or-live.com/HealthEast/1449/ ... ebcast.cfm?

At about 45:30 someone asks if brain aneurysm patients should avoid roller coasters. But they're talking about brain aneurysms, NOT aortic aneurysms. The aorta is under a lot more pressure than any other blood vessel, so the rules might be different.

If I were you, I'd just err on the side of caution and avoid coasters for the time being.


it's amazing that they don't do more research, especially this day in age where 70% of people seem to live/die by those research reports.
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