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Heart & Cardiology/Post open heart patient with palpitations and "skipping" or air feeling


Hi David,
I'm a 25 year old female who is 3 1/2 months post op of removal of right atrial myxoma via open heart surgery. My tumor was found when I was 6 months pregnant and operated on 7 weeks postpartum. Surgery was successful. However, I have this feeling all the time like my heart is skipping in my throat or like an air bubble feeling and then it goes away, today however it's kind of lingering all day- just kind of there. I have no other symptoms from it. Just fear and anxiety that something is wrong. I went to the ER the first time it happened and all EKG and echos are normal. In my 1 month post op echo my pulmonary hypertension was 55 and at 3 months post op it was 45, now they are sending for a ct with contrast to check again. Is that extremely dangerous level for my pressure as it had been declining since surgery? And was never there prior to surgery. I am also dizzy all the time-'it's constant. It has been there since I was pregnant and thought to be the tumor, now undergoing neurology tests to check for other issues. Any advice!? Questions I should ask doctors? Tests I should request? I feel as if I'm getting the run around a lot with my doctors and have a 5 month old to take care of. Please help!! Thank you!!!


Hello Katy,

You're feeling skipped heart beats.  Skipped beats are normal heart activity, easy to understand as normal from knowledge of the heart's electrical system and occurring in about half of us.  They don't mean you have heart disease or will in the future develop heart disease or any cardiac catastrophe. Perhaps the myxoma interfered  with the skips.

Pulmonary blood pressure of 45 is not dangerous.  It will probably decline further as you get further from your surgery.

If your dizziness is spinning, like you're spinning round and round or the room is spinning around you, see an ear,nose,throat doctor.  This can be cured.  If your dizziness occurs only when you're standing, it's probably low blood pressure.  Get your BP measured sitting and then standing for 1,3 and 5 minutes.  If it gets below 90, that's the cause of your dizziness.  Eat lots of salt and drink lots of water.  Dizziness may be over breathing from anxiety.  Pay attention to your breathing and breathe slowly and shallowly.

Please write back if this note doesn’t answer all your questions.

David Richardson

Heart & Cardiology

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David Richardson


Adult heart function and disease. Not very good about children lesss than 12. Hypertension is o.k. Heart rhythm a special interest.


Certified in cardiology by the American Board of Internal Medicine. Was chairman of division of cardiology at the Medical College of Virginia. Am now mostly retired.

Fellow of American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology and member of American Physiological Society..

Circulation, American Heart Journal, Hypertension.

M.D. from Harvard Medical School. Residency training at Yale Uhniversity School of Medicine and Medical College of Virginia.

Awards and Honors
Gold Heartt Award from American Heart Association in 1995.

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