After Allergic Reaction, Jeff’s Heart Surgery Recovery Is Filled With Walks

Over the past few weeks, I have received two emails from heart surgery patients which experienced interesting, allergic reactions while in the hospital during their valve replacement surgeries. As you will read below, Jeff had an allergic reaction specific to the adhesives used in the surgical patches.

Here is Jeff’s account of the situation:

Hi Adam,

Thanks for writing. I did get a lot of useful support and information from you book, and do appreciate your concerns and interest.

Jeff Ayres After Heart Valve Surgery

I was admitted to Brigham & Women’s Hospital on February 27th, for a heart catheterization. The cardiac catheterization showed that only one coronary artery was about 20% blocked, so the aortic valve replacement surgery on Februrary 28th was done as a minimally invasive procedure. This meant that my incision was only about three and a half inches (shown below).

My anesthesiologist, Dr. Shine Sun is the BEST!! Dr. Lawrence Cohn, my surgeon is absolutely great as well. In fact, Brigham & Women’s and all the people who cared for me are the BEST! I had a very good time – all-in-all. And the food was excellent! I put on about nine pounds (which I have since lost).

I guess that my being fit had lots to do with a good recovery. I was discharged me on Monday, March 3rd. Soon thereafter I stopped any pain pills, as that is a non-issue.

I guess the main problem I have had is that I had some type of allergic reaction to the adhesives they used in the patches, the stickies, and the drape they covered my front with during the surgery. As a result I ITCH! LOL!!!

My cardiologist suggested I try Benadryl for the itching, which helped a lot, as did Badger Healing Balm. This product is made in New Hampshire and is excellent all natural balm, that really helps.

I am trying to just use the Badger Balm now, and so far that seems to be enough.

My recovery is proceeding well. The visiting nurse who comes twice a week is pleased, and I feel good. I walk on our walking machine – not a treadmill, in our living room every day for a half hour, and get out to walk outdoors for about 20 to 25 minutes when the weather permits.

I am going to get into cardiac rehabilitation program when the time is right, and am looking forward to that. I am NOT missing all the heart valve symptoms I had before the surgery!

By the way, my cardiologist called it right. The time was right for my heart valve replacement!

We changed pillows on our bed in early January, and the new ones really transmit sound. I could really hear my valve getting progressively louder and worse all the time throughout January and February. This was not the usual “Lub-Dub”. My aortic valve was progressively getting worse. My surgeon tells me it was very bad!

I am one lucky guy! My wife Nancy, has been terrific through all this! My sister-in-law, Ann, her daughter Sarah (a recent Nurse YEAHHH!), and, her brother Ben, were also VERY big players in my support team!!!

Well, I guess I’ve raved on long enough!!

Take care Adam, and thanks again for your excellent book, and all your care and support!


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

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