Just checking in on my 18 month anniversary of a mitral valve repair. All has been going smoothly, back to my previous pace of work. Followup echos show success, and (knock wood) no untoward sequelae have manifested.
To those awaiting - things will get better before you know it.
Hello all, both before and after. 1 year ago as I write this, I was in the OR at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Acker was able to do a successful repair and also close a patent foramen ovale of which I had previously been unaware of before my arteriogram.
Recovery has been uneventful. I was back to the office in about 5 weeks, and after a week in the hospital went home and could do email and writing for a few hours each day ramping up. So far <knockwood/> no complications. All positive with my regular cardio follow ups. I see my surgeon for my one year exam in a month and anticipate all will be well. My sleep since the operation has been tremendous (probably almost too so).
Anyway, all the best to you waiting, and there is light at the other side. I'll continue to pop in periodically.
All has been going well. I've been pretty close to back to a normal schedule since month 2.5, including a lot of travel. So far (knock on wood) no post-surgical complications, and my scar (full sterneotomy) has been healing beautifully -- you really need to look close to see it.
My internist and cardiologist are all pleased with recovery.
Positive effects - I've been sleeping better with no snoring, and my breathing is markedly improved.
Those still waiting - the apprehension before (at least in my case) is almost worse than the recovery!
Six months ago was preparing to head off to the hospital for a mitral valve repair. Spent a week recuperating.
Good news is that I've been back at work since early November, and have resumed all normal activities. Had my six month echo and all is looking good. I thank all in this community for the support, and of course Adam for setting this up in the first place.
To those yet to cross over, I offer confidence that there is another side, and all the best wishes as you approach your dates.
3 months post MV repair and all is well. Been back at work since mid November. Scars have been healing well, and my energy level has been good -- walk 2-3 miles a day, just in my daily commute and around the office.
My sleeping had much improved from pre-surgery (I thought I was asymptomatic, but probably was not), and my wife says that before OHS I was breathing loudly while sleeping, but now very very quiet (it unnerved her the first few weeks back).
To all waiting, best wishes and there is a lot of good on the other side.
Happy New Year to all.
It was probably around April when the prospect of surgery started to become real, and then I found this site and Adam's book. Both the friends on the site and the book were very helpful in walking thru the various steps leading up to my successful mitral valve repair in early October. I've been doing very well since (knock wood), and in retrospect, even though I thought I was asymptomatic, I had started to have some breathing problems which I (erroneously) wrote off to asthma.
I will post a photo of my incisions in a few days as I come up to the 90 day anniversary.
To all awaiting, there is hope and lots of advice on this site to learn from. Happy New Year to all.
8 weeks + 4 days from MV Repair
Just got back from a 4 day work trip to California. Did well. If anything, I slept better with the time zone change than I ever had. Carried my regular bags (including a computer backpack) with no problems. So for all of you waiting, there are positive outcomes very shortly.
I wish all my fellow US folks on the board a joyous Thanksgiving. I am 51 days out from my MV repair (on October 5) and am pretty much back to normal. My surgeon, cardiologist and internist have all cleared me for normal activities, and I have my first business trip Monday (a transcon to California).
I am back to my medications pre-surgery (only a blood pressure pill and a thyroid pill). My pulse is probably not as low as it should be (70-115 or so), but presumably as I increase my activity (I usually walk 2-2.5 miles a day), that will resolve.
I am thankful for all the incredible medical personnel that make our trip to the other side of surgery possible (I need to send the nursing staff on the floor a holiday card), and to the useful fellowship and information found on this site.
To those of you who are waiting, you will soon find yourselves successfully "remodeled"!
3 weeks post op, 2 weeks post discharge
I think the sternal pain is starting to ebb -- need less tylenol! Just got back from my INR test and I am down to a weekly schedule (I meet with my surgeon on 11/11 who hopefully will take me off at that time since I only had a mitral valve repair). I've been upping my walks to 1.5 - 2 miles per day and gradually going back to my normal sleep cycle (with a nap about every other day now - most often right after lunch).
Met with my cardiologist and internist. Mitral valve repair was successful, and all signs are on track. Today I walked a total of 1.9 miles. Cardiologist says I can go back to work, at least part time, in two weeks.
