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After Aortic Valve Replacement, David Recommends Cardiac Rehab, The Incision Shield & Dr. Somers

Posted by Adam Pick on May 17th, 2011

I really enjoy hearing from patients after their heart valve procedures. Their stories are often filled with inspiration and unique patient perspective. For example, here is a recent email from David Hooper following his aortic valve replacement surgery.

David Hooper Holding A Big Red Heart Pillow

David writes to me…

It’s now all over. Thanks for your heart valve surgery book. It REALLY helped me. The Incision Shield also helped me. I have attached a photo below for other patients to see how this guard protects your scar.

Unfortunately, nobody at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital knew of you, your book or the Incision Shield. After my time in the hospital, MANY people are now aware of your work. So you know, I have volunteered to do some public speaking for prospective patients. I will be using your book and the Incision Shield in my talks.

Incision Shield On Patient After Cardiac Surgery
The Incision Shield On David After Surgery

It is now almost 4 weeks after aortic valve surgery and the recovery is still… interesting. Seems like something new pops up each day. Nothing serious, just annoying things like a dry cough caused by the Enalipril. Or, today it’s a sore throat.

Each day, I see improvement. I hope to start the second phase of cardiac rehab sometime this week. I think that will help restore my goals and motivation for my daily routine. I find that having a reason to get up in the morning is a GOOD thing.

The operation was on April 5th. The doctor was Dr. Jonathan Somers. The hospital was Advocate Lutheran General in Park Ridge, Illinois. Yes, I would go there again.

Keep up the good work and thanks!

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.


Curt says on May 17th, 2011 at 2:00 pm

Congrats David, sounds like things are progressing well! I agree, the Incision Shield was well worth the price and helped relieve significant irritation from shirts etc. It is too bad cardiologists or surgeons don’t really know about it. Like the pillow, it could almost be something for them to give patients right away. Keep on tickin!


rose says on May 17th, 2011 at 4:23 pm

So glad to know your success.I realize more and more as I wade through the process towards an open heart surgery for the second time that there are lots of us out there, facing the trauma and feeling alone.Lots of survivors are out there too and I liked the chest protector item too. So much to think about , so many fears to be faced and so much hope to rely on! God bless and speed your recovery along!


Kerrigan says on May 17th, 2011 at 8:58 pm

Congratulations Dave!
I took the advice in Adam’s Guide and started cardio rehab as soon as allowed. It really helped, both physically and with moral.
Today, two and a half years after aortic replacement I do 1 1/2 gym sessions every three days.
It’s a great habit to develop.


Rick Geswell says on May 18th, 2011 at 12:20 pm

I’m celebrating 17 years since my Ross Proceedure – replace both aortic and pulmonic valves. I may be looking at some surgery again in a couple of years but for something completely unrelated. Can’t imagine the advancements that must be around now. I was 44 when I had the surgery, I will read the book this time around. BTW, be encouraged everyone, I’ve run 1 marathon 26.2 miles, 2 half marathons at competitive level and continue to run 10 k’s and under. Keep up the good work all of you and good luck Dave with the rehab, it’s soooo…. important!


Ricky(a female) says on July 11th, 2012 at 6:01 pm

Great invention. With the heart pillow, to rest…….would help you sleep better.


Mick wilson says on October 23rd, 2013 at 10:46 am

After my CABG x 3 in December 2009 I found that I was extremely sensitive over my chest incision,,, even a light shirt or T shirt aggravated the scar. My darling daughter did some investigating and found the Incision Shield on line. It Was the best thing that she could have bought me for Christmas….. I wore it everyday until I could stand contact over my chest. Wonderful product that I have recommended to other CABG survivors. Thank you.


Mick wilson says on October 23rd, 2013 at 10:48 am

P.s. – no- one in UK seems to be aware of this device….


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