Jill's Heart Valve Journal

Joined September 22, 2012

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My Story

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    I am from: Missoula, Montana
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    My surgery date is: December 7, 2017
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    I was diagnosed with: Aortic Regurgitation
    Aortic Stenosis
    Bicuspid Aortic Valve
    Aortic Aneurysm
    Coronary Artery Disease
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    My surgery was: Aortic Valve Replacement
    Aortic Valve Repair
    Aortic Aneurysm Replacement
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    My surgeon is: Dr. Joseph Schmoker
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    My hospital is: Providence International Heart Institute, Missoula

In my own words:

On August 12, 2012 I had surgery to replace a bicuspid aortic valve. At the time, I had an ascending aortic aneurysm, but the doctors chose to leave it has it wasn't a problem.

The past three years my ARV has been building up pressure behind it and leaking and regurgitation. I went in this September and my cardiologist was very concerned about its status and wanted to see me in January. After I got back from vacation at the end of October I got a call from my new surgeon who wanted to see me for my five year check up. That check up turned into an appointment to talk about surgery. I really hadn't gotten my head around my September appointment and how bad my valve was only to have a CT scheduled the day after the surgeon's appointment and a week later and angiogram with my cardiologist who discovered a remus? artery, most people don't even have, on my heart. The surgeon had mentions a full stonotomy which I couldn't understand why it was necessary since he was only going to work at the top of my heart. But he was going to do a bypass on the remus artery and the doctors decided against this. This has been a very difficult time for me as I have had two back fusions in the past two Decembers and they haven't really been that successful leaving me with leg pain. I also have neck and leg pain. So heart surgery just adds insult to injury. I just hope It go well.

After surgery I was informed my original replacement valve was defective. I ended up with a mini sternotomy, thank goodness. My valve should have lasted much longer. Unfortunately, I seem to have to things redone. I hope this new valve lasts much longer.

My surgery went very smoothly and I was home in three days. Three more weeks and my sternum should be healed. My husband and I go to rehab starting Jan.4.

I did find out after surgery that the first aortic valve replacement I had in 2012 was defective. That was like a kick in the stomach. So I know other people have had to have their valve re-replaced. My first valve should have lasted years longer.
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