Glad the link helped! It answered my husband's questions about how EXACTLY the repair was done through a tiny incision. He was driving me nuts asking HOW. Hell, how would I know? I was sort of asleep throughout!
It has never seemed right that the correction to the valve was over and done with and yet the pain from the procedure lingered on!
Good luck with your decision making! Whatever you decide, let me assure you that you will feel a WHOLE LOT better "on the other side!"
Jim You continue in our prayers!! Those people to fail to do their job should be fired!!! They should not be in a position of that importance!! We love you and are here for you!! Ellen Beckwith and Dom Mariotti
Check out this website about MIS.
Also one thing I learned is that you have to take it upon yourself to get your own records and follow up on them. Getting the records from CC to my cardiologist was close to impossible. Finally I asked CC to send the records to me, they arrived promptly and I now can distribute them as I see fit.
Best wishes to you on your journey. I had AVR surgery lat year on May 5 at CC with Dr. Marc Gillinov. If your records are pretty complete for review, my experience is you will get a prompt assessment. With my surgeon, the office said if the assessment was critical the call would come sooner, if they assess you are not an emergency the call will come later.
My stenosis was severe, my bicuspid valve highly calcified and a a 5.5cm anuerysm on my aorta artery and was assessed moderately severe. My surgical date was given for 8 weeks after my assessment and I got along fine until then.
I had years to plan for my surgery and had decided several years ago CC was where I would go. Living in Dallas I had excellent local choices, but after years of research had long since found a comfort level in having decided to have the surgery at CC and had planned and prepared for it. I felt it was the best of the best.
Like many choices you face in getting ready for this surgery, you will find it is sometimes difficult to decide.. "which valve" "which hospital" "which surgeon"; you just have to get to a point you weigh it all out and make a decision and then focus on that without second guessing. It will give you confidence once you own those deciscions.
I will have been waiting three months for my surgery at the Cleveland Clinic as the surgeon is scheduled that far out. Mine is not an emergency, so waiting is not a problem. On their website regarding electronic consults they state it takes 2 weeks. If your situation is not an emergency I doubt that you're going to get scheduled there as quickly as you would like. But if it is an emergency, I am sure they would accommodate you quickly.
You could always fly out there for a consult which would probably be much faster than waiting for an electronic evaluation.
Like I said, we find all kinds of rationalizations for our decisions. Good luck.
I have ventured down this difficult path of discovery therefor I can relate to your plight.
There are many excellent facilities and equally as many talented if not gifted surgeons to choose from. Are you choosing CC for its proximity to your home or because of its reputation, because NYC has one of the finest heart hospitals in the world @ Columbia Presbertyrian.
Jim, there is no doubt in my mind that you will make the right decision. You are a very smart man always making wise decisions and always on a mission. Your strength and determination will get you through this along with all the love and prayers from your family and friends. God will be so sick of hearing your name that he will make sure you recover quickly.. lol. Dave and I are hear to help in anyway. Stay strong. We love U.
About the choice . . . everyone loves their heart surgeon and the hospital who helped put their hearts back together. That's normal. But I disagree with you that Cleveland Clinic is not the only outstanding heart hospital in the country. I was an investigative reporter who wrote extensively on medical issues, so I know how to do my research. And before selecting CC I did tons of personal research on the best place and the best doctors.
Yes, there are other up and coming heart hospitals around the country, all vying to make the top ten heart hospital list. But there is a reason why CC has been #1 for 16 years. 16 YEARS!!!!!! I come from a familiy of doctors and nurses and have been taught that when you have a specific problem you go to the best of the best in that field. That's why I've chosen CC and Dr. Gillanov (although I'm sure that any of the cardiothoracic surgeons at CC are beyond excellent).
If you do your research and get your hands on the stats you will find that CC has the very lowest mortality and complication rates. These are they guys doing all the research being disseminated to other heart hosptials. You will also see from reading these posts that the people who had their surgery at CC seemed to sail through it all much easier with fewer problems and were more likely to have a valve REPAIR rather than a replacement.
I also adamantly disagree with you about having som "resident' with their hands in your chest. That's ridiculous! Sure the residents will be in attendance and perhaps the resident FELLOWS will assist. But the only person who is going to be working on your heart is your heart surgeon. Do you really think he's going to hand off such serious surgery and his reputation to someone else? No! Yes, it's a teaching hospital which is why you will get cutting edge care and the latests and greatest technologies and lots of attention. The residents "learn" on cadavers.
When I was out at the Cleveland Clinic for my consult last month my cardiologist had his fellow in tow. By the way, fellows have quite a bit of experience. The fellow came in first and interviewed and examined me and explained a lot of details. He was fabulous!!!!! I begged him to be the one to do my cardiac cath. Then the fellow left the room and conferred with my cardiologist (this is how they learn), gave the cardiologist his opinion, etc. Then my cardiologist came into the room with the fellow and re-did my examaniation and interview and told me his opinion about things. They spent more than a HOUR with me explaining things and treating me like I was the only patient in the hospital.
When I returned home I had a question and called. Within 1 hour the fellow I had seen called me back and told me he had discussed my question with my doctor and gave me the answer and asked if I still wanted to talk to the doctor. I did not. he completely clarified everything. Try getting that kind of service at another hospital.
While there I had various testing. All of it was scheduled quickly and handled efficiently by very caring people who couldn't do enough to help me.
It's your heart and you will go where you want to go and like most people, will come up with all kinds of rationale about why you choose a certain place. Sure, other places can do an adequate or good job. But I want and excellent job at a place with a doctor who is highly experienced with any complications that may arise. The surgeons at the Cleveland Clinic do at least three valve surgeries a day. Thank about that. And they've been doing them for years and years and years.
Good luck with your choice. But do get your information straight regarding statistics (other hospitals are not even close) and what residents do and do not do during surgery.
Jim, my thoughts and prayers are with you. I am confident you will treat this like any challenge and come out on top. No heavy lifting on this one, you sleep and someone else does the work. Keep smiling.
Reading your journal reminds me that you are a very gifted writer. I wish it didn't have to be written about such a difficult choices. Once you've decided, I wish you nothing but strong positive thoughts about how good you will feel in a very short amount of time. C
Jim, We know that you will make the best choice after evaluating the data and listening to your gut. So post surgery; there are some things in life you will need. Once you have identified this Nick and I are available to be part of your "care plan" We love you! Janice&Nicky
Jim All the best as a new member of the so called zipper club myself, I know your fears, Just trust your doctors mine saved my life for sure. Even though I'm still having some problems the're still working to make me get back to myself. Wishing you a speedy recovery
Jim, Dominic and I are keeping you in our prayers!! I know you will come through this great because you have a fantastic attitude and love for life!! You help so many people. Prayers work and there will be many, many of those going UP!!!! You take care and know that we love you and are praying for you.
I am another CC alum and can't speak highly enough of the place.
I'm not sure you can compare success rates between hospitals. Keep in mind that CC gets a lot of the most difficult cases and they still come in at far below the national average.
I too was told by my cardiologist that the surgeon I had would not be actually performing the surgery. Be that as it may, I am confident that any resident assisting in surgery is not some clown with three thumbs trying to figure out which is the aortic valve. He is the best of the best at whatever stage he is at in his medical training. AND he has one of the most brilliant surgeons in the world supervising every step IF INDEED this is the case. My husband had no doubt that my surgeon, Tomislav Mihaljevic, had done the heavy lifting in the surgical suite in my case.
The reason you go to Cleveland is that you want the best surgeon you can get who has done the most of whatever procedure they are doing. At CC you aren't getting the same old doctor doing the same old operation he has done for the past 10-15 or 20 years. You get someone who is an innovator who is doing the surgery now that other doctors will be doing in the years to come.
I had the 3 inch incision and was out of the hospital in record time. You might want to check my journal and see just how record it was! Amazing. No pain and pretty much able to do everything for myself from the moment of discharge.
I went out to the Cleveland Clinic for a consult on Jan. 18th. What a place! Wonderful doctors and attention to every little detail. My mitral valve surgery is scheduled with Dr. Marc Gillanov at the Cleveland Clinic for April 21. CC is the best of the best - #1 in heart surgery for the past 16 years. It is the very best choice you can make.
You'll be back to 100% in no time...god help us all!! Just kidding. Wishing you a speedy revovery. I know you realize we are available to help out in any way any time, just let us know. Lawrence and Dawn.
Jim - I was unaware of your condition but Pat and I wish you well and God speed through this. It sounds as though you have access to the best treatment available. I have my ankle replacement on the 23rd so I will be thinking of you while I am in the hospital. Maybe soon we can get together and talk about something other than body parts. Again, you will be in our thoughts and prayers. Get well amigo, Mike & Pat