Welcome to HVJ where you'll meet lots of people going through the same thing who can all relate.
I had a mitral valve repair Oct 1/09 and am fine. Went back to work in my home office 13 days later part-time. What to do during downtime may end up being more dramatic than the surgery. The guys seem to have more difficulty with that thant the women.
I've signed up to receive your journal postings and wish you peace and calm as you wait this out.
My re-repair of my mitral was done at CC last Thursday, April 15th...I was discharged Tuesday, April 20th. My surgeon was Tomislav Mihaljevic...he was truly a wonderful person/gifted surgeon...so professional..but so outgoing and personal. He visited me every day while in the hospital but one (Sunday). I was overjoyed with his skill to be able to re-repair the valve instead of replace. My first valve surgery was at CC in '98 by Dr. Cosgrove, a pioneer in minimally invasive valve surgery and now CEO of CC. I am one of the few who have valve disease that progressed after my 1st surgery so I again was faced with severe regurg and high pulmonary pressure and enlarging chambers.
We live in South Florida...originally from Wisconsin! :) Happy to answer any questions. Had complications after 1st surgery...so this time we extended our time here...will go back home next week.
Blessings as you prepare for your journey! Our experience at CC has been wonderful!
Good Morning John
So glad you made the decision of the Cleveland Clinic and Dr Gillinov. Am familiar with both as he did my surgery last month (the 18th). He put in a bovine mitral valve and a tricuspid repair, also a MAZE procedure. Since we were traveling from FL, arrived for 3 days of testing with meeting Dr G the afternoon before the surgery. We had already been so favorably impressed with the hospital and after meeting my surgeon we knew we had made the right decision. I had to wait 2 1/2 months for my surgery, lots of time to stress, but didn't, instead had to learn patience. Hope you have already downloaded the relaxation/guided imagery info that is available to you. Can't recommend it enough. Each day, take a few minutes to listen. I've signed up to receive your updates and will be happy to answer any questions you might have. There's lots of great people here on the HVJ.
Good for you on the walking! You must already be in decent condition if you are walking that much right off the bat. I know it will pay off in your recovery...just the anesthetic is truly rough on your entire system, and add to that shocking your heart with the surgery. Good luck on the rest of your adventure!
I'm having my Aortic valve replaced at the Cleveland Clinic May 20th. From what I know about my condition, I should be able to have minimally invasive surgery too which is a blessing . . . I'll know for sure when I meet with my surgeon, Dr. Sabik, the day before surgery. So far I've been very impressed by my interactions with everyone in Cleveland and that's been confirmed by everyone here who has had there surgery there. I'm just anxious to get it over with and get on with life.
"Welcome" to the HVJ family! We're not glad you have to be here, but we're glad you're here. Great supportive group of friends and partners in the journey. I had my mitral valve repaired on Jan. 28 at Florida Hospital Orlando with Dr. Accola. Though I too aggressively sought a minimally invasive approach, I had a sternotomy. My recovery has had its ups and downs, but God has always been with me, and I'm doing well 11 weeks post-op. Cardiac rehab is my current focus. Take care. The waiting can be really tough, though it's a blessing to have time to prepare. It'll be here before you know it, and you'll get to have this behind you. I have signed up for your updates. Let me know if there's any way I can offer support.
Thank you for the posting. I am glad you read my journals and were comforted by how uneventful my experience was. That is my purpose to convey that even though some on this site have had setbacks, that does not have to be your experience. I only know that I accepted my diagnosis, set about making a plan to pick the best surgeon for my situation, and then was at peace until the surgery. One of my surgeons called me a model patient and said it was amazing how I recovered. The point is being as calm as you can be and accepting that it is out of your hands can really help you. I am sure some of the people on this site that had setbacks were also calm and accepting, and that is why they were able to overcome anything that came their way. I told my husband before surgery, do not be afraid if I have a setback others have and all are ok. Read all the journals you can, they will be a big help.
The other thing I should have mentioned...my cardiologist and my surgeon both seem rather blown away by how well,at age 72, I came through the surgery and how quickly I am recovering.
I firmly believe it is because of the fact that I have always kept in good condition, and that, since retiring here from Seattle nine years ago, I have worked out at our fitness center at least 4-5 times per week, and often more. Do 1/2 hour treadmill hard on incline, and 1/2 hour on weights, alternating days on upper and lower body.
You don't say what age you are, but my advice would be to spend the time until surgery getting in as good shape you can, even if it is just by brisk walking each day. Even with minimally invasive, the surgery is a real shock to your body.
Good for you on making a decision that feels right and good. I was hoping that minimally invasive would work for me, and figured that Cleveland Clinic would be the place that does it best. But I soon learned that replacing the aortic valve, repairing the mitral valve ad doing one bypass could not be done in that way.
So then, I debated with going to CLeveland from Tucson anyway. But after some research found a surgeon here in Tucson who, at 45, has done literally thousands of open heart surgeries. He also does heart transplants every other week up in Phoenix, and does lung transplants, and even a double lung transplant which made the national news.
So, I met with him, and felt really comfortable and confident with him.
So, now, four weeks post-op, I feel wonderful, and am really happy I got it done close to home.
But, I agree it is really important to have confidence in your decision on who and where to have it done. So, you have made a big step toward having a really sucessful surgery!
I had Mitral Repair surgery on March 2 at Mt. Sinai Hospital in NYC by Dr. Adams. I had the surgery performed through an incision under my right breast. I had an uneventful recovery and no real pain from the incision site. It was a decision that I did not take lightly. Although, cosmetically appealing these approaches can be more difficult. That is why a surgeon with experience is required. It seems you have made that choice with a well respected surgeon.