Hi Nancy. I had mitral repair at UCLA 4/11. If you have blood drawn, have it done well before so you've recovered from that. Also good: a flu shot & pneumonia vaccine if recommended. Being in good physical shape helps, talk to your doctor about what you can and can't do. If underweight bulk up a bit. Consider an ACE inhibitor to reduce afterload on the heart. See my journal for other ideas. Peace be with you. -- DVB
I was transfused with my own blood after surgery. I donated two pints...one 4 weeks before and the other 2 weeks before surgery. At the time I didn't know about the controversy about the fresher blood, otherwise I would have asked my surgeon before.
It all worked out for me...no anemia or other problems.
I sorta disagree with Deb Z about the CCF blood replacement procedures...or it was explained to me in a different way...but she is 100% correct that you should attempt to follow the protocol of your hospital. I did not require transfusions, and agree it is not of major concern.
You alone are best qualified to decide on a "step down" facility. My family and I disagreed on this subject. I went directly home from my CCF discharge. I was alone, with neighbors and friends to support me. I survived. My fear was that the step down might let the activity level drop. At home alone I had to get moving.
I don't recall vitamin C. I do recall the anti-staph treatments and dental medications. These are minor and easy to tolerate.
Believe me, the waiting is the worst part. You will do fine.
You are right .......finding a surgeon IS difficult! It islas probably the most worrisome part of the whole deal for me. You are very lucky to be so close to great doctors and heart centers.
As for donating your own blood, I think every doctor has a different view about that. I really wanted to donate my own blood, but my surgeon really discouraged it ( I went to Cleveland Clinic) because he said ideally they like to use blood that is less than two weeks old (better outcomes with newer blood), and you have to give your own blood at least a month or six weeks before your surgery. I ended up needing blood, so I just got whatever they had at CCF, and it turned out fine. I know others on this site gave their own blood, but I don't know if they used it. My surgeon said most valve surgeries don't cause much blood loss because you are put on the bypass machine which pumps your blood during surgery, so there isn't much loss.
I doubt you will need to go to a rehab facility after surgery, assuming all goes well. I wondered the same thing, but I was pleasantly surprised by how much I could do when I got out of the hospital. If you have someone with you at home, you will be fine.
Godspeed and good luck with your journey. Waiting truly is the hardest part!