Sorry -- I forgot to mention the dizziness I experienced before my valve replacement surgery. YES! I had lots of dizziness that was attributed to my aortic regurgitation and stenosis. My Dr's said it's fairly uncommon for folks to have it as bad as I did but it does happen. Basically it can affect blood flow to your brain and balance system. Do you have a history of vestibular issues? Vertigo or Meneire's? In short, this will indeed go away.
After I had a standard echo and there were some obstructive shadows from my rib cage, my Cardiologist said "We're moving on to the gold standard and will do a TEE." Sounded scary but it's no big deal at all. You MIGHT have a scratchy throat later that day but they've got it down solid. Just relax and know that we're blessed with wonderful Dr's and technology!! :-)
To answer your question....I did have a minimally invasive procedure (3" incision) and I am sure that makes a big difference in length of recovery etc. I was actually able to sleep on my side while still in the hospital. As long as there are no other needs i.e. stents, by passes, double proedures like mitral valve repair + aortic valve repair/replacement etc. you should be eligible for a minimally invasive procedure. Also there is less pain...I actually never took pain killers but then I have a high tolerance for pain.
Hope this helps.
You asked about lightheadedness and dizzy spells. I had a few from time to time....usually when I worked on the computer. I, too, had aortic stenosis, but that was taken care of when I had my aortic valve replaced 6/12/12. Mine was classed as extremely severe. How is your blood ressure? Mine was kinda low and still is to some extent. I think the cardiac rehab is helping me alot and I recommend it. I started rehab after 3 mos. post op.
I know the waiting for surgery is the hard part ( as everyone on this blog will tell you) and recovery was pretty fast and uneventful and I am 73 yrs, old.
I just want to wish you all the best and if I can help you with questions etc. please feel free to contact me via this blog.
Blessings to you.
Hello Vicki E.
I have had several TEE procedures, both before and after AVR surgery. As I understand, TEE is a relatively new procedure with an exciting future ahead of it. The TEE is an insertion of a tube in the throat, permitting an ECHO type exam of the backside of the heart.
My most recent TEE was in conjunction with a "Cardioversion," done as an outpatient procedure. Both an IV and a local are used, so no driving for 12 hours. I forget diet restrictions, so they must not be bad!!!
If your Doc cooperates, this type test has instant results, the videos are awesome. You have nothing to fear, everything to gain.
I have dizziness from time to time, not bad but makes me think whoa, what was that. My worst symptom though is shortness of breath with even mild exertion. Yet, they so far have said the stenosis is moderate, so I wait.
Hi Vicki, Yes dizziness and light headness are signs of aortic stenosis. I had them all the time and even one time a year ago last Aug. had 2 siezures together. No one would tell me why but my surgeon said he thought it was the valve not working right.. I would not wait until after Thanksgiving to get checked out. The stenosis has to become severe before you have surgery anyway, but you defieantly want to be made aware of anything. Good luck to you.
Mooing all over
LInda H and Elsie AVR 9/19/12
Hi, Vicki! I have the dizziness from time-to-time and never put 2 and 2 together until I saw my echo results and talked with my cardiologist. It seems counter-intuitive to go under the knife BEFORE you have a lot of symptoms, but my GP, cardiologist and surgeon have all told me that it is better to get this done while my symptoms are relatively mild and I have good strength for the surgery and recovery. I have aortic stenosis as well and my surgery is scheduled for Tuesday. Please schedule time with your cardiologist and definitely before Thanksgiving! This may not be an emergency, but not something to wait on for an informed decision. So glad you have found this site. It really is a godsend and so much great information available. Sherry Bradford, AV replacement scheduled 10/23
Dizziness and lightheadedness is a symptom of aortic stenosis . . . usually that things are getting worse and less oxygenated blood is getting to your brain. It's probably not an emergency but I suggest not waiting to see your GP and calling your cardiologist directly.
I did have fully open heart surgery, my scar is about 6" and can be easily covered if I want it to. I don't try to hide it since it's a bit of a battle scar and at 50 yrs old I feel to young to worry about it. My surgeon told me he could do it minimally but the risk of stroke was greater. I also was diagnosed only a week before surgery when I ended up in the ER with heart failure and severe mitral regurgitation. It was really rough on me since I was so sick going into it. I would recommend getting it over with before you get worse symptoms.
My grandparents were John and Lucile Wilcox and I give you odds that all the Wilcoxes in Concordia are related to them! My mother, her brother and sister have moved but still try and attend reunions. I have very fond memories of driving from the Chicago area to Concordia to see grandma during my vacations.
I saw your hometown and I just had to leave a comment. My mother grew up in Concordia and her family way back were homesteaders. Her family name is Wilcox, what a small world!
I had a Mitral Valve repair 9 months ago, it was a very rough recovery but I'm finally feeling near normal.
Use all the resources you can to find the best Cardiac center in your area ( probably KC) It's funny when you start asking around the same names are usually recomended.