25 days post surgery and getting stronger every day. Feeling good!
19 Days Post Surgery
Journal posted on August 19, 2019
Hi friends. It has been a while since I posted so I thought I'd share my recovery experience thus far.
First, the challenges. I had 2 days of AFib in the hospital which the doctors were finally able to get under control. I have not been in AFib since, but I do get rapid, irregular heartbeats from time to time. I was told this is all common post-surgery, but it's still annoying. Also, I still get dizzy when I stand, I have low energy and no stamina. This is attributed to low hemoglobin due to blood loss during surgery. That will improve over time as my body replaces those lost red blood cells but it's a slow process. In the meantime, it's a bummer.
Now, the good news. I have virtually no pain...just when I sneeze (ouch!) I know many people suffer from pain well after surgery, but I guess I got lucky. I had extreme discomfort immediately following surgery but once the chest tubes came out I rebounded fast. I came out of my post-surgical haze about 2 weeks after my procedure and really feel like I turned a corer about that time. I'm walking about 1.5 miles/day and I start my cardiac rehab this afternoon. I'm hoping that will help propel my recovery.
That's my quick summary. Best of luck to those of you in recovery, and to those of you getting ready for surgery!
Hi friends. My surgery went great on Wednesday and the doctors and nurses are pleased with my progress. I left the ICU around mid day today. Dr. Pochettino ended up doing the aortic root replacement as planned and he also replaced my ascending aorta and c
The journey has begun! Heading from Denver to Minneapolis on our way to Mayo Clinic. I’m SO glad my family is with me. I’m feeling peaceful about my surgery...hope that lasts until Wednesday...!
Update posted on...
July 18, 2019
Hi everyone. I was chatting with Carlos (fellow member) earlier today about aortic valve options and I want to share some info. I'm 55 and torn between going with an artificial valve or a tissue valve. I like the durability of the artificial valve, but leery of being on warfarin the rest of my life (plus I'm a bit nervous about hearing the audible ticking). On the other hand, the idea of signing up for another open heart procedure in 10 years scares the heck out of me. Carlos suggested I look into the possibility of a tissue valve now coupled with a TAVR procedure down the road. I wasn't sure if that was a possibility for me because I'm having an aortic root replacement procedure and they're putting in an aortic prosthesis along with the valve. Curious, I emailed my surgeon's office at Mayo this morning and here is what I heard back:
"If you chose the tissue aortic valve, you would be a candidate for TAVR down the road when you need a valve replacement, the aortic root replacement will not deter you from TAVRs in the future. Depending on the size (diameter) of the original valve placed with Dr. Pochettino, you could probably have 1-2 TAVRs done in the future when the valves wear out. Each TAVR would place a slightly smaller valve to fit inside the previous valve, and the valve sizes only get so small. At that point, depending on your health, you would require another open procedure to replace the aortic valve. We typically tell patients that tissue valves last about 10 years on average, so in theory you could probably get approximately 30 years out of the original surgery and 2 TAVRS before needing another open procedure."
Great news! At this point I think I'm going to go with the tissue valve IF during the procedure Dr. Pochettino determines my valve is big enough to accommodate 1 if not 2 TAVRs down the road. (Who knows what kind of amazing advancements will be available to me (us) 20-30 years from now?) If, however, my valve isn't big enough to accommodate a future TAVR or two, I'll have him put in the On-x artificial valve with absolutely no regrets.