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Question:

How can I deal with bothersome high blood pressure following surgery for aortic stenosis? 

I'm concerned about my high BP. I had open heart surgery for congenital aortic stenosis in April of this year. I have a tissue heart valve and a graft on my ascending aorta. After the surgery, BP was normal but now it is creeping up.  I eat very well, lots of fruit and veggies, low salt diet, don't smoke /1 drink a day, exercise, I'm not overweight, and the only meds I'm on are for my asthma which has not changed. I was admitted to the hospital a couple of weeks ago because my BP was in the 200/117 range. Doctor put me on 120 diltiazem once a day, but it did not make much difference. He then went to 180mg but not much change. Now I'm on 240mg and my BP is still high. I asked him why my BP is so high when I do all things right. He does not know. Do I need further tests? I'm back to work full time. I still have some aches and pains from the surgery and get quite tired. The only thing that is bothersome is my high BP. I'm a (just turned) 60 yr female, with clear arteries on the last test. Thanks -- all information would be helpful.   

submitted by Diane from Fort St. John, Canada on 12/30/2012

Answer:

by Texas Heart Institute cardiologist, Neil E. Strickman, MD  

Neil E. Strickman, MDDiltiazem is not very effective. You may want to ask your personal doctor about using an ACE inhibitor and Beta blocker. Dosages may need adjusting, but that should be monitored by your physician.   

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Updated January 2013
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