I was born with familial hypercholesterolemia (FH, for short). Because of that, I have developed coronary artery disease (CAD) in my 30's, as well as carotid stenosis.
When I was 35, they diagnosed me also with a bicuspid aortic valve which has been diagnosed with severe stenosis (area of 0.5 cm2 and velocity of 4.99 m/s) on Christmas Eve, 2015.
While running more tests for my aortic valve stenosis, they also found out that I have a huge narrowing of the Left Anterior Descending (LAD) artery as well as of the OMB artery, which is an off-shoot of the LAD that both required by-passes.
Although I have known that most of these will eventually translate into open heart surgery one day, it was not till Christmas 2015 that I have gotten an ultimatum for my upcoming open heart surgery.
At the time of surgery (February 2016), I was 40 and I lived in Utah.
Fast-forward a few months after Christmas, the surgery (February 11, 2016) ended up being a little more complex than originally planned: they found out that I had a tricuspid valve, after all, but two of the leaflets were glued together with calcification, so the valve 'looked' like a bicuspid valve; they replaced my aortic valve with an On-X mechanical valve, they replaced my ascending aorta, which was completely calcified, with a Dacron graft, and they repaired my aortic arch, which was pretty heavily calcified from many years of cholesterol buildup. They also did a quadruple by-pass surgery, instead of the original double they saw on the CT scan.
During my hospital stay to recover from surgery (8 days total), I had am MI (myocardial infarction) in my left ventricle which made recovery a little more lengthy for my heart muscle.
I had the surgery at the Utah Valley Regional Medical Center, and I never thought I would be in such a relatively small clinic for such a serious surgery. My surgeon (dr. John Mitchel) was one of the most amazing doctors I have met my entire life, as well as my cardiologist (dr. Charles Dahl). You find good people and good professionals in the most unexpected places.
During my whole heart journey, I hope to gain strength and support from your amazing community. God knows I need both! I also would like to share my own experience, in hope that people facing OHS can gain some insight on what is possible.
Thank you for taking me in.
I also write a blog that follows my journey with FH and heart disease. The blog is here: http://livingwithfh.blogspot.com/
More Info About Me & My Heart
More About Me
I am from:
My surgery date is:
February 11, 2016
I was diagnosed with:
Bicuspid Aortic Valve
Coronary Artery Disease
My surgery was:
Aortic Valve Replacement
Aortic Aneurysm Replacement
Coronary Artery Bypass Graft
My surgeon is:
Dr. John Mitchell
My hospital is:
Utah Valley Regional Medical Center
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