My Mitral Valve repair was on 5/9/12 and about 3.5 weeks later I started Cardiac Rehab. After about 4 weeks it has made a real difference for me. Last week they added very light strength training to the cardio.
My sense is that you will be really glad you did rehab for a few weeks, because it shows you just how much you can accomplish.
Congrats on the 6 week mark, Jim! I'm going under the knife in two weeks. I have BAVD, but no problems with the valve yet, only my aorta. Always nice to read good things about people on the other side.
I had one of those and it's no as bad as it sounds. it takes about 30 mins. You will get some "happy juice" that helps you relax as well they will numb the area and the needle pinch stings a bit. then you have to remain flat for about 2-4 hrs to make sure there is no bleeding. I was a little sore afterwards but it was a breeze.
Yea it's easy for them to take care of any other problem since they are in there rather than fix this and then find out there are other issues later.
Hi Jim - Here are some questions to ask your Surgeon.
How many repairs or replacements do you do in a year?
What are your outcomes for surgeries with my condition?
How long will my surgery take?
What restrictions will I have?
Can I expect a normal quality of life?
What type of valve would you recommend?
What can I be doing between now and the surgery to enhance my recovery?
Hey Jim, I had my aortic valve replaced 2/6/12 and doing great. Reading the book helped me to understand the problem and the questions to ask. The HVJ freinds website is great. Such support from people who have the same problems. You will feel better after surgery. I just hope the neighbor doesn't get angry with you when you try to cut his lawn!! lol Take care
Hi Jim, I actually didn't have a lot of questions because I did a fair amount of research beforehand. For example, I had already ready the pros and cons of mechanical vs. tissue. Plus my cardiologist answered a lot of my basic questions. Even though your valves relate to the aortic and bicuspid valve, if you go to mitralvalverepair.org, I believe there's a list of questions to ask your surgeon. Oh, I'm sorry. It was the Association of Anesthesiology. I actually had more concerns about that than the surgery. I'm sure the other HVJers will have some more input on this topic. My personal list of questions included: "What would my symptoms be when my tissue valve starts to deteriorate?" (I opted to go with a tissue value), "Will you be the only one performing the surgery?". "What is the future of non-invasive heart valve replacement surgery?" I didn't ask about mortality rates or how many surgeries my surgeon performed. I was able to locate this information online. I knew what to expect from the surgery and post-surgery by reading Adam's book.
I think everyone's list of questions to ask the surgeon, would be very different. I would suggest you write down every single possible question you have, particularly the burning ones, and try to dwindle it down to the ones specific to the surgeon. Leverage this website and ask the questions to the group. Recently, Joan asked about the TEE (transesophageal echocardiogram?) procedure. You may need to have this test done. Anyway, the forum was able to chime in and provide a lot of information. Believe me, it's a lot to absorb. I'm sure you know that your brain can digest just so much and then synthesize the information. Sometimes you think you understand something and then need to have it explained again. Also, talk with your cardiologist and his/her Physician's Assistant. Read, "Heart 411", a newish book by Dr. Gillinov from the Cleveland Clinic. I hope this is helpful.
Thanks for setting this site up so we can feel like we are up to date on what is going on. I wish we were closer so we could help out more. We are thinking of you daily and know that you are in good hands with the university system and Claudia. Love,
Molly and paul
After reading your story I felt compelled to give you my humble opinion. Thursday will be 4 weeks since my aortic valve was replaced with a mechanical valve. I am a bit younger than you, at 49 and a retired Marine so it has nothing to do with being out of shape, overweight or old. At 1cm of valve area you most likely don't have any heart damage yet. Outcomes from this type of surgery are very good. Mortality for all valve replacements is less that 3% and that includes those that are in poor health to begin with. Recovery was surprisingly easy. I had abdominal surgery a few years ago that was a way harder recovery. 24 hours after valve surgery I was out of the ICU and up and moving around. Before surgery, I was told that if I did nothing I would live from 2-5 years, now with surgery behind me there is no reason why I should not expect a normal life span. Find a surgeon that does a lot of these. The Cleveland clinic is top in the country. I had mine done here in Raleigh NC by a surgeon that does 100 aortic valves per year and was very pleased with the result.. I wish you the best. waiting for surgery is the hardest part.
This site is awesome and people here will help support you any way they can. Don't be afraid to open up and ask anything you want or share your concerns or fears. I am 38 married with 3 kids 6 and under. I just had my AVR on 2/20/12 and I have never felt better.
You will be fine and you can do this..Let us know how we can help you.
Jim, You have the best medical care here in Madison along with your beautiful wife tending to your every need. Please know that if you need anything we are just a few doors away and would love to help out. Whether it's preparing a meal, doing some lawn work, cleaning your garage or cars, just let us know. We'll also be saying a few extra prayers to the big guy just to make sure things go as planned. Love Tom & Joan
Hi Jim, welcome to the HVJ site you've come to a great place. I know how hard it is to hear you will need Heart Surgery, it's a hard pill to swallow. The good news is you are not alone, all of us here are in the same boat, some have already crossed over and some still waiting such as you and me (my day is May 7th). Ask questions, everyone here is willing to help.
Hi Jim! Welcome to HVJ. This is a wonderful resource and support community. There are no stupid questions and a whole lot of empathy. We've all been where you are now. It does take a while to accept the news and absorb all of the information. I remember being really scared at first. I finally realized that I really had no choice but to have the surgery. My poor husband actually had a harder time with it. Reading all the success stories and seeing all the photos is a big help for people. I had my surgery (valve replacement, valve repair and Maze procedure) about a month ago and I'm feeling great. I also have some photos. So, I recommend you read lots of journals and ask lots of questions. Good luck with your journey Jim. Regards, Lily Cardlin
Welcome to HVJ!
Acceptance comes gradually. It's all very overwhelming at first. I never knew I had anything wrong with my heart the day I found opt I'd likely need surgery.
Once you read success stories over and over you'll gain some confidence and get through this...what other choice do you have? It's not really a club you want to belong to, but there are a lot of awfully nice people here. You may come out of this with something positive you never expected.
Best of luck on your journey.