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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,
I have a friend who wants to start playing sax. Two years ago he had surgery and has 6 stem cells in his heart implanted. He has to avoid any physical effort.
I let him a sax so he can make his first steps. Well, he told the doctor and he has recommend him not to play.
Are there any other player here with a similar experience?
My friend does not dare now to play, he is really worried. His doctor does not know anything about the sax, and obviously he has avoided him to play so he ensures my friend does not force his heart.

I would doubt that playing the sax could be a problem but prefer to hear other experienced people with heart surgery, if there is one. My friend needs this information, and if he could play he would be very happy. If there is something he can say to his doctor...

Thanks.
 

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How long will it take for those cells to differentiate/multiply and repair his heart?
Maybe this is what the doctor is concerned about.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I don’t know, does it make a difference? I can ask him.
 

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It all depends on many different factors:

- how extensive was the damage that needed to be repaired?
- how invasive was the surgery (open heart?)
- how good is his overall health including factoring in his age

The stem cells in his heart should by now have regenerated most of what was broken, there is no reason to assume that this would take more than a few months but there is damage that can't really be repaired. The heart is not just a bulb that contracts and pumps out blood but it serves two separate circulatory systems, one to the lungs and one to the rest of the body. Maybe the damage was in the "right" side (lungs) and the physician is concerned about blowing.

On the other side, joy is the best medicine and a little bit of exercise has never hurt. Your friend should get a second opinion from another doctor or he should ask the doctor whether it is ok to whistle and then take it one step at the time.

Also, there was another thread about this a few years ago:
https://forum.saxontheweb.net/showt...ery-how-long-before-back-to-playing-saxophone
 

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At the very least I would get a physical and the opinion of a couple different doctors. It seems like doctors want to fix you but don’t want you to live, just exist.
Personally at that point if the doctor said no.
I could make a decision to drop dead while enjoying myself. Or choose a different instrument.
But that’s just my belief.
 

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At the very least I would get a physical and the opinion of a couple different doctors. It seems like doctors want to fix you but don’t want you to live, just exist.
Personally at that point if the doctor said no.
I could make a decision to drop dead while enjoying myself. Or choose a different instrument.
But that’s just my belief.
+1
 

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Playing a wind instrument is good exercise for the healthy heart but in this case I would defer to the doctor who knows the patient and his heart. Actually anyone can do the same thing by taking deep breaths and forcing the air out slowly against a resistance like tightly pursed lips, taking 15 to 30 seconds to blow out a big chest-full of air. You could explain it that way to the doc and see if he realizes what happens. My guess is he knows exactly what happens and its exactly what he doesn't want the patient to do.
 

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Hello,
I have a friend who wants to start playing sax. Two years ago he had surgery and has 6 stem cells in his heart implanted. He has to avoid any physical effort.
I let him a sax so he can make his first steps. Well, he told the doctor and he has recommend him not to play.
Are there any other player here with a similar experience?
Sorry to hear about your friend.

A buddy of mine had a valve replaced. There's a specific type of internal pressure he needs to avoid, but I can't remember what it's called. Unfortunately, as much as my buddy would like to pick up the sax, he declined to borrow one of mine when I described how sound is produced. He's pretty sure that making the reed vibrate would lead to problems with whatever that specific type of pressure is.

Maybe your friend can try an EWI?
 

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Get a second opinion from a second cardiologist. If both opinions more or less concur, then your friend has his answer, I would suppose.
 

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Buy a guitar.

..or some other option.

Its not worth it. Its not like sax has been his life.

Sometimes staying alive requires compromises. Life is full of choices.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks friends, i will show this thread and the one linked above to him.
You are very hepful.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Buy a guitar.

..or some other option.

Its not worth it. Its not like sax has been his life.

Sometimes staying alive requires compromises. Life is full of choices.
Well, he plays violin haha. He fell in love with jazz saxophone.
 

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It all depends on many different factors:

- how extensive was the damage that needed to be repaired?
- how invasive was the surgery (open heart?)
- how good is his overall health including factoring in his age

The stem cells in his heart should by now have regenerated most of what was broken, there is no reason to assume that this would take more than a few months but there is damage that can't really be repaired. The heart is not just a bulb that contracts and pumps out blood but it serves two separate circulatory systems, one to the lungs and one to the rest of the body. Maybe the damage was in the "right" side (lungs) and the physician is concerned about blowing.

On the other side, joy is the best medicine and a little bit of exercise has never hurt. Your friend should get a second opinion from another doctor or he should ask the doctor whether it is ok to whistle and then take it one step at the time.

Also, there was another thread about this a few years ago:
https://forum.saxontheweb.net/showt...ery-how-long-before-back-to-playing-saxophone
The right side/left side of the heart consideration is insightful as are the questions regarding status. I'll suggest that the physician is probably concerned with both sides of the heart. When we exhale against resistance, particularly for long periods, we create pressure within the chest, and both around the heart, and back pressure from the veins. That pressure goes far enough through the blood vessels to affect cerebrospinal fluid around the brain and spinal cord and is thus used as a named test (ValSalva's maneuver). In other words the breathing pattern that wind players use has widespread physiological effects, including on the heart.
Much in health care has not been studied, particularly as it relates to a given individual's status. This history suggests some injury to the heart, being treated with stem cells, presumably to regenerate injured tissue. It would be likely that the injured tissue is heart muscle.
The question then might be rephrased as to whether the individual should engage in a repeated breathing pattern that is known to increase back-pressure in the blood that the heart is pumping, while increasing pressure around the heart. Further how that affects stem-cell regenerative medicine, a relatively new field. I doubt that study has extended to how wind-playing affects that rehabilitation.
As the physician's advice suggests, we should think that there might be risk. Whether the joy of music, and the benefits of mild exercise offset that risk probably hasn't been studied (those are great insights that the physician and rehab providers should consider).
Then the relative "value" of the muscle being treated. The risk of complicating an elbow muscle strain might be more tenable than the risk of complicating heart muscle rehabilitation.
Hopefully this gives some explanation that the overwhelming advice for caution above, and the physician's advice, have a well understood physiological basis behind them. Sometimes in convincing people to not push the limits, it is helpful to tell them why.
I hope that your friend strengthens promptly to the point that the physician assesses him as able to use the joy and exercise of the sax as part of more strenuous rehabilitation. In the meantime I'll echo the caution that others have advised.
 

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At the very least I would get a physical and the opinion of a couple different doctors. It seems like doctors want to fix you but don’t want you to live, just exist.
Personally at that point if the doctor said no.
I could make a decision to drop dead while enjoying myself. Or choose a different instrument.
But that’s just my belief.
Why not have a conversation with his doc? Ask him specifically what scientific evidence there is that playing sax or any other wind instrument that causes stress on the lungs and diaphragm is dangerous to a post-op heart patient. Either he's going to have some studies-based evidence or he's not. He may just be acting overly cautious and confronting him about it may cause him to change his advice. Otherwise I'd say it's a good idea for your friend to follow his advice. Deciding to keep on playing against the doc's advice because he'd rather die doing something he loves is not a good plan. There are other people involved - Children, spouse, loved ones, employers etc. -edit - having read Saxbass55's post I couldn't agree more. There must surely be physiological reasons for the doctor's advice. I'd still recommend he follow it, but feel free to question his reasoning.
 

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Why not have a conversation with his doc? Ask him specifically what scientific evidence there is that playing sax or any other wind instrument that causes stress on the lungs and diaphragm is dangerous to a post-op heart patient. Either he's going to have some studies-based evidence or he's not. He may just be acting overly cautious and confronting him about it may cause him to change his advice. Otherwise I'd say it's a good idea for your friend to follow his advice. Deciding to keep on playing against the doc's advice because he'd rather die doing something he loves is not a good plan. There are other people involved - Children, spouse, loved ones, employers etc. -edit - having read Saxbass55's post I couldn't agree more. There must surely be physiological reasons for the doctor's advice. I'd still recommend he follow it, but feel free to question his reasoning.
Couldn’t agree with you more. Especially after reading Saxbass55’s post. Here’s the problem. Most doctors won’t give you the time of day to explain the reason they say no don’t do that. What if you were blowing up a balloon to decorate your grandkids party?
I had a friend drop dead last week. She was in her late 50s and dropped dead at a race track doing what she loved. Walking. Overweight otherwise NO health issues whatsoever. Although I am still relatively young.I have had the experience knowing several individuals that lived life to its fullest until they blew up. I have also seen those take the doctors advice.....lived many years. My wife’s grandmother lived to 106.

Anyone have any suggestions other than guitar ? Xylophone?
 

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Thanks friends, i will show this thread and the one linked above to him.
You are very hepful.
Please keep us posted on your friends findings. I for one am very curious as to what the doctor is doing to promote his return to good health and livelihood.

Saxbass55 thank you for an awesome post.
 

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He probably had STINTS placed in his heart, not stem cells. The doctor is probably worried about the blowing and back pressure which can create a "valsalva" type of pressure. A "valsalva" move is described by pressing down as if you were having a bowel movement, but with no intention of passing anything. It slows the heart down. Usually, stints don't slow the heart down, but he may be on medications that do.
 

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I had a stent installed 3 months ago and I'm taking blood thinners until the tissue recovers. I play the horn sparingly and avoid high pressure playing. When the cardiologist says it's OK to start running then I'll restart long tones and R&R honking..
 
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