Welcome to the HVJ. I'm 41 and 4 weeks post op! I had my aortic valve replaced with a mechanical one (I didn't want to go through this again in a few years with a tissue valve).
I found that having this surgery isn't anything near the horrors that I imagined it to be. I know it seems really scary right now but trust me, these surgeries are just about routine now. There's some really good info on this site and a great support group. Feel free to ask any questions.
I wish you well and feel for you to be so young and have to have surgery, but it is great they can do this stuff. I am waiting for second opinion from the CC as to when I should have surgery. My guess is pretty soon, though. Best regards,
Interesting, we just had dinner with a friend who was visiting us from Coeur d'Alene. His part time job is with the sheriff's posse. I ditto everything Mark wrote to you. Don't be rushed, apparently you have time to do some research and this is a great place to start. You'll get answers to any questions you have and some answers to things you haven't even thought about. I might suggest you look thru some of the journals of others with aortic problems and see what they been through. Dr Gillinov (Cleveland Clinic), my surgeon, had some really good info on different types of valves.At the CC (#1 heart hospital) they are pretty pro active for tissue valves. As Mark said, no coumadin and when it needs to be replaced (could be up to 20 years), they told me and others that the replacement valve will be done with a catheter thru the groin! Pretty amazing, huh? So, ask questions, do your research and all will be okay.
Welcome to HVJ!! A good place to start as you are begining your search for information. Make sure you get Adam Pick's book "The Patients Guide to Heart Vlave Surgery" as it will help you understand whats ahead, and you will be more prepared.
The great thing to know right up front is you are going to be fine. You have a serious, but very treatable condition. I had aortic challenges since birth, and on May 5 of this year, at 50 yo, it finally got to the point it was time to replace my aortic valve. My cardiologist alos recommended a mechanical valve due to my age, but having had years to study this opted for a bovine (biological) valve instead. I am very active, and I personally did not want to deal with coumadinn (blood thinners) the rest of my life.
The thing right up front I will recommend to you is to do some reserach on all aspects of what you are preparing for; treatment options, second opinions, is repair an option, valve replacement type, etc; and learn to be very active in the decision making process. As you learn more you will want to have a more than equal vote in what is happening in your treatment. Do not let your doctors determine your path.
You have an excellent resource here of people who have recently been through, or are on the path towards surgery. Ask questions and you get respones. It can be a little overwhelming as you begin, but the more you learn the easier it will all ultimately be. And remember what I said at the start, when it is all said and done you are going to be just fine..