After one week being re-admitted to Mayo Clinic for complications after my Tricuspid valve replacement because of pleural effusion, I had another thoracentesis done on April 13, because the fluid came back. They drained 800 cc's. of fluid this time. This is my second thoracentesis. It happened just two weeks after pigtail chest tubes were placed on me last March 22. What a pain, really. I just do not know why this is happening. The doctor said this complications happen more with little people like me after the surgery. Next time it happens, they might do the pleurodesis which I really dread. Please pray for me. I have been through a lot already. It has been 11 weeks of recovery period, but I am not fully recovered. I guess it is the age thing.
Went to Mayo Clinic for a follow up with a hapatologist today. He is monitoring my liver that was damaged due to the tricuspid regurgitation. He said that my lab test results are looking much better and he and his team really think that my liver problem was due to the heart problem. So there is a bit of good news there. I will still have the cirrhosis, but he said, they just have to watch it if it would develops into something like cancer (I really hope not). So I will be having a CT Scan every 6 months to see the progress.
I am feeling much better after the pleural effusion drainage from both of my lungs. The doctor said there is still a tiny bit of fluid at the bottom of my right lung. I just hope that it will go away with my appetite coming back. I just have to eat a lot of protein rich food. Sleep is still a problem, but with all the prayers from all of you, I am really hopeful that all the problems will be resolved....maybe slowly, but it's gonna come.
Thank you again for the prayers. You guys are such wonderful people...caring and loving. God bless you all.
My loving husband who is always by my side no matter what. My moral support. A real blessing from God. Also two of my loving dogs, Ulysses and Cyrus.
Update posted on...
March 22, 2017
Got admitted to the Mayo Clinic today after x-ray and office visit. Getting all kinds of test to see why the fluid is building up. Will have chest tube (pig tail) to drain fluid. Just waiting for the INR test to have the procedure.
Just got the INR. Good result. 1.8, so the procedure will be done right away.
7 1/2 weeks recovery period???? Going back to Mayo Clinic tomorrow for an x-ray and more likely another thoracentesis.
Friends, please lift me up in your prayers, that this will be the last thoracentesis that I will have.
And to all the ones with scheduled surgery this month, like, Kim, Kevin, Noreen, Julie and Andrea, Our Lord Jesus will be by your side always. Thank Him with whatever circumstances we are in. He is a faithful God. My thoughts and prayers are with you. May all of you have a successful surgery.
To all the patients that are pre-op or discovered their heart valve problems accidentally, by going to the doctors for some health problems other than their heart:
After my mitral and tricuspid valves were repaired in 2012, I was pretty much satisfied when all the complications (pleural effusions) were resolved. But in 2014, I started having some problems with my breathing, swallowing, gas and abdominal discomfort . I had my regular 3 months check-up for my AICD and 4 months check-up with my cardiologist, but when I complain about it, my cardiologist just gave me some medications for Gerd and told me to go to my primary doctor. So that is what I did.
I do a regular blood test every 6 months when I visit my primary doctor because I have hypothyroidism. With all the test that were taken, the results had been normal, not showing any problem with my bilirubin or anything. So he referred me to a gastroenterologist. The gastroenterologist did endoscopy and CT scan of my abdomen/pelvis. The only thing that the gastroenterologist found was a benign cyst on my pancreas and fatty liver. He told me to go back in one year for another CT scan. This is in 2014.
So in December of 2015, I went to have a CT scan again, and nothing showed but just the fatty liver again.
In between this date and August of 2016, I felt that my symptoms were getting worse. Aside from the symptoms that I mentioned before, I cannot eat my normal meals because whenever I eat or drink, even just small amounts, I felt so full and bloated. My stomach became so distended that I was really having a hard time breathing.
So my husband and I decided to go to Mayo Clinic to get to the bottom of it. I got an appt. with a cardiologist at Mayo Clinic and had all kinds of tests. I had lab work, x-ray, EKG, and ECG. The doctor found out that I have a severe tricuspid regurgitation. He said the only solution is another open heart surgery to replace the valve since they cannot be repaired again and I have too much scar tissues since I had so many surgeries before. I also told him about the other symptoms and showed him my distended belly. He said, the defective valve could be causing it, so he referred me to a gastroenterologist.
