Donald posted a note for Donald that says:
Hi Donald-I am now four days post AVR and home. Dr. Katz was at the controls. I had the right anterior thoracotomy with a bovine valve. Things are going well, making sure not to rush anything. Life is certainly better w/o staring at OHS each and every day. Hope you are well and recovery continues!
Donald H. posted a note for Donald that says:
Hello Donald- very happy to read that your post-surgery recovery is progressing and that you are doing well. I am considering Dr Katz for my upcoming AVR and it sounds like you were pleased with his performance. Your success is a great recommendation and comfort. From a fellow Richmonder- take care!
I chuckled reading your post, because just the other day someone said the same thing to me...and I too had the same thought about how we are suppose to look..LOL.. The best part...is how we FEEL...the "look" is a bonus!! :)
So glad to hear you are doing well. I remember reading your journal as I waited for "my day". You gave me hope that I too would have a good outcome. God is good...we are truly blessed!!!
Best of Luck as you continue good health!
Hi Donald, Love your post. You are So right about life. God first, family then life/job. The bosses don't like hearing that but oh well. Keep up the good work. Cant wait to get there myself pretty soon.
Mooving on up
Donald, great to hear you're doing so well at three weeks. Please keep us informed as you progress. I liked your recommendation for Dr. Katz, it's good to hear he's at least one for one this year :-) All the best....
Great news, Don, on your progress so far! I will soon be an AVR patient too. Still waiting on a date with CCF. All my "heros" here at HVJ sure give me the courage to face this journey with confidence!Continued success with your recovery!!...will continue to keep you in my prayers!!
Good going Don! I'm almost three weeks post op on my new aortic valve. I also had appetite issues and was told this is typical of the after effects of the surgery anethesia....it takes a long time to get out of your system. I did the same as you and concentrated on three meals every day.
Hope all continues to go well post surgery. I suppose blogging is one of the last things one wants to do following OHS! How do you rate Dr. Katz and St. Mary's ? Anxious to hear your review since I'm on similar path with these folks. Thanks.....
Thinking about you and saying a prayer for you this morning as you have your surgery.
You will be fine. Rest for the first 2 days and then recovery will be a blessed joy....and I'm serious about it being a joy!
Donald - you r going to be in good hands next week with Dr. Katz and then on your way home before you know it. I'll be anxious to Read your stories and experiences. Will the minimal invasive approach be used and if not what were the deciding factors? Rest easy and drop a line if u have a moment before Monday.
I have your surgery date circled on my calendar and I look forward to following you in your journey. I remember feeling the ups & downs as you are now feeling. No matter how many of us tell you or how many times you'll hear this: "The waiting is the hardest part"...you won't fully understand until the second day post-op. I still get a big kick out of all the new ones saying that it's really true.
As for me being on Coumadin, you would have to ask me this today....because it's been a pain in butt for me & the PA at the Coudadin Clinic. I go in for once a month checks now. I was handed a list of 12 foods to stay away from and I eat 9 of them regularly. I love my greens! But for others who are on it, I understand it's not an issues at all. I'm an active female and I'm still trying to get use to having bruises & cuts on my once beautiful skin. It's purely a vanity thing for me.
I wish you the best and will keep you in my prayers. You have a lot of good friends on this site. Stay in contact with us.
Who will be with your through your surgery & recovery???
You got it Donald. I'll connect with you in the next day or two. Don't be intimidated by the blood thinners. I heard stories about blood thinners prior to my surgery that scared me some. But it will be 1 year on Thursday and there has been no problems whatsoever with the thinners. I still have an active life. Talk to you doctors about any questions. I know I bombarded my surgeon and cardiologist constantly with questions/concerns, and they were always happy to answer. I'll get ahold of you on your personal email.
Hi Donald. I had my aortic valve and part of my aorta replaced last June 7, 2011 (5 days after I turned 40). I went with the ON-X mechanical valve and feel great. But make the decision that rights for you (your doctors should be able to help you make the right choice).
It's perfectly normal to have eratic emotions, I experienced the same. The waiting truly is the hardest part.
You're young, I know you're going to do just fine.
Hey Donald, I had my aortic valve replaced 2/6/12. I am 55yrs old and had my valve replaced with the On-x mechanical valve. I am doing great! Be comfortable with your decision and you will be just fine.There are professionals there to help you through it all. I would also add that the HVJ website is great to be part of as you can tell. My prayers are with you. Take care.
Donald - when is your surgery date, sounds It's around the corner? I don't have a date set just yet but it's coming. I'm sure Dr. Katz will do a great job, valve replacement is probably heart surgery 101 for him. Is the minimal invasive procedure a possibility ?
Hi Donald, I think the heart surgeons and dentists are in cahoots with each other don't you, lol? You asked about "thinners", I assume you mean coumadin. I took coumadin for several years for another heart issue. I really did not find it to be a problem as far as diet is concerned...the main thing is to be consistent. You do have to be careful with suppliments and herbs, however. Most all of them interfere one way or another with the coumadin. Now, you have to understand I didn't do things like jump out of airplanes or race cars, etc., which is off limits if you are taking coumadin.
When I had my valve replaced (3/13/12) deciding on the type of valve was the hardest part for me. I am 63 years young, lol, and so I may live long enough to need surgery again...I chose the bovine tissue valve. I wish I could say that I KNOW that was the right decision, but I can't. I CAN say, that after having the surgery...I can do it again if it is necessary. It really wasn't bad for me. I wasted a lot of energy worrying about it and waiting.
So....good luck with making up your mind, if I were as young as you I probably would have been encouraged to choose mechanical, but maybe not. My surgeon feels that by the time mine may need replacing that they will have perfected the transcatheter approach for everyone. So...who knows? I will just say...once you make a decision, don't second guess yourself! Good luck!
Donald, thanks for your reply. I too have talked with Dr. Katz about my BAV and left impressed. I've heard good things about him. leaning toward porcine valve (54yrs old) - would like to stay away from dependence on thinners. But may change mind tomorrow........
I am going through same issue as you are and like you i am located in the Richmond area. Have you decided on a surgeon just yet or hospital? I would like to stay local, but still evaluating. Big decisions !! Many thanks.
Hello Donald, welcome to HVJ. This site is truly amazing. You will see the more you put into it, the more you get back. Folks here are truly incredible. We have all been in your shoes.
In your two posts, you have hit two of the hardest questions. Valve type and surgical procedure. The other is choice of surgeon. Do your homework. On the valve type, it is a personal decision. No right or wrong answer, just what ends up feeling right. I am 47, had AVR and lower ascending aorta repair on 2-2-12. I went tissue because I did not want to deal with Coumadin and felt comfortable knowing I would likely need a reop. Others near our age have chosen mechanical. Again, no right or wrong answer. Also, no perfect one. It is all a matter of trade offs and what you feel most comfortable with.
Likewise on the surgical procedure. Pros and cons to both minimally invasive and full Monty (sternotomy). I highly suggest you meet with at least two surgeons, see what they both say then choose the surgeon, procedure and valve that lets you sleep best at night.
It takes a little time to work through all of this in your head. Trust me you will get through it and arrive at the decisions right for you. We all did. You should also read other people's HVJ as a good source of information. I invite you to check out my journal, I have been told it is helpful.
Just so you know, I started this process convinced I wanted a mechanical valve and minimally invasive surgery. I ended up with tissue and full Monty. Go figure! Good luck.