Deb Ziegler posted a note for Kevin that says:
Be sure to ask the surgeons how many REPAIRS they do each year. I read that any surgeon (not just heart) must do at least 100 particular surgeries per year to be on top of their game. The more the better. You definitely want a repair rather than a replacement because they last longer and have fewer complications. Although, depending on how damaged your valve is, you may not have a choice.
i also asked how difficult my surgery would be on a scale of one to ten. Not important, but I just wanted to know where it was at for my surgeon. Ask about medications and rehab after you are discharged. I would highly recommend rehab.....it is very reassuring to be monitored while exorcising after getting your heart cut open!
Anna Penido posted a note for Kevin that says:
I will be going for mitral valve repair Nov 5th. I am 57 and almost no symptons due to lots of supplements and coconut water. You are welcome to read my journey. When I first read Adam's book, I really made an effort not to close it and put it on the side so scared I was. With time and research you become more familiar with the unusual. A few days ago I had an angiogram and Dr. Kar came with some intriguing remarks that maybe surgery was to be re-evaluated as the regurgitation was between 2 and 3. My echo of 10 months ago said it was severe, so something has happened. Seems there has been an improvement. He said he was going to talk with my surgeon Dr. Trento. But the final say is that surgery is better. If you read Adam's book page 28 it says that 3 out of 4 studies support surgery for assymptomatic patients with severe regurgitation. The reason being that it is much better to live without the tension of not knowing if you will have an emergency event happening. The leaflets are the only thing that is aging faster than the rest of my body, so I want to repair it. I will be doing the Da Vinci procedure as recovery is faster. All the best!
Brian Reid posted a note for Kevin that says:
I had mitral valve repair at University of Michigan April 16th of this year and am 43 years old. Agree with the previous posts of doing research and choosing experienced surgeon. Everyone's recovery is a little different. I was cleared to return back to work without restrictions after 5 weeks. Has been 6 months now post op and things have gone great so far. Only medication I take is aspirin each morning. I chose the thoracic approach where they go in through the right side.
You will be fine. There is truly a lot of gifted surgeons that do remarkable work!
Mary skopek posted a note for Kevin that says:
Hi Kevin, welcome! I had no pre symptoms either and was very sceptical of surgery because of that. I had a pulmonary valve replaced just 4 days ago. Not a fun road to go down but probably a necessary one. I'm feeling a little better every day. I'll be posting updates as I go through recovery.
Jim Jones posted a note for Kevin that says:
Welcome! And, you are not alone. We are all nervous! It is a big deal. I agree with zdeb. Research. Ask questions. I will have my mitral valve repaired on 11/05. This is the end of a long journey. The best advice I can give you is to have the best cardiologist you can get. Get multiple opinions if you need them before you proceed to surgery. Do not put off surgery if it is indicated. Find the best surgeon and hospital for your condition. It matters. There is a wide variance between surgeons re: skills. Obtain a repair not a replacement if at all possible. The super surgeons can repair almost every time. All the best.
Deb Ziegler posted a note for Kevin that says:
Welcome to the heart valve journals! This a great place to find information about valve surgery. We've all been in your shoes and been overwhelmed by the same things you are feeling right now. The first thing you need to do is research. Inform yourself as much as possible so you can ask the right questions when you start searching for a surgeon. A good place to start is by reading Dave Van Buren's journal......he did A LOT of research and gives you a pretty good overview of the risks. Make sure you start with his first journal entry. If you have specific questions, anyone on this site will be happy to answer your questions (myself included). You just need to ask. It is a pretty overwhelming and scary journey, but you will get through it, and it won't be nearly as bad as you are imagining. I had my mitral and tricuspid valves repaired two years ago, and I can tell you that waiting for the surgery was truly the worst part!
Godspeed and good luck. Holler if you have questions.