Posted on February 1st, 2008 under Patient Stories & Updates.
I don’t know about you…
But when my first cardiologist, Dr. Bad Bedside Manner, told me that I needed open heart surgery due to my defective bicuspid aortic valve… I went into mini-shock.
Then, the stoic doctor, with the red nose, rapidly spewed a flurry of foreign words at me: calcification, leaflets, narrowing valve stenosis, regurgitation, normal ejection fraction, blah, blah, blah, blah.
“Enough medical mumbo-jumbo!” I remember thinking as Dr. Bad Bedside Manner continued to tell me that death was lurking in my future. “Please show me what you are talking about!”
I can’t help it. I’m a visual person. I often need to see things to understand them.
For that reason, the cardiologist who I would never see again, grabbed a fake, plastic heart and pointed to the problem area – my aortic valve. He then began promoting open heart valve replacement surgery and the various biological / artificial valve types available to me – pig valves, cow valves, human valves (aka homografts) and mechanical valves.
The discussion referenced above occurred in three minutes. Again, I was in mini-shock.
Considering there are many new patients and caregivers at this website, I figured you may be experiencing what I experienced… A need to see a picture, a diagram or an illustration of a heart valve replacement.
As you can see above, I placed a pretty good diagram which illustrates a mitral valve replacement with a mechanical valve. So you know, I inserted many other images, pictures and illustrations in this website and my book to further help you better understand your heart, your heart valves and the realities of heart valve surgery.
I hope this diagram helps you better understand heart valve replacement surgery.
Keep on tickin!