To make the story short, the gastroenterologist order different tests again...lab work, endoscopy, nuclear gastric test and colonoscopy. It appeared that I have gastroparesis, and ascites and also cirrhosis of the liver. All this problems came out less than a year after my last CT scan with my local gastroenterologist. My blood test showed that my bilirubin was 3 times higher that normal.
When I went back to my cardiologist, He scheduled us for the surgery on January 4th but told us that the surgery cannot be done until the gastroenterologist would give the clearance. He was skeptical about the bleeding and other complications. I was taking Xarelto at that time.
One day before the surgery day, we went for pre-admission evaluation and was also told that the surgeon was sick.
So I was seen by a Hepatologist about my liver, and more tests were done. I had ultrasound to see if there my esophagus is ok for the surgery and also a biopsy of my liver to make sure that it would not cause any bleeding during the surgery. So My surgery was re-scheduled for January 26th, awaiting for the results of the liver tests.
Finally, the Hepatologist called us and told us about the results of the tests. He said that he told my other doctors that the surgery can proceed.
When we went back to Mayo Clinic for pre-op consult, we were told that my surgeon has two emergency lung transplant surgeries the same day that I am having mine. It was a Friday, and so we agreed to do it on Monday, January 30th.
My surgery finally happened and I am now on the 7th week on Monday recovering. And the recovery period is not easy for me.
So the lesson in my story is, if experiencing any weird symptoms at all, do not hesitate to talk to your doctor and tell him or her everything that is not normal with what you feel. My regurgitation cause my other body parts to have problems in an instant...gastroparesis, edema on my feet, liver problems,ascites. Now I have to deal with all of this. My cirrhosis cannot be reversed, and thank God is just mild for now, and my gastroparesis might go away after a while. I do not feel that I still ascites, but only time will tell.
My home health nurse visited me yesterday morning and told me that I have some fluid again in the lower lobes of my lungs. This time, in both of my lungs. It was just on the right side before. I called my doctor's PA at Mayo Clinic and told her that, and she told me to stop my Coumadin for 3 days before my office visit next Wednesday, the 22nd. I will have another x-ray, and perhaps another thoracentesis.
When will this going to stop? Recovering is not an easy process. I really find it very exhausting and frustrating.
For those having heart valve surgery, I do not mean to discourage you. I just want to vent how I feel. I know God is good. HE will not give me something that I cannot bear. Ai trust in Jesus that He will get me through this ordeal. I am just praying for more strength, since I still cannot eat and sleep. I do not know if my body can take all these.
I had my post surgery thoracentesis done 5 days ago, 03/08, and now I feel that the fluid is coming back again. I am having a hard time breathing again when lying down. I have a doctors appt. on the 22nd and will take an x-ray as follow-up for this. The same thing happened on my 1st open heart surgery in 2012. I did it 3 times back then and one pleurodesis. Now here it is again. Does anyone have any experience like this? It is tiring. I might have another pleural effusion again.
I really need more prayers. My body is so very tired with all that is going on. I now weigh just below ninety lbs.
I went back to Mayo Clinic today for my post-op check up. First thing that as done was the lab test. My INR was also checked. Then, an x-ray, and also an electrocardiograph.
Then I saw the nurse practitioner for my cardiologist. She gave me a lot of useful information.
Then I saw the doctor that was one of those who belong to the surgical team. All the results of all the test were already available and she told me that the x-ray showed fluid in my pleural cavity and it needs to be removed. She said that this is the best time to do it since my INR is only 1.3 and there is no risk if bleeding and I do not have to miss a dose of my Coumadin.
Right then and there, I was scheduled for thoracentesis. They extracted 1100 CCs of fluid from my pleural cavity. I hope that I will feel much better and I pray that the fluid does not accumulate again.
The bottom line is, today is a very good productive day. In ten days, I will be having a follow-up and another x-ray will be taken. Please pray for me, my friends. And thank you.
I had a tricuspid valve replacement on January 30, 2017. And after 5 weeks of being home, I am accumulating fluid in my lungs. I am going to see my surgeon on March 8 and see what my surgeon will say. If he wants me to have a thoracentesis and it is needed, I will do it right away.