I'm the guy in glasses.
I am 48 years old and over 2 months into navigating this journey with no surgery date in sight, or surgeon identified. I was diagnosed with a severe mitral valve regurgitation, but asymptomatic. I've met with 2 cardiologists that seem to have differing opinions. One of them is certain I'll need a valve replacement, while the other is a bit more optimistic for repair. I met with the less optimistic cardiologist's surgeon recently and he was a fast talker, bent on informing me how busy he is on multiple occasions. He highly recommends a sternotomy for either repair or replacement of the valve. The main thing he left me with was having to choose between a tissue valve or mechanical. Was not excited about him at all. I meet with a second surgeon soon.
I had a cardiac MRI recently as well as a cardio angiogram with left heart catheterization. No narrowing of the arteries but the leakage, or blowback, is at 50%. I'm next due for a trans esophageal echocardiogram.
I'm on state sponsored insurance as the COVID situation changed my employment situation. I'm grateful for the health care help, but it does have its limitations. For example, I was excited to learn about the Mayo Clinic here in Arizona having a specialization for my condition. To have an entire team working together for me that uses the latest and greatest technology for these procedures was very comforting, except, they don't accept my insurance. So I'm navigating this process sort of al a carte with minor successes but the entire process is met with delays and massive gaps between appointments & procedures. I am concerned of turning symptomatic as I crawl forward. It's crazy because now that I know of my condition, I feel like just thinking about things I can send my heart into palpitations.
Now that I've discovered this amazing community and it's incredible amount of information, I am excited once again. I am inspired to be more vigilant and will be pushing forward to locate a surgeon who is an "expert" in mitral valve "repairs" and determine if I'm a candidate for the procedure to be done robotically...