Just over 12 weeks ago I had the AVR surgery. I just ran 2 miles with no problem. After the run and a 1 minute rest, I continued to do some more exercise. It's the strongest I've been in about 3 years or more. Love my new cow part!
I was released from the hospital on day 5, one week ago. I was somewhat uncomfortable at home, but it was better than the hospital beds. I walked around this morning - 15 minutes up and down hills. That went fine. I'm taking some pain meds, but I'm not sure I need them. I'll try easing off in a day or so. I feel remakably good.
I had my aortic valve replaced with a bovine tissue valve 72 hours ago. I'm able to sit up and write. I don't remember much of day 1. Night 2 was filled with percoset and morphine. It was a horrible night. There was no sleep, the walls and ceilings were moving and other hallucinations. I don't want those drugs anymore. The end of day 2 was great. I felt like I could go home. But alas, day 3, I don't feel so good.I still have 1 tube in my chest. My Dr.says 2 or 3 more days should do it. I'm too tired to write anymore, now.
I've talked to 2 cardiologists and they both said the new drug is not for heart valve patients (I'm not sure why). This is from, one of many, on-line articles (search "coumadin replacement"):
Ximelagatran is the first of a new class of drugs being developed as a replacement for coumadin. Its major advantage is that it can be given as a standard dose, without the need of blood tests and constant dosage adjustment.
Thanks for all the replies about coumadin and life style. This is helping with my decision. My cardiologist said the new drug, to replace coumadin, is NOT for people with valve replacement. Other heart and blood problems require coumadin. The new drug may be OK for them, but my doctor said I CANNOT use it.
I've had 2 replies, so far, to my question and both Laurie and Nancy agree with me that tissue is preferrable. My cardiologist (here in L.A.) prefers artificial, because of my age. I talded to my cousin, who is a cardiologist in Miami, on the phone this morning, he suggests artificial, also. Though, he said tissue is good and there is no wrong decision. "No one will call you an idiot, if you choose either way", he said. Also, the bad effects of coumadin are rare, but it can be a pain. I go in for blood tests every 3 months, anyhow, because of my cholesterol. I would have to add some tests in. So, I'm still leaning to tissue. My wife still says artificial.
More to come...
I'm 57 y.o. and I have about 2 weeks to make the decision.
I don't like what I've heard about coumadin, which is necessary if I get an artificial valve. A pig valve would require replacement 5 - 10 -15 ?? years down the road. I'm hoping, by then, for that replacement surgery, that the minimally invasive surgery would be available. Right now, I'm leaning toward pig. Anyone have any thoughts on that?