Theresa Reaches Another Milestone In Her Recovery From Aortic Valve Replacement Surgery

As you might remember, Theresa LoMonaco shared a recovery update with us last July. Well, it’s ten months later, and Theresa has good news to share. Here is what she writes to me:

Teresa Lomonaco - Heart Valve Surgery Success Story
Theresa LoMonaco – Aortic Valve Replacement Patient

Adam, I wanted to share this photo of me, wearing my red survivor’s hat, that was taken at the American Heart Association 2013 Heart-Stroke Walk in Portland, Oregon on Saturday, May 18, 2013.

This event was a great culmination to the last ten months of recovery from my aortic valve replacement surgery in July, 2012.   I had my bicuspid aortic valve, which was in a severe stage of aortic stenosis, replaced with a bovine tissue valve by my wonderful surgeon, Doctor Jeffrey Swanson of Providence Valve Center at Providence St. Vincent Medical Center.


Dr. Jeffrey Swanson – Theresa’s Heart Surgeon

My husband Norm, who was my caregiver and cheerleader after heart valve surgery, walked with me in the event, along with my co-workers.  Our team was named “We Heart You.”   We raised a lot of money for the American Heart Association — my company helped sponsor the event, and we had a lot of fun exercising with kids, babies, and dogs in tow.   We walked along the Willamette River and crossed over two bridges.

I am feeling really well since completing a cardiac rehab program in December, 2012. I work out every day — either at the gym or on a track near my home.  I was active before the surgery and I’m even more active now.  I’m finding walking up steps and hills a lot easier and I don’t have palpitations anymore.   I’m so glad that I did cardiac rehab, as it helped keep me positive as well as rebuild my strength.  I had no idea how weak I would be after the surgery. I loved every minute of rehab.  I stole time from work to do it, but it kept the blues at bay.

Thanks for all of the information and support that your blog has provided through this experience, Adam.

It would have been so much harder and I wouldn’t have been such an informed patient had I not started reading your blog.

Keep tickin!

Theresa LoMonaco
Aortic Valve Replacement
Portland, Oregon

Adam Pick
Written by Adam Pick

Adam Pick is a patient, author of The Patient's Guide To Heart Valve Surgery and the founder of HeartValveSurgery.com.

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  • Jacquie Smith

    Congrats to you, Teresa! I really admire the fact that you did this walk to raise money for the American Heart Association. I also had Dr. Swanson for my mitral valve repair in December of 2002. I just had my cardiac checkup and am fine–after 10 & 1/2 years! Continued good health to you, as well.

  • Sue Gardner

    Congratulations to all of you on your great recovery. I had surgery for Ebstein’s Anomaly last July 5th at Mayo Clinic. I am doing fantastic. This is a congenital condition and for the first time in my life I feel like a “normal” person. I have endurance to hike and just completed a hike up Bear Mountain, the highest point in CT, which connects onto the Appalachian Trail. The palpitations are almost completely gone and I am just living in a dream every day. My surgeon was Dr. Dearani at Mayo Clinic and my cardiologist is Dr. Carole Warnes. I will continue to travel from CT to Minnesota every year. I will reach my goal of going to Nepal and Mount Everest in October.

    I do have one question, however. How long does the very top of the scar take to lie flat?

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