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After A Mitral Valve Repair With Complications… Leslie Is Home!

Posted by Adam Pick on January 31st, 2008

Hey everybody,

Good news!

Leslie is home following her mitral valve repair. (You may remember a blog that featured Leslie as she was preparing for robotic mitral valve repair.)

Leslie - Mitral Valve Repair Patient

After five days at UCLA Medical Center, Leslie has now entered the recovery phase of heart valve surgery. Below, you will find an interesting account of her surgery which was longer than most surgeries due to some cardiac surgery complications that were fixed during surgery. Great job Dr. Shemin! To learn more about Dr. Shemin, click here.

Here is Leslie’s email update:

A quick note to say thank you for the amazing kindness and support throughout my adventure. I am home with my doggies and in my own bed, on my own patio and as anyone who has been in the hospital knows, home is better.

I had a successful mitral valve repair (not replacement) but was much more complicated than the doctors predicted. The surgery was 12 hours. Waking up with a ventilator is not recommended. Many amazing stories are to be told from this experience.

In general, UCLA hospital staff was very kind. Yet the thought of going back into a hospital again makes me physically ill because the environment is so artificial (I guess it has to be) and our bodies want fresh air and sunshine.

Anyway I am taking it slow, have home nursing and physical therapy which is helping, and there is recuperation to do. I am very grateful to have this behind me and to have had a good outcome. Love you all. I appreciate beyond measure your support and kindnesses and generosity in so many ways. It is good to know you have friends. As I get stronger I will be in touch with you personally.

More later, much more, you know you can never shut me up :)

Hope all are well.


Adam Pick
Written by Adam Pick A dad, a husband and a patient, Adam Pick founded this website in 2006 to educate you about heart valve surgery from diagnosis to recovery.
You can get the latest updates about heart valve surgery from Adam at his Facebook, and Twitter pages. Click here to email him.


Kathy Mccain says on January 31st, 2008 at 2:38 pm

Hi Leslie,

Great to hear you are home!

Keep up the positive attitude. You will fell like yourself, I’m sure, in no time!
Adams blog, and his book have helped me greatly. I myself have aortic valve replacement scheduled for Feb. 11th . Feeling nervous, but want to get on with it, and have this all behind me. I’ve put my life on hold long enough! I will definitely be letting everyone know when I am home.

Again, so happy to hear all is well!

God Bless, Kathy Mccain


Leslie says on February 2nd, 2008 at 1:57 pm


Just to keep your readers informed, my pain is on the right side as they came up under the breastbone and separated my ribs to do my mitral valve repair.

Although it does feel tight and uncomfortable at many times and I have several exercises to do to stretch it out.

I am beginning to realize that having the robot and avoiding a sternotomy were good choices for me. I do urge your readers who are considering open heart surgery, especially valve repair, to investigate the Da Vinci robotic system and talk to surgeons who use it, like Dr. Shemin at UCLA and Dr. Starnes and his team at USC.

I have 3 puncture wounds. That’s it. No scar, no sternotomy, and while the robot doesn’t work for everyone’s particular situation I would sure recommend checking it out.

By the way my recovery is going well. It is one week and 2 days since my surgery and yesterday I took the dogs for a short walk (with a friend of course) and many strolls in the house and today I dusted the floor because I couldn’t stand the doggy hairs (cleaning lady coming tomorrow). I didn’t have to dust the floor, I just wanted to.

So you see, folks, there IS life after valve repair surgery and it’s the same as it was BEFORE valve repair surgery, you have to dust the floor! :)



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