1 week post op
I am glad to be back home in recovery mode. Had successful mitral valve repair (with ring) on Monday October 5. Was out of CICU into stepdown on the afternoon of the 6th. Took till Thursday to remove chest tubes, which somewhat limited mobility, and they were titering my meds to balance rhythm and pressure (and imagine this will continue to occur).
My first visit with my cardiologist is Thursday (and also the visiting nurse and physical therapist will start this week (perhaps tomorrow).
Good luck to all going thru this, and glad to be back on line to share.
The surgeon is 95% sure he can do a mitral valve repair. If not, he recommended a mechanical valve because of my overall health and his experience with greater durability. He indicated tissue valve mitral valve replacement may only have 10 years, and given my lack of other complicating factors, it'd be nice not to have to face that.
On Tuesday, my wife and I did the pre-surgery class at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. They usually do this in small groups, and in our case it was just us and two nurses who led thru a very effective presentation of how to prepare for surgery, the overall "flow chart" for the process, and what they do to prepare people for release (including meeting with a social worker). Overall I continue to be impressed. After, we took advantage of the opportunity for a tour thru the various units I will traverse -- from intake to CICU (just looking outside) into the actual stepdown unit (which is dedicated to cardiac surgery patients - and looks like they probably have 20 or more beds).
The class was a great demystifier and quite a relief to my wife.
Next week, pre-op meeting with my surgeon's office plus some more testing.
Antibiotics before dentistry pre-op
I have scheduled my MV repair for October 5. This week I have my semi-annual dental checkup, and it could be that I'll need some work done before my surgery. My cardio was adamant that the historic use of high dose prophylatic antibiotics pre-dentistry was no longer best practice.
So, when my dentist asks about routine changes in my health, should I say no since I am still pre-op (and asymptomatic)? Anyone else getting pre-op advice on antibiotics and dentistry?
I met with my cardiologist yesterday to discuss options and the pathway towards surgery. He ordered the cardiac cat, and also a CAT scan of my aorta as a check. I will have these by the end of August, and then my plan is to talk to my surgeon and schedule a date. I think I've resolved in my mind not to try to go for minimally invasive (it looks like this is a mitral valve repair) since my understanding is that there is a tradeoff between length of surgery (longer for minimally invasive from what I've been told) and potential recovery time (doesn't sound like a great deal of difference). I'd rather the surgeon has a good view and does it quickly and it looks like I've got the top doc at Hospital of University of Pennsylvania.
So in a few weeks, will have more data, then will need to schedule.
Just returned Friday from a trip to Brisbane and Singapore on business. I am a professor of environmental engineering and a department head, so a lot of technical conference stuff. Am in town this week for a meeting with my cardiologist, after having met with a prospective surgeon a month ago. I have a two week domestic trip starting Aug 1, and then I need to schedule the cardio cath.
I guess I was worried with the travel, but still seem to remain asymptomatic. One day I wound up walking about 8 miles with no problem, not to mention the schlepping thru international airports. Though I am getting my mid wrapped around having to do the full OHS procedure, which is what the surgeon recommended and is highly experienced at - being the chief of cardio surgery at Penn.
Have done two light readings thru Adam's book and have also given my wife the paperback. This site was a wonderful find, and the journals are inspirational, and hope to contribute as I go thru the process.
I was diagnosed with a heart murmur about 18 months ago and had my first visit with a cardio. After echocardiogram, I was diagnosed with mitral valve regurgitation, which has now proceeded to severe (based on a TEE two weeks ago). I'm meeting with my cardio in two weeks and have already met with one surgeon (who was pushing me to go in within three months --although I am asymptomatic) -- but he wanted to do it the traditional way, so I am bit unsure (though he is one of Philadelphia's top docs).
My main concern is, assuming this, which the surgeon believes would only need a repair not a replacement, would be the recovery time for minimal versus traditional entry? I am a university professor, and so want to get back to my students as soon as I can.
Also, I see very little here on the Hospital of University of Pennsylvania and welcome any comments from others who have had their surgery at HUP. I had a thyroidectomy there 10 years ago (for thyroid ca) and my experience was wonderful.