Hey Shannon and Janice,
That is great news!!! So glad that things went so well. Just remember that there will be some steps back, but that this is a journey and if things went well during the surgery, that means ALOT.
Good Day Shannon !
Way to go ! I am SO happy to hear the news on the succcess of your surgery.
I l/m for Janice and appreciated her prompt call back on Wed., what a nice sis in law you have and you are so loved and cared about by all your friends and family ! I am Thinking of you non stop and wishing you all the best. Rest and take all the time you need to recoup . I look forward to seeing you with some healthy yum yums in tow for you my special friend :)
Peace and Wellness wishes to you...
Good luck on your surgery. I know how it feels to wake up the morning of surgery and know that everything will be better once the doctor is finished. (I had my AV replaced with St Jude at Duke 2 1/2 weeks ago.)
Do what the doctors and nurses tell you to do and you will be home before you know it. Make sure that you caretaker takes care of themself during the days in the hospital because their work really starts after you get home.
This websie is AWESOME! It shows me how far u have come with all your computer classes, etc. You are truly an AMAZING woman! I've admired you from the day I stepped into E.F.I., and saw that this tiny powerhouse of a person ran this fantastic salon. Then when u pushed me to open my own........well I don't think I'll ever be able to tell u in words just how grateful I am.
Everything you've done has been with 110%! NOW you need to apply that strength & determination to your recovery! I KNOW you can do this Shannon.......I just want to make sure YOU know it too!
Love you girl!
Good morning. With you surgery so soon upon you, Kimberly and I have added you to our prayers. Kimberly is beginning to actually make some progress, and after five days (post op) she could finally be getting ready to go home.
Just remember to follow the doctors directions, let your nurse know if you are in any pain or discomfort, remember that you could have some minor setbacks, and also know that this is a journey, not a race.
Everything has happened so quickly for you and Wednesday is the big day. Are you ready mentally and emotionally? the rest is in the hands of your surgeon and staff. Do what ever they tell you, they are the experts. You'll be fine, will be praying for you. Any idea yet what time is surgery? Will someone be posting for you until you can resume yourself?
I just had my aortic valve replaced 2 1/2 weeks ago (a bovine valve . . . for me there was never a question about a mechanical valve. I will not sign-on to a life of blood thinners unless I absolutely have to. All of my doctors - cardiologists and surgeons - agreed and said they, too, would only choose a bio-valve.)
About the calcium supplements . . . you should talk with your doctors but my doctors (and my research) tell me that the calcification on valves is different than dietary calcium and that it's fine to take supplements (or eat dairy products!) My diet has not been limited in any way post surgery.
Good luck with your surgery. I hope it all goes very smoothly.
Hi Shannon - I will be having a mitral valve replacement on July 20 and am faced with the same decision as you as to which type of valve I want. I too am leaning towards a porcine valve (I'm 40 yrs) because I've heard of too many complications/ invconveniences w/coumadin.
My cardiologist told me that women in child-bearing years should consider the possible complications with pregnancy and coumadin if they chose a mechanical valve. He also said that the biological valve would need to replaced in 10-15 yrs.
So, I figured I would get a porcine valve now and then "upgrade" to a mechanical valve at the next surgery, in my 50s.
I will keep you in my prayers and am wising you a very speedy recovery.
Up early eh? Rising with the chickens...actually I can hear the roosters down the road crowing right now.
I think the anticipation is no doubt the worst, you will be fine. You are strong and able and can get through this.
Just figure while you are 'sleeping' they will fix you up with a new valve.
So hang steady and you will be fine. Don't know if the rest of us will make it but you will! hahaha
Let me know what you or Marty need.
That was a bit o'Irish luck that the lady doc discovered the valve issue.
Lucky for you that the technology developed for this particular surgery is advanced.
If it makes you feel any better I have spoken to 3 people who have been through this surgery and 2 stated that the worst part was the anticipation...more so than the surgery itself.. Thank goodness it was found and will be replaced and be a danger no longer.
You are in top hands at Loyola. G.B.
I'm crossing my fingers and toes for you Shan,
with your strength and determination you will beat this in the long haul. I know it.....
My best to you Shan and while I can't pray I will keep you in my hopes that all goes really well.
I'm no expert but looking at aortic replacement soon. Hope to get in to Cleveland Clinic. Anyway, my thought is that in 15 years technology will be such that the second valve replacement will be far easier.
They are already doing the stent valve replacements in Europe where they can thread a new valve up the vein in your leg. I'm sure this isn't a technically correct explanation BUT I am counting on it. Look how far cardiothoracic surgery has progressed in the past ten years.
Good luck with your surgery. Will send you positive thoughts for a fast recovery!
This is a great website. It is an awesome way of keeping track of all that is happening with you. Remember this is just an opportunity. Think of how your experience will help others in the future. You can be their mentor.
I was glad to see that people gave you their opinions, I knew they would. Don't know if any of the info helped you to make your decision. Cheryl was right on in suggesting you get hold of Dr Gillinov's info. I think the world of him. He gave me my options and told me his preference after I asked him. Couldn't even think of mechanical after hearing his opinion. Will be curious to know your decision. Whichever one it is, it is your choice and it will work out. Once you make up your mind, don't second guess yourself as you'll stress yourself too much.
Welcome to HVJ. I hope you will be able to use the site here many times to get answers to questions or at least get the information to make you more knowledgeable about your choices.
A few months back Adam had us joined up with Dr. Gillinov from the Cleveland Clinic where he answered all of our questions about valve surgeries etc. and I highly recommend you double check Adam's blog for that session to see what Dr. G had to say. Adam made the session available to us here on HVJ as well because not all of us were able to actually sit in on the discussion.
Dr. G highly recommends choosing your valve according to your lifestyle and he highly recommends tissue valves for children. Think about it - he's certainly not giving children only a short lifespan or trying to make their lives miserable by resurgeries. It totally changed my mind about the differences between mechanical and tissue.
I live in Ontario and am 61. I had a mitral valve repair in Oct/09 and my surgeon chose a mechanical valve for me - just in case saying it would outlive me. Perhaps her in Canada the surgeons aren't doing as many less invasive surgeries or their thinking is just different. Anyway, please try and find that discussion on Adam's blog. If you can't find it, get back to me and I'll e-mail you a copy. It totally changed my way of thinking.
My cardiologist told me that the tissue valves can last as little as 7 years. He also told me that there is a new blood thinner that is about to be approved by the FDA, probably within 6 months. He said it will revolutionize blood thinning treatment because there aren't the bleeding problems that can make Coumadin and Warafin more troublesome. In fact, there won't be hardly any blood testing needed for it because of what it does. He told me that the results of the new drug's clinical trials were extraordinary. It might be something to ask your cardiologist about and do some research yourself on. I was told I need the surgery in a year or two and it's been a decision I'm still having trouble making. I'm only 32 years old and I think I want to have as few of the surgeries as possible.
Patrick in STL
Hi Shannon. My understanding is the same as Mike's & Fran's on multiple tissue valve replacements. My surgeon has told me that in the future AVR will be via the groin which will likely be available to me by the time the tissue valve I'll be getting wears out. Good news as I'm likely to outlast the valve at 57. Like you, I am grateful to the doctor who identified my aortic stenosis. I also had no symptoms.
Best of luck to you with your surgery & recovery. Adam's book is so helpful in understanding what is in store - highly recommended.
I will echo what Fran stated. I also had my surgery at Cleveland Clinic with Dr Gillinov, and at 49 years old elected a Pericardial Bovine valve. Dr Gillinov believes the standard protocol for AVR surgery in 10 years will likely be through the groin via a catherter. Regardless, I would have gone with a tissue valave even if it means open heart surgery again.
There are more challenges to having the valve replaced a second, or third time; but at Dr Gillinov indicated it is done every day successfully. Another reason I selected Dr Gillinov, in addition to being one of the best surgeons in the world, is that he is young enough that he will be able to do my next surgery in 15-20 years.
I will say doctors and surgeons seem to have a proclivity for tissue vs mechanical. Cleveland Clinic is very pro tissue valve. I had my first follow up appointment with my local cardiologist yesterday, who had recommended I get a mechanical valve due to my age, and I think he was actually miffed at me for having chosen a tissue valve. He lectured me, once again, on why I should have chosen mechanical. Already looking for a new cardiologist.
The type of valve is the most personal decision you will make. Factor in your lifestyle, your activity level, weigh the pros and cons of each and hopefully the choice will come to you. I have no regrets with my decision..
Best of luck, and welcome to this wonderful community. You will be fine...
Had a tissue valve (bovine) done this past March at the Cleveland Clinic and was told that some of these valves have lasted 15 and even 20 years. At your age, you would still need a second valve eventually. Was told they are already doing valves through the groin especially on the elderly who can't tolerate the traditional surgery. My surgeon, Dr Gillinov says that will be the future of heart valve surgery. Seems your doctor should be able to find some info on this. Obviously no Coumadin is the bonus with a tissue valve. I have been on Coumadin for 14 years due to a-fib and my heart is stubbornly staying in that mode so even with a tissue valve I will remain on Coumadin the rest of my life and for me it's no biggie. Hope I have helped you with your decision. Am sure some others will pipe in with their comments. It's a wonderful group of people here on the HVJ.
Hi Shannon: How awesome to be getting updates from you. Casey and I will be thinking about you -- I know your surgery will go great -- because you are in good hands. Keep writing to us and stay as positive as you always are. Like you said -- finding this Doctor has saved your life. All our Love, Sheila and Casey xoxoxoxo
Welcome to the Heart Valve Journals. I had mitral valve repair on 3/2/10 and am now in cardio rehab. I had an uneventful recovery and am doing great. There is alot of helpful info on this site, and if you feel the need ask any questions...someone will probably have the answer.
You are strong & otherwise healthy so I believe this will help in your recovery.Thank goodness you have taken good care of yourself! You have the #2 doc & a good hospital so I am confident you wiil come thru with flying colors! Don't stress too much as it doesn't help anyway we just have to get thru it thats it. Love, E
Welcome to the site! I can honestly say this has been one of the most helpful things for me before surgery. I, like you am having my share of anxiety and fears but if you just put it out there or start asking questions,the group on here are wonderful and very good at putting you more at ease:) They have become my heart family. My surgery is scheduled for June 3rd at the East Carolina Heart Institute by Dr. Chitwood, so I know I am in good hands.
Like Fran said, ask anything and people are more than willing to help.
Wishing you the best in your upcoming surgery and recovery!
This is a great support site and you should use it every day. It will help you be strong and brave, like you already are, when you go into surgery.
You will see that there are a lot of others who have gone through this and that is the key, they still are here to talk about it!
And of course, the doctor who saved you is from the SMITH family!!heeheehee