Phil Gerber posted a note for Rob that says:
Hey Rob. Came across your journal and realized we have a lot in common as i also had my BAV repaired by Dr. David. I'm 5 months post op and have some question about your recovery and participation in sports after the fact.
Eleanor R posted a note for Rob that says:
Rob, like Christine, tomorrow is the surgery date for you. I am sending thoughts and prayers to you for a smooth surgery and speedy recovery. You are ready and have the right attitude and I expect to hear from you soon telling us all of your experience. Take good care of yourself, and be a little patient with yourself to give your body time to catch up with your active mind and energy! I am about 12 weeks post surgery, in cardiac rehab and pretty much back to doing much of what I did before, driving, gardening, walking, and enjoying family and friends. I wish the same for you, a smooth rebound. Best wishes, Eleanor
Thanks for the message in my guestbook. Good to see that I'm not the only Canuck who is playing the waiting game. Did you figure out which type of valve you're going to get? My Dr. said that he was going to try and repair mine - that was his first and best option. Replacing with a mechanical valve was his second option. I'm 39 so it seems like the mechanical valve is my only real option for long term - aside from the blood thinner issues - I agree and think that's a good solution. Just curious what your surgeon was thinking?
Sandy Wummer posted a note for Rob that says:
Hi Rob. I am also very active. Im 58 and had a Bovine then a human valve. just celebrated 1 year post op. There is no right or wrong decision. I opted to NOT take the mechanical because coumadin forever (not my thing.) I opted for tissue so if the valve needs redo, in enough years i may be a candidate for the TAVR, the much less invasive procedure. right now its only used on high risk but in years to come those of us who may need additional surgery may want to think about prepositioning ourselves for the evolution of medicine. One suggestion. Turn yourself over to a surgeon you trust and dont look back. whatever decision you make. Oh and keep a sense of humor. it helps a lot.
Eleanor posted a note for Rob that says:
Wow, that is really moving fast, but apparently in the direction you want to go, so I am happy you found the surgeon and the procedure you hoped for. Good luck on your surgery and recovery, I am hoping for the best for you, and for all of us. Another patient,
I don't know anything about surgeons at Ontario. I am 50 had Ross done by Dr. William Ryan on 5/15. I did a lot of reading of medical journals before making my decision & talked to as many people as I could. First of all, I want to say that the choice is personal. There is no right or wrong. It's true that mechanical valve will most likely last longer than tissue valve. However, there are research showing that mechanical valves are not forever. In addition, there is risk associated w/ stroke or internal bleeding. So something else might cause you problems before the valve.
I chose Ross because I am otherwise healthy, have > 25 yr life expectancy, don't have regurgitation (if you do, Ross is not for you), no aneurysm, no blockage, no aortic dilation, my pulmonary valve size matches my aortic valve size, etc. so I am a candidate for Ross. They are pretty picky about who they would do Ross. I don't know about Canada, but you want to find out whether you are candidate first.
It took me longer to recover than some people who have just valve replacement. But I only take a baby aspirin & 12.5 mg of metoprolol a day. I am looking forward to getting back to the exercise regimen I did a year ago.
Travis Brown posted a note for Rob that says:
I did look into the Ross procedure and wanted to get a consultation at USC with Vaughn Starnes. However, my insurance would not cover it. USC wouldn't even let me pay cash to go and talk to the man. I was told by my cardiologist that I didn't have the time to fight with insurance companies. I had maybe another month before my condition would deteriorate to far. So the Dr I ended up going to told me that the Ross procedure isn't ready for prime time yet. He felt that there is possibility of having to many complications. He said that the mechanical valve would last the rest of my life. I am 44. As I am sure you read the Ross Procedure should only be done by the best of the best and there is only like 3 guys worthy of that distinction. There is a guy in New York, one in Texas, and the guy I wanted to see at USC. If you can't get them I wouldn't have the Ross done.
Travis Brown posted a note for Rob that says:
I wanted a tissue valve too. They told me the same thing that I was to active and that a tissue valve wouldn't work for me. I am 1 month post op and I got the mechanical valve. I am feeling great. I have done a lot more than I am supposed to. I was walking alot and since my knees started bugging me I have been back on my bicycle. Not advised but I never follow Dr's orders...lol The coumadin thing has been a bit of a pain to get the right levels.. They have been all over with that. It seems pretty stable now. You will do fine if you are an active person before you go in.
Kimberly posted a note for Rob that says:
Hi Rob..my husband had mitral valve surgery 3 weeks ago..after TEE, cardiac cath, surgeon determined he needed valve replacement..so we had decided on a cow valve..imagine my shock when 2 hours into surgery, a tech came from surgery to tell me the valve was totally shot..a second surgeon was called in to confer..and a metal valve would be needed..the last thikng my husband said to me before surgery was "remember, I DON'T want a metal valve."..Of course I said to do what was best for my husband...I was dreading telling him..felt like I had let him down..but in the end he accepted it for what it was...he will be on Warfarin for rest of life, but once the dose is figured out, it will be a once a month lab check..diet is not as tricky as I had been fearing..in fact I really haven't had to do much adjustment..I would like to add..we are Christians and consider the Lord as the Great Physician..we had prayed for talented, wise people to guide hands of surgeon..we had prayed "Thy will be done."..we can truely now say the worst is over, the future is bright...Good Luck!
firstname.lastname@example.org posted a note for Rob that says:
Hello, Rob. You are right, the type of valve is a big decision. There are pros and cons for both mechanical and tissue valves, and you will find people on this website who have a variety of valves, and are doing well. My surgeon's advice was "whichever you choose is infinity better than the one you have", since my aortic valve had severe calcification and stenosis. He also said "whichever one you choose, will be the right one for you, and you will make it work". Good luck to you, do you research, there are a lot of good videos on this site, as well as on www.valvereplacement.com.