Peter was referred to CP+R after an incidental finding of an ascending aortic aneurysm (AAA), which came as a big surprise given Peter’s active lifestyle and previous good health. Peter had received open heart surgery to replace the affected vessel.
Our action plan
Our work with Peter revolved around his recovering from surgery and then returning to a high level of fitness, including his specific goals of completing more marathons in the future. Peter himself is a doctor but was keen to gain support of specialists in rehabilitation to ensure his recovery was effective and optimised.
In the first few weeks, Peter’s exercise and nutrition were focussed on increasing energy levels, reducing breathlessness, managing pain, and conserving mobility in the upper body. Once the sternotomy had healed at around 12 weeks post-surgery, we were able to begin resistance training and build up cardiovascular exercise to regain function and fitness in the cardiovascular system. During surgery it was also found that one of the valves in the heart was not functioning to 100% of its ability, although this didn’t need replacing at the time, this made the need for improving the strength of this heart all the more important.
Peter was able to make a full recovery within a few months of his procedure, including reducing some of his medication and stopping others altogether.
We were also able to help Peter maintain his muscle mass throughout recovery and indeed improve his fitness considerably post-procedure where he is now back at work and exercising regularly with our continued support.