It has been 1 & 1/2 years since my Aortic Valve was replaced, my Mytril Valve was repaired and a Double By-Pass at Mt. Sinai Hospital in NYC. I just have to say that everything is just perfect with me now. I have no more heart murmur, my mytril valve regurgitation is at a extream minimum and my heart muscle is getting pleanty of oxygenated blood again due to the Bypasses. The nasty scar on my chest is just barely noticeable now and I can walk fast several miles without out any shortness of breath or getting tired anymore. My Edwards Inspiri Resila, Aortic Tissue Valve replacement has been fantastic choice for me and has been working perfectly so far since my surgery on 06/25/2018. As my cardiologist just told me at my last visit, "Your Heart Just Loves Your New Valve".
Went to the Cardiologist today and recieved great news, my heart is beating strong and continues to sounds perfect. The Doctor looked at my Reveal Link Monitor Download (I have had the Reveal link monitor installed under the skin over my heart since February 2017) and I have not had anymore A-Fib events since my August 21 one time event. So in 6 months when I revisit my cardiologist again and I have no more A-Fib events he is going to again give me another Echo Cardiogram. If all is continuing to be good with my heart, the Dr. will take me off the blood thinner Xarelto and just put me back on the Aspirin a day regiment.
I am finished with my cardiac rehab, and now I just take my daily 1 1/2 mile a day walk. I feel so much better now than before my surgey, it is like night and day the difference. Before I would get out of breath so quickly and have chest & arm pain with just minor exertion and now I walk at a fast pace during that 1-1/2 mile walk and still feel like I can do another mile. Heart & Valve Disease sneaks up on you and it takes years for it to effect your quality of life, but when you have the problems fixed you really do have your life back again. I can not thank enough Dr. Adams and his fantastic surgical team at Mount Siani Hospital for giving me a second chance at life.
Well it has been 3 months, 3 days since my OHS on June 25th. The surgery that I had done was to replace my Aortic Valve, Repair my Mytral Valve & CABG x2. Other than the A-Fib event I had on Aug 21, I have been doing great. I go to cardiac rehab 3 times a week and I am doing extreamly well. I love doing the treadmill and it seems like I can go for miles. I no longer lose my breath walking fast and my heart feels so good and strong again. Having this critical surgery was a blessing for me because of how good it turned out. The scar on my chest which I call my "Red Badge of Courage" is healing well, my chest does not hurt at all (it never really hurt that bad even right after surgey) but I still do experience a numbness on the upper left side of my chest, but that does not bother me at all.
So all you folks waiting for your open heart surgery date to come, we been there and done that. So we know what your going through, feel free to ask your questions and read the other folks Journal to get an idea of what they went through, both before and after heart surgery. All I can say it that "GOD HAS BEEN GOOD TO ME" during my journey. Just keep your faith in God and your doctor and you too will weather the storm of your fears & anxiety. I wish everyone of my Heart Surgery brothers & sisters my very best in Health, Happyness & Love. So move forward with your new & healthier lives and look back at this life changing experience in a good light and wear your "Red Badge of Courage" proudly.
I have been doing great and then I had a setback... A-Fib
Journal posted on August 23, 2018
I was doing so well with my recovery these past 8 weeks post opt. But on Monday, I