Sounds like you had some info overload during your visit with your surgeon. Keep your spirits up and stay positive.
I had AVR suregery this past May at Cleveland Clinic at age 49. I had been born with a leaking bicuspid valve so had known all my life I would get it replaced when I got older and had it monitored annually. I really ended up waiting one year to long, and in my last year the valve had really calcified and I had a 5.5 anuerysm on my aorta root which ruled out minimally invasive surgery. Once I got to Cleveland my surgeon was also concerend about the muscle wall in my left ventricle which had thickened from overwork.
During my procedure I received a bovine tissue valve, a new aortic root and three inches of replacement dacron aorta artery along with a myectomy procedure where they shave away part of the muscle wall of the left ventricle. More than I had been bargaining for over the last 40 years or so of waiting, but all went well. Even with the median sternotomy I was back at work 6 weeks later.
I know when I kept getting word of "more problems" it was overwhelming, but I always had complete confidence it would all work out and it did.
Hang in there and this will all be behind you soon. I would also ask for another opinion on the biological valve. Even with all I had done, which is different from yours, my doctor never wavered in supporting my decision on a bovine valve and the ability for it to be easily replaced in the future.
Happy Monday Mike,
I hope your holiday season is going just as you hoped it would! I miss seeing you guys on Wednesdays. I move on the 12th! I will send some extra prayers up for you during the next couple weeks as you await your answers and prepare for 12/15. I'm certain Karen will take great care of you as well :)
All the best to you from a fellow Rotarian,
I too just had AVR (2 weeks tomorrow) at Columbia Presbyterian in NY.
The hardest part is deciding to go ahead and then choosing a surgeon and then its out of your hands and in his. It will be harder for your support family than for you because you have no choice and once you've decided a confirmed resignation sets in. My advice is that once you've made your decision- go with it sand don't second guess. I'm celebrating my two week "birthday" today and been very fortunate. The pain is down to discomfort - no real back pain - I take two tylenol every 6-8 hours to stay ahead of any pain and a sleeping pill to get a decent night's sleep.
Good luck. Diane P
I have just had an aortic valve replacement as well as a few inches of my ascending aorta replaced last Friday. they were able to do the surgery minimally invasively. what this is currently is for a aortic valve change out is a mini sternotomy where they only do a 3 to 4 inch incision in the chest and cut the sternum enough to expose the area where the work is being done. My incision is about 6 inches but that was to allow for the ascending aorta to be changed as well. either way i feel the hardest/most uncomfortable part about this process is when they removed the breathing tubes and the dry mouth after that. Either way it will not be that bad. keep your thoughts and attitude positive and you will get through this bump in your life.
Don't be too stressed out if you're not a candidate for minimally invasive surgery. I got really anxious about that prior to surgery, and Adam Pick reminded me that the great majority of people have a full sternotomy--which they had to do with me. Truthfully, it's not all that terrible. I had no chest pain after 4 days and except for some back pain, which everybody seems to get, I seem to be healing as fast as anyone else, and I'm 71.
Very best of luck. Keep us posted.
Good luck Mike! We will pray for a speedy recovery so you can get back to work and back to Rotary as soon as possible. We will be checking your progress. Our next door neighbor goes in next week for the same operation. I'm not drinking the water anymore!