Thank you for keeping me in your prayers.
You are in he best place if you live in Ohio. i'll be traveling to Cleveland next Monday. Nobody knows how fast each patient will progress. in my research I found people can live with aortic disease for years but if you developed sx, as I did three wks ago, the prognosis is fatal within 2-5 years. But, I also have an aneurysm in the ascending aorta. i hope everything goes well with you and I'll try to keep my journal updated after the surgery
I also went to Cleveland Clinic for my bicuspid aorta valve replacement. I too chose Dr Svensson on the recommendation of Adam Pick. He is a very good doctor with many years of experience. I am sure you have read his bio on the CCF site. Truly amazing. Even though my valve was critical....I did very well with the surgery and recovery. You will do fine with the surgery. The staff at Cleveland are great and will help you with pain management. Just be honest with them, don't try to be a hero, take your meds as instructed. It will help when it is time to begin walking.
The one thing I took to the hospital that Natalie did not mention was a neck pillow. Others here on the journals highly recommended it....and I will tell you...it was my best friend for many weeks! You can get them in the airport or at JC Pennys. My family brought it to me as soon as I was permitted to see them....and as I said..it was my constant companion. Take some comfortable clothes to go home in...just in case you don't lose all the water weight in the hospital by the time you leave. It took me an additional 10 days to lose those extra "water pounds". You may be lucky and lose it all before you go home. Everyone is different.
Try not to stress to much about the surgery. It is very do-able. The hardest part of the recovery for me was the extreme fatigue. Just continue to do your walking & breathing excercises when you go home....and you will become stronger & stronger! I promise...one day you will have to look at your scar to remember you actually had open heart surgery!! :)
Good Luck with your surgery Maria.... I look forward to following your journey!
I had surgery on September 10th at Cleveland Clinic. My aoritc valve was repaired and a graft was placed in my ascending aorta because I had an anyuerism measuring 5.7 cm. Dr. Rosselli performed my surgery.
The Cleveland Clinic is a great place and everyone there is wonderful at their jobs. I had to be admitted the day before surgery and was so nervous when I was admitted.. I was in tears. After talking with the nurses the night before I felt so much better. They really eased my fears and let me know I was going to be well taken care of.
A few things I took with me that I was glad I had... my own pillow, robe, dry shampoo, pj pants for under the hospital gown, slippers, chapstick, ipod ( I also downloaded the guided imagery stuff cleveland had and found it VERY helpful), and button up shirts for after surgery or zip up stuff.
A few other random things... if you have someone spending the night with you once you get on the regular floor ask for an extra blanket for them to roll up and put in the crack in the bed. I ended up buying a microwavable heating pad to use on my back at the hotel after surgery..it was a lifesaver. Also if you are staying in one of the hotels on campus for a few days before heading home request a recliner a couple days before you are released so it is ready for you when you get there.
Like you said there is never a "good time" to do this. I have three year old twins and would not have picked this year but I am so releived it has been taken care of and I don't have to worry about it anymore.
Good Luck..it will be over before you know it.
If you have other questions, feel free to email. Nat_tucker@Hotmail.com.
Hi Maria, welcome to the site; you've come to the right place. As they say "we're all pretty much in the same proverbial boat". I too have severe aortic stenosis at 0.77 cm2 AVA caused by a heavily calcified bicuspid aortic valve, in addition to an enlarged (dilated) aortic root. My surgeon says "it's time" to replace the valve and he recommends a stentless equine (horse) tissue valve Medtronics ATS 3f and he will do a 3-5 hour procedure called Bentall which is cutting out the enlarged section of the ascending aorta and root replacing it with a dacron graft (sleeve). Ask me if I'm scared. I have researched until I can't see and have come to a comfortable level of trust and confidence in my surgeon. You will see you go through different psychological phases as you can see by others journals. There is a wealth of information on this site and another I frequent http://www.valvereplacement.org/forums/forum.php
and Google seach and of course, Adam's Book. You can search my Story and Journal Entries above under Eric Brenie.
I have not yet had my surgery but it is anticipated early to mid April. Good luck on your journey to getting your quality of life back on track and remember you are not alone. Ask any questions you like. We are all here to help you put your mind at ease. Take care... Eric B.
If I had to do it all over again today I would find a local support group. I think speaking with as many people who have shared similar experiences helps to demystify the process. Also, make an appointment to go to the CICU and speak with the nurses. I did this a few days before surgery and it helped me relax. From that moment on I was no longer nervous.
Welcome Maria and join the "club." My mitiral valve surgery is scheduled for April 21 at the Cleveland Clinic with Dr. Marc Gillanov. I know there are some very fine valve surgeons and hospitals in Boston and some of the people on this website had their surgery there. I have opted for the Cleveland Clinic because they have been the #1 heart hospital in the country for 16 yrs. and their valve surgeons are the innovators in this field who are the surgeons quoted in almost all the heart valve research. I also made a t rip out there in January for a consult and to look the place over. I was more than impressed! If you check out my journal you will find several posts about the Cleveland Clinic as well as their published outcomes.
Since I have not yet had my surgery, I can only comment on what I've been going through prior to surgery and will be glad to discuss whatever you think is relevant. You can contact me here or via email. My best wishes to you.
Welcome to the family.I am 8 weeks post op after having an Aortic Valve replacement (Mechanical Type ).I am also 53 so we have somthing in common.You sound like a very fit and active person and this will stand to you after your operation.Like yourself I had a very positive outlook on what was ahead of me.The surgeons that perform these operations are top class and you have to have every trust in them.Make sure you follow the information you get about your after care it very important.I am up to walking 45min every day,but my walks are getting longer ,but I am trying to keep to the same time.One thing you must do after surgery in listen to what your body tells you,that is when you need rest take it.
When it is time for you operation I will say a prayer for you.Will be keeping a eye out for your posts.
As we say here Keep on Tickin.
You've come to a good place, my opinion. Lots of folks here have shared lots of information that has been helpful to me, I'll tell you that. You sound like an athlete, for sure. This old(er) guy has done a fair amount of research, over and above what I learned from Adam Pick's book...glad I got it My copy is now circulating in our community. Be your own advocate and do plenty of research. This Internet we have is a valuable tool. Here's a link to a man's story about the importance of being your own advocate: http://www.unm.edu/~lkravitz/ES%20News/joequatrochi.html
Lance Armstrong's book, Its Not About the Bike, also has lots of good examples about benefits of getting other opinions, being your own advocate. And, brouse through the various journals (and Guestbook pages) on this Site...tons of info here for you. I leave tomorrow for Cleveland Clinic for my own "little" valve job, mitral valve repair. Good Luck to you. ...Barry Stone