Hello, I'm in London and have found the blogs and advice on this site very comforting.
I had a mild mitral valve murmur which wasn't bothersome for many years, including during pregnancy. Mid 2015 I had very focused chest pain and following ECG, Echos, heart monitoring and TOE I discovered that the prolapse had become much more severe and needs repairing. Surgeon wants to do it via open surgery rather than keyhole. Prior to this, I have been diagnosed with EDS Type III.
I have also had an angiogram, MRI, lungs tests (CT scan and function tests) and the pre-admission tests.
To cope with the surgery I turned the whole experience into a project looking to the next test and learn as much as I could to take away the fear. Medical science is truly awe inspiring! The run up to surgery has been helped by the hospital's own commitment to pre-op care and this site. I feel very blessed to have found these wonderful people!
On 18 Nov I was given the rest of my life back with a successful mitral valve repair and some Gore-tex heart strings for extra scaffolding due to EDS. I was very dry during the op so given fluids and transfusion, struggling with low blood pressure. I cried with joy when I saw and heard my valve through the post op echo :)
I also, unfortunately, acquired post surgical atrial fibrillation (at it's worse pulse ranging up to 130bpm and beating like a bag of snakes) which is further complicated by low blood pressure, it's balancing act to manage this. I'm on Bisoprolol and originally Lovenox, now Rivaroxaban (new generation thinner) which has gone some way to tame the snakes and ranges 80-100. It's exhausting on top of the recovery from the surgery, and it's limited my ability to walk slopes.
I've now returned for the second time to sinus rhythm but have been advised to continue with the medication, my cardiologist has given me comfort that he thinks this will disappear. My pulse is 70 at rest, BP 115/75. I'm concerned how I come off the meds but we'll tackle that as it comes. Now the AF is under control I can begin cardiac rehab.
30% of patients will get this post MV surgery, 90% will recover without more than rate control... I'm praying that once my heart heals from the operation that this will disappear for good - it's not something I had contemplated and I do wish I had discussed the maze procedure with my surgeon.
Apart from that, my mobility is good (except slopes!) and I'm surprised how much more I can do than I expected. I do need to be mindful not to pull/push/lift.
It's been an emotional journey, but each day I see improvements and just need to shake off this a fib for good and I'll be conquering valve surgery!!
Update 9/2016: After getting over the initial bout of AF and then attending rehab I felt a lot stronger. I returned to work 3 months post op, a staggered start. I have low BP in the morning due to meds so I time my day to miss the rush hours. Monitoring shows now that the SV ectopics have gone but I'm still plagued with ventricular ones. I hope these will diminish as I had hardly any pre-op. Coming off rivaroxaban at the start of the summer oddly resulted in another spell of AF, so back on that and will try again when feel stronger. It's certainly a long journey!!
Knowing now all I do and all that I've been through, am I glad I've done this? - absolutely!!
Best wishes to patients and carers pre, during and post operation(s).