Jan, I forgot this part. Yes, when I am discharged from Cleveland Clinic I will be discharged into the care of my cardiologist and primary care physician here in SC. Also, I will mention that the cardiologist is not in a position to judge which method can be used. That will be up to the surgeon...whole different ballgame. So...don't be discouraged about that until after talking with your surgeon. Also, it is not too late to look around some more, if that will make you feel better. This is your heart, your life, your decision to make, not your cardiologist's. I always encourage people to get a second opinion on everything. It isn't as hard as you might think to get someone else to look at your test results. I got opinions from Texas Heart Institute, Emory in Atlanta and Cleveland Clinic, all highly regarded facilities and surgeons. They all told me the same thing, hopefully the mini. Do what that "inner voice" tells you to do. Just don't run, lol!!! That's what I want to do....run away from it all.
If you think you are having more anxiety than you can handle on your own, don't hesitate to ask your primary care doctor for some help. I have taken anti-anxiety med (very low dose) for years.
Happy slightly belated birthday Jan!
This must also be anxiety month for we valvers, lol. I have had a time with it this week as well.
Do something special on Monday to take your mind off things ( I know, it's never really off of it). You will be fine. Everybody on here says so! So...we should believe it!
But, don't just keep it to yourself..that is what this site is for...put it out there. We are all here to support you.
One of our fellow valvers had a great story...when he expressed his anxiety to his surgeon he replied that to him (the surgeon) he does this surgery so frequently its just another day at work for him. So, like I'm sure you do whatever you do in your job, it's the same for the surgeons. They have done it so long, so many times, seen just about every complication that could arise...it's something they can almost do in their sleep...no big deal to them. Thinking about it like that helps me.
Enjoy your weekend and holiday. We can do this!!!!
Jan, Dr. Gillinov believes that he will be able to use the mini sternotomy for the replacement and aneurysm repair. The sternum is still cut, but only about 3 to 4 inches instead of 8 to 10. At Cleveland Clinic most of the valve aortic valve replacements are done this way. I think it depends on where exactly the aneurysm is located as to whether it can be repaired this way. Some people use the minimally invasive term when they talk about going through a space in the rib cage, so you might want to ask your surgeon if he does the mini sternotomy. BUT the most important thing about using these less invasive techniques is that the surgeon is very experienced using the technique. If your surgeon doesn't do the mini very often, then I wouldn't want him to do the mini, you want the safest way. I will say, however, several people on the site have had the full sternotomy and honestly they say it isn't that bad. I hope I am able to have the mini, but I am sure it will be the understanding that he might have to do a full once he gets started. But either way...thank God we can be fixed.
I understand the anxiety, I am fighting it myself this week. Just hang in there, we can do this!!!
Hi Jan, yes my grandaughter is very sweet, very special. She was my rock after my husband died, she stayed every night with me for a year. Not many 17 year olds woud do that. I am not sure about staying in Cleveland after surgery. I was told that if there are no complications, I can fly upon discharge. It will depend on how I feel. I hope I feel like coming home upon discharge. I will be there 5 nights before surgery, so the average stay after surgery is 5 to 7 days, so that is quite a long time to take my daughter away from her family so far away. I just pray there are no complications.
Thank you for your condolences. I miss my husband more every day and especially now going through this surgery, not having him here with me. But he is my strength, he suffered so for so long and never complained, and I know he is standing watch over me right there with Jesus.
Hope you are doing okay, I like you don't think I will ever be "ready" but it is what it is I guess, so I am trying to accept it and get to a peaceful place with it all.
Keep in touch, you are in my thoughts and prayers.
Hi Jan, first question...how in the world can someone "priviledged" enough to be born in Clemson...go to USC??? LOL, JUST TEASING!!! Guess you can tell I am a huge Clemson fan! Love my Tigers win or lose (even losing BIG). Anyway, good to meet you! About the minimally invasive part: after reviewing my records, CD of my echo and cath and CT of my aorta, Dr. Gillinov says he thinks he will be able to do my surgery with the mini-sternotomy. There are so many different interpretations of minimally invasive. This will not be where they go between ribs, but it will only be about a 3 inch cut in the sternum. I of course want him to do it however is the safest. He will know for sure after seeing me, but I think it is always with the understanding that once he starts the surgery, if he feels he needs to he may have to do the full sternotomy.
This is such a mixed bag of emotions, as you know. One day it's "okay, I can do this, I'm ready" and then the next it's "I feel fine, do I really need to do this?".
But, the HVJ site has been great for me. I find myself spending a lot of time on here, reading and responding to others who have gone before me or still waiting as I am. I have become so close to some people that I have not ever seen..it's just marvelous!
Well, hang in there, we are all here to share and bear each other's burden! Good to meet you!
Hi Jan. Yeah, that 1% is a worry. But its much better than the 5-10% per year you'll experience without the surgery. Also, the 1% probably includes all patients, even the emergency ones who are very sick. Get it done at a large volume center of excellence and the odds are even better. Keep the beat -- DVB
Hi Jan, I am a fellow Carolinian, although a little south of you from SC. We are not as rare as I once thought, many people have this valve situation and aneurysm as well. I see that you are having surgery on 3/5, I will go behind you on 3/13. I am going to Cleveland Clinic, so I have a long trip. So...welcome to the club. Hope you are coping okay. Keep us posted!
Getting closer...Linda Dixon