I'm a little late, to say the least, but I'm glad we're in contact now, if anything like that comes up again, im a phone call away.... And would fly up there and help you out... I happen to LOVE cardiology, .... And let's face it my dad is sooo far from therapeutic lol.
Love you Uncle Scott!!
Great news. Seems like you didn't have weeks to worry and get anxious. Continue to heal and do well. We've all been there and it gets better. Judge your progress by the week, not the day. That really helped me when I had complications and didn't feel I was making progress. Glad we could help you.
Hi Scott. Welcome to HJV. You said that you need to make your decision pretty quick. I would encourage you to take a step back & take the time to research what is available to you before you decide. Read Adam's book, these journals (especially those who also have the same condition as you), Adam's blog & everything you can find online & elsewhere. Get a second opinion if you are not comfortable with the first - I did & I'm going with #2. Once you decide, let that be it - no looking back. Everyone has their own reasons & only you can say what those are for you. Best of luck to you - the odds are in your favor.
Like Ricki, I had my surgery March 18th at the Cleveland Clinic with Dr Gillinov. Cannot praise him or the clinic enough and I traveled from SW FL to do this. Had a bovine mitral valve and tricuspid repair. I was told that when (and if) I need a replacement valve (I'm 71), it will be done thru the groin and no major surgery. It is already being done this way on the elderly who are too debilitated for open heart surgery. So, the techniques, etc will be perfected well in advance of you needing a new valve. Let us know your decision and please look up the info Cheryl mentioned. Once you've made your decision, don't second guess yourself, that's defeating. Good luck.
Welcome to HVJ. I had my mitral valve repaired last Oct/09 and at the time the doctor felt there was a 95% chance of repair but I still had to have a backup plan ready and my doctor chose mechanical. Since that time Adam had Dr. Gillinov of the Cleveland Clinic have a question/answer session with the HVJ people and his answers changed my mind. Go into Adam's blog and search out that session where you might benefit from some really good information. Good luck.
I'm 57 and I just had my aortic valve replaced on May 20th. For me there was never a question that I would go with a biological valve (I ended up with a bovine valve). There is no way I would choose to be on blood thinners the rest of my life unless I didn't have a choice in the matter. Every doctor (including 2 cardiologists and 2 cardiac surgeons) I talked with told me they would never go on life-long blood thinners if they had a choice so I knew I made the right decision.
I had my surgery at the Cleveland Clinic . . . I chose them after much research. At the time, I didn't know they were pro-biological valve but it turned out to be a very good fit for me. I also ended up with a much smaller incision (3 inches) than if I had had the surgery locally. In addition to looking better, that smaller incision made recovery much easier.
As for re-surgeries . . . it is expected that biovalves will last, on average, 20 years. (They now treat them somehow so the average has jumped from 10 to 20 years). They could last longer (or shorter . . .) Assuming 20 years, I'd probably face 1 re-surgery at 77. Not a bad trade-off to dealing with blood thinners everyday for all those years. And it's very possible that within 20 years (actually, much sooner than that) they'll be able to replace valves in a far less invasive procedure.
One thing I found is there is a great difference in knowledge and procedures between my local hospitals and the major medical centers like Cleveland and Mayo. Research is very important as you make your decisions how to proceed. Luckily, lots of info is available on-line.
Advantages of Mitral Valve Repair
Mitral valve repair is the best option for nearly all patients with a leaking (regurgitant) mitral valve and for many with a narrowed (stenotic) mitral valve.
Compared to valve replacement, mitral valve repair provides better long-term survival, better preservation of heart function, lower risk of complications, and usually avoids the need for long-term use of blood thinners (anticoagulation). For these reasons, Cleveland Clinic surgeons are committed to mitral valve repair.
Your mitral valve
.Advantages of Mitral Valve Repair:
•Better early and late survival
•better preservation of heart function
•lower risk of stroke and infection (endocarditis)
•no need for blood thinners (anticoagulation)
Welcome to HVJ.. I am a 49 yo active male who had Aortic Vlave Replacement on May 5. Unlike you, I have known forever; since age 10, I would need this surgery one day so I had years to study and plan for it. Adam's book is a good start, and this community is a great resource.
My cardiologist recommended a mechanical valve to me for the same reasons your doctor has; but I wanted a biological valve as I am very active, have no desire for coumadin, and am fully aware a repeat, or two, surgical intervention will be needed down the road.
I had my surgery at Cleveland Clinic, and they are very pro biological there; but will use whichever valve you decide on. That is the key thing. You need to do the research, ask questions, reads peoples jpournals here and make that deciscion for yourself. I have never had any type of surgery before in my life, and by chosing a biological valve (bovine) I made the decsion for possible multiple major surgeries. They are making advances yearly in these surgeries and today's protocol is likely going to be different from what I will experience in 15+/- years from now.
What I am already enjoying is a healthy heart, medicine free and more importantly i evaluated all the choices, discussed it with my wife, did a little praying, but know I made the right choice for me and my lifestyle.
I wish you the very best in your journey. It is not a lot of fun, but it is not as bad as you think. Stay positive and you will be fine..
My name is Melany. I am 36yrs young and just had two open heart surgeries in two months. My first was to repair the mitral valve, and looking back, I was told by my surgeon that he was confident it would be a repair, so I took his word for it and we didn't discuss a replacement. I would try to relax and know that you are in God's hands and what he has in store for you is going to happen but that he will take care of you. Trust your gut, not the surgeons and make your own mind up. I did just that. I had complete confidence in my surgeon and he did a great job! My second surgery was a complication from coumadin, not from the actual repair. I hope this helps and know that I will be praying for you. You will get a ton of support here and become part of a great, huge family!