Good Morning Sean
Glad you have a date to circle on your calendar. Not too long to wait. Isn't Mark's note so encouraging? Our bodies are amazing and so are the surgical miracles our doctors perform so routinely. You are young and healthy and you will do well. I would recommend some type of relaxation/guided imagery tape to use daily before surgery. It was so helpful to me as I had almost a 2 1/2 month wait for my surgery. It kept my anxiety level low to non existent. In fact as I was wheeled into the operating room I was still listening on my I-Pod and I felt so calm. Do believe it also helped me with pain after surgery. I was fortunate not to have minimal pain after surgery. I do realize this is not the norm. The hospital does a great job of pain control so don't stress yourself over it. As the days go by you'll come up with questions, please ask them and you'll get answers. Take care.
Three to four weeks is just about right. When I got my date is was seven weeks out from the surgeon consult. At first I appreciated the seven weeks, but at about the fourth week you just want to get it done.
My procedure was a aortic valve replacement, and aortic root repair for an anuerysm. This was all done on May 5 of this year at the Cleveland Clinic. In fact, today is my 8 week anniversary of the surgery. I celebrated that tonite by spending two hours walking in mid town Manhattan and Times Square while in NY on business.
Eight weeks ago I was on heart bypass, full sternotomy, and 5 weeks later back at work. As scary as all of this seems while you are preparing for it, it is an amazingly routine and successful surgery in 2010.
You are doing a great job of preparing yourself by reading Adam's book, connecting with people who have been through the surgery and keeping your family looped in. A week after your surgery you will look back and think it was not as bad as you expected and you will be back to normal, or better, very quickly.
Use your spirometer, get up and walk around, and stay positive even if you have little complications. You will be fine..
Welcome to the HVJ site. When you are reading the journals it doesn't matter what valve is being worked once it comes to the hospital care etc. We all have the same worries including the disruption to our lives and family time and being as young as you are, you also have to take time out from your career. Just remember - without your health there is nothing. This is just a major blip you will have to deal with. I had a mitral valve repair in Oct of last year and am doing fine. Many of us have had detours in our recoveries so try not to read too much into that. We're here to support you. Good luck.
I know this is hard to handle, but you have a great support system at home. Sean, take it from someone with two small kids as well (ages 5/2), knowing that I have many more years ahead with them, compared to the 5yrs the dr gave me with my broken heart, the surgery is well worth the pain and suffering you will have to go through. Just look into the eyes of your wife and children, hope and courage lives there! I will continue to pray for you speedy recovery and know that God is watching over you!
Looks like you have a wonderful family to spend Father's Day with. The wonderful thing is that after your surgery you will have a healthier heart and many more happy years to spend with them Don't fear, just arm yourself with as much as info as you can to help you with your decisions (hospital, surgeon, type of valve). I traveled in March to the Cleveland Clinic and Dr Gillinov for a bovine mitral valve and a tricuspid repair. I expected work on the aortic but he said it was okay. Am in rehab and doing well. We're all here for you, those of us who've had our surgeries and those who are still waiting. The waiting is not easy.
Welcome to HVJ, Sean & Jacki. I also have aortic stenosis & am scheduled for valve replacement surgery 7/21. As you've already discovered, you'll learn a lot from these journals as well as Adam's book & blog. It is reassuring to have some idea what to expect & you'll find having read the book will help you when you meet with your surgeon. Best of luck to you.
I am about 3 weeks out of surgery - 5/27. I believe the surgery took about 5 hours plus a little prep time. I was born with aortic stenosis and my valve lasted 41 years - which is great. I chose the mechanical valve because I don't want surgery every few years to replace the tissue valve. So far (knock on wood) my surgery experience isn't anything at all like the horrors I imagined it would be - it's actually gone way better. I'd be happy to answer any questions. Good Luck.
Did you by chance buy and read Adam Pick's book? I'm wondering because of the question you asked. If you haven't bought that book, do yourself a huge favour and download it off the internet right away and get reading. It will be one of the best purchases you'll ever make. Otherwise, ask away and I know you'll be treated to lots of answers and advice. Good luck.
I had my aortic valve replaced on May 20th (beat you Tim!) at the Cleveland Clinic. No complications and the surgery took around 5 hours.
If you're wondering how long the valve will last - mechanical valves will last the rest of your life. I chose a bovine valve because I did not want to be on blood thinners (coumadin) the rest of my life which is required with mechanical valves. Bovine (and porcine)valve life varies but averages around 20 years (it used to be 10 years but they've made improvements) and can last much longer. I'm 57 with great longevity in my family so I figure it's possible I'll need 1 or 2 replacements during my lifetime. The good news is the folks at the Cleveland Clinic hope to be doing replacements laprascopically within 10 years which makes it a far more easy procedure. Even if that doesn't come to fruition, I'm happy with my choice of a non-mechanical valve.
I had my aortic valve replaced at Duke on May 21, 2010 via a minimally invasive procedure. The surgery took around 6 hours but there were complications so it added 2 hours to the time. My heart was so enlarged and "twisted" that they could not put me on bypass through the incision and had to go to my groin.
Now as far as total time in the OR, I went in at 6:30 as it took 2 hours to get everything hooked up for the surgery (ex. EKG, brain monitor, TEE, etc.) Surgery started at 8:30 and they were done at 2:30.
Good luck on your surgery! Be sure to ask any questions as someone around here will have the answer.
Best of luck as you start your journey to a healthy heart. I think you will find this website most helpful as you will meet people in all stages of preparation and recovery. You are in good company.