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High pulse rate after surgery? Beta blockers?


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Does anyone else have an elevated pulse after LC surgery or treatment?

My pulse runs around 20% more than it should all the time now. The first time I noticed was in the hospital after lung surgery (7 years ago). Then last year the nurses noticed my pulse was consistently high in cardiac rehab classes.

Yesterday I had the treadmill/nuclear stress test. I have to do this every year now after the stents.

I have a new cardiac doc. He said my pulse went up too high too fast on the treadmill (162 by 6 minute mark). He wants to put me on beta blocker. He mentioned that beta blocker is bad for lungs, so we need to talk.....

Does anyone else do the treadmill test? Do you think it is harder due to loss of lung tissue? Anyone else with high pulse after LC surgery/treatment?



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Hi Barb,

Aerobic exercise could reduce your heart rate as athletes are known to have low pulse rates. I do believe that some treatment can raise your heart rate and I know that cancer progression does. Tony's heart rate went ballistic when he got a blood transfusion near the end and went into A-fib. We didn't understand that at all! He had to be on some type of medicine to regulate his heart, but I don't know if it was considered a beta-blocker. The whole heart/lung thing is such a delicate balance. One can throw the other off completely.

Before he was diagnosed, but loaded with unknown cancer, he passed the treadmill with flying colors. So, who the heck knows? Haven't you encountered other heart related problems stemming from your surgery/treatment before? (Or am I thinking of someone else?) It may be another "new normal" kind of thing.

Best of luck to get some resolve and keep us posted.


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Thanks Welthy, I am very grateful for any info on this. Yes, I think the clogged RCA came from some radiaton scarring on the heart.

I just logged 5000 miles on my stationary bike before it broke in December. :) That's from an hour on the bike almost every day since May 06.

But all this exercise has not lowered my pulse rate. My cardiologist says my EF is in normal range, my blood pressure is great, and my stress EKG is superb, but my pulse rate runs high.

So I'm interested if this is normal. Do other surgery survivors make it the full 12 minutes on stress test? Does anyone else have elevated pulse rate too? Are there any survivors out there taking beta blocker?


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My husband has a rapid heart rate and has had it since he was in his 40's. It's diagnosed as tachycardia (sp?).

It has nothing to do with cancer as he has never had cancer, and he takes medication to regulate it. Exercise doesn't improve it. His mother had the same thing. As long as he takes his medication, it's fine. When he forgets, he gets very uncomfortable and has to rest until the medication kicks in.

Maybe you have it too. I think that sometimes we think everything that goes wrong with us is connected to cancer, but sometimes it's just something that happens. I do this too. You should see me when I get a cold, it's all-out nuts!


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Hi Barb,

I developed the rapid heart rate about a year after I had my left lung removed. I was told that it was front damage to my heart from the radiation I had after surgery.

My heart rate was up in the 130's 24 hours a day and would go up to 150+ with exercise. Eventually they put me on toprol and my rate is has been down about 100 - 120 depending on any additional stressers.

I had to wear a holter monitor on several occasions until they were able to get the dosage right.

The funny thing is, I have low blood pressure but the high heart rate - I have never understood that. I also didn't have any other cardiac issues prior to this. I have never had a stress test but did go through pulmonary rehab and had the monitors ringing like crazy :)

Let me know what your doc ends up doing. I am interested to hear if any others have had similar issues.


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Since my lung cancer diagnosis and spending more time around dr.'s I noticed a fast heart rate as well (118 to 130). I'm not sure if it started before or after my lung surgery in Oct. '06. My oncologist never was concerned enough to send me to a cardiologist so I thought nothing of it until I went into A-Fib in November. My heart rate jumped to 230 after a panic and asthma attack.

I am currently on Beta Blockers (daltiazem and sotalol). I had a stress test this morning but without exercise. They gave me a drug that imitates exercise on the heart. I had to do 4 minutes on the treadmill while they injected the drug. It was not easy to say the least.

The medicine is keeping my heart rate in the 90's but now my blood pressure has lowered to 90/60. The cardiologists have not given me yet a good explanation of why I have developed Atrial Fibrillation.


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Thanks for the info, it helps to see I am not alone on this. No I don't take steroids, but sometimes wish I did...Look what it did for our Governor. :)

I did some searching on-line and found an article that measured rest and exercise pulse rates before and after lobectomy. For a small sample the average rest pulse increased from 70 before lobectomy to 85 after, and the exercise pulse rate increased as well. See Table 2 in http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articl ... id=1420974

So it looks like increase in heart rate after lobectomy is to be expected. Still not sure if Beta blocker is good idea. Lilly, my BP is can go down to 100/60 after exercise...Do you think the Beta Blocker caused your AFIB?

I have a question in to Dr. West's site on this,but have not checked back. Barb

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