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Question:

Can the pressures in my heart return to normal after my defibrillator goes off?

I have AFIB. My heart is enlarged. I have a pacemaker and defibrillator. My defibrillator went off for the first time about three weeks ago. I have been told that my pressures were at 15 when I was released from the hospital. My question is can the pressures of my heart go back up to 30 after my defibrillator goes off? Can I reverse the enlarged heart?  

submitted by Nancy from San Jose, California on 10/5/2012

Answer:

Mohammad Saeed, MDby Texas Heart Institute cardiologist, Mohammad Saeed, MD    

Heart size and pressure inside the heart are two different things.
 
Enlargement of the heart is more of a chronic process and occurs over longer periods of time. It can vary from person to person depending upon treatment and disease process. Sometimes an enlarged heart can become normal in size if the disease process resolves or is treated appropriately.
 
On the other hand, pressure inside the heart is more of a short-term phenomenon and can vary due to many factors. Volume status, BP control, heart rate, arrhythmia (such as atrial fibrillation), and drug therapy can all affect the pressure in various ways. Immediately after a defibrillator (ICD) discharge, the pressure inside the heart can become elevated and then normalize gradually over time.     

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Updated October 2012
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Texas Heart Institute Heart Information Center
Through this community outreach program, staff members of the Texas Heart Institute (THI) provide educational information related to the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of cardiovascular disease. It is not the intention of THI to provide specific medical advice, but rather to provide users with information to better understand their health and their diagnosed disorders. Specific medical advice will not be provided and THI urges you to visit a qualified physician for diagnosis and for answers to your questions.
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