Lynee Casper posted a note for Charles that says:
Charles, it is nice to hear your update. After 8 weeks it sounds like you are doing really well. I have a mitral valve repair scheduled in March, so this is encouraging to know things can be better following! Best to you!
Joe __ posted a note for Charles that says:
I'm about 2 months post opt from a bicuspid aortic valve (BAV) repair and aortic root and hemiarch remodeling to correct for aortic aneurysm. Dr. Joseph Bavaria at Penn performed my surgery -- he's the Vice Chief in Acker's department. How I understand it, Bavaria's specific interest is the aortic valve and Acker's the mitral valve. So, looks like you found the right guy for your condition. My BAV issue is a congenital defect, but I only found out about it at the beginning of the year during a "let's just make sure everything is fine" echo. I've been asymptomatic my whole life even though I had mild regurgitation and an enlarged left ventricle, due to the stress of the valve dysfunction. So, I can empathize with the frustration of signing up for a surgery when you don't feel like you need one. That was a tough part for me and one my family didn't think I'd get over as I procrastinated setting my surgery date.
Although my surgery wasn't a mitral valve, I was at Silverstein 10's cardiac floor at HUP and am more than happy to share my experience with you or answer any specific questions via email or phone if it helps you out. I sought four opinions before I settled on Penn and Dr. Bavaria (Svensson at Cleveland, Stewart at Mt Sinai, and Plestis at Lankenau). Each of them/their institutions brought something to the table I liked more than the other, but I ultimately took the advice of cardiologist friends to go to a teaching institution (where you'll have more people monitoring you) and a center with a high volume of cases and a high success rate for your particular surgery along with a top rated surgeon. Most of my choices fit that bill, but HUP wanted to remodel a bit more of my aorta to make sure another aneurysm didn't develop elsewhere so I liked the forward thinking and the convenience of being close to home for family that was coming to visit and care for me. I had also gone to the Law School at Penn and a friend of a friend was one of the other attending surgeons on the BAV team. I know on the aortic valve side of things Penn is one of the biggest centers on the Eastern side of the country. Cleveland and Mayo apparently top the list, but Penn was #7 nationwide when I was checking.
Like I said, let me know if you'd like me to share specifics with you privately (my email is email@example.com). My experience with HUP was mixed, but my cardiac outcome was good, which is very important. There were some other unexpected stumbles and inefficiencies with coordinating care that frustrated and disappointed me.
Siobhan posted a note for Charles that says:
Hi, Charles, I too have severe mitral regurgitation and am seeing a surgeon at HUP. From my research and what I've been told, HUP is one of the top hospitals for heart valve surgery. Which surgeon have you seen there?