had a heart murmur for most of my life, but was told it was nothing to worry about. During my third pregnancy in 2014 I've experienced strange palpitations and was sent to do an Echo.
Then I was diagnosed with MVP but was told that everything looks ok and if I would ever need to fix it, it'll be when I'm 60 or 70, and not to worry. So I didn't.
But I was told to come in the next year for a follow up. At the follow up the Doctor wasn't so calm anymore - I guess the pregnancy and high blood flow made things worse and I now had severe regurgitation. I've consulted with several Doctors and all of them advised not to wait with surgery and do it while I have no severe symptoms and the heart is still in good condition.
My choice was rather uncommon: although I live in New York, I chose to fly to Germany and have the surgery there, for 2 reasons: I was extremely scared of the cracked sternum, mainly from the recovery as I have three small kids and couldn't think of not being able to pick them up for 3 months or taking care of them, but also from the sternum wires, pain, scar etc. So I wanted to find a surgeon who has a lot of experience with minimally invasive surgery and overcame the "learning curve", but also didn't want to compromise on the best chances for a good and durable repair. Through a good friend who is a cardiac surgeon himself, I found Dr. Patrick Perier, who has tons of experience in mitral valve repairs and also does super minimally invasive surgery (my scar is only 2 cm on the side of my right breast!!!). He is also an amazing human being, caring, kind and super modest.
I know my choice is hardly for everyone, but it is a great choice, for instance, for those with no medical insurance - the cost of this surgery is much much cheaper in Europe.