I was diagnosed 10 years ago with mitral valve regurgitation by my regular doctor. He referred me to a Cardiologist who I've seen on an annual basis for an annual echocardiogram and office visit.
In December 2014 when I saw her for my annual exam and echo, she said she thought she may see a slight increase in the regurgitation, but not to change any of my exercise habits and that I had no restrictions. When I saw her in January 2016 for my annual visit and echo, she again said no restrictions and again that she may have seen an increase in the regurgitation. Later that day she called me at work and suggested I get a TEE that could be done by a cardiologist in her practice. In early February, I got the recommended TEE and the doctor that performed the procedure told my husband that he needed to run some numbers and get back with us. I was still under from the procedure, but he also basically told my husband that because I had no symptoms, we should enjoy the summer and think about surgery in the winter. My regular cardiologist called me later that day with a plan to increase my blood pressure medicine from 5mg to 40mg for 6 months to try and get the regurgitation under control and have the TEE run again in 6 months.
My husband and I decided to get a second opinion and drove up to the Mayo Clinic where I found out that my regurgitation was indeed severe and measured at 110 ccs, where severe begins at 60 ccs. I felt sick at my stomach when I heard this news. I was advised that I should get it repaired within the next two months. One week later, I met with Dr. (Surgeon) Simon Maltais and scheduled my surgery for March 7. After getting the news of my severe regurgitation, I wanted to have the surgery as soon as I could. I was a candidate for the less invasive repair which was performed on 3/7, spent the night of 3/7/16 in ICU, and the nights of 3/8 and 3/9 in a step down room. I was released on 3/10, spent the night in the town of Rochester, and was driven home on 3/11. I start my cardio rehab on 3/21.
I am SO thankful for all of the employees at the Mayo Clinic and for anyone involved in care, therapy, research for heart valve issues. I wanted to join this blog prior to surgery, but time got away from me while trying to prepare for the surgery. Posts provided by the members have already provided support, insights, and encouragement.
I wish and pray for the very best to everyone.
I know it will not happen overnight, but I am now looking forward to attending rehab, recovering and continuing my walks, hikes and exercise again.