I have been healthy all of my life, active, enjoying exercise, such as biking, running, skiing. At around age 53, I shared with my doctor that I noticed palpitations, thinking it was stress or too much caffeine. However she discovered a murmur, asking me if anyone had ever told me I had it. No other doctors had. After an EKG, she thought the main culprit was Mitral Valve Prolapse, but referred me to a cardiologist and further testing, an echo. I did so, and knew right away something was not right, because 2 other technicians came in to observe and give me a bubble test with the echo. I heard from my cardiologist that I needed more testing. Following a stress test echo, and a TEE, they confirmed I had a significant hole in my heart, a congenital defect, an ASD since birth, which was shunting a lot of blood….I am so thankful my Primary Care Physician caught this!
I had a minimally invasive procedure to repair it, now 9 years ago. It involved an implanted patch called an amplatzer occluder. I found I was much stronger. I felt great, easily pulling away from the crowd when biking! A great improvement! I returned for annual checkups with my cardiologist, that Included aTEE/echo. I knew I had minimal mitral valve regurgitation at the time of the procedure, we would watch it. The last three years, the mitral valve began to show more regurgitation, until this year it increased to severe. Subtle symptoms sneaked up on me, being more tired, a bit more breathless when exercising, And palpitations.
My cardiologist recommended we get the mitral valve repaired, better sooner than later. I talked to the surgeon at our Heart Center here, and he reassured me that he can repair the mitral valve, and at the same time remove the patch to close the ASD surgically. I’m told that the Mitral Valve repair surgery has a great success rate, and he is very experienced. It can be fixed, and can assure me a greater future, barring any complications, after a full recuperation. That's reassuring. I will go ahead with the surgery March 3rd. In the meantime, I am working on keeping busy and positive. I am going to read Adam’s book as well.
I have a new step-granddaughter, and 4 other step-grandchildren under 5. We are just transitioning to retirement, so lots to be healthy for! My husband and I love to bike, golf, as well as play with those grandkids!
So glad to be able to share and learn. I don't think I would be as prepared for a surgery without hearing from others. Thank you Adam for this great heart valve surgery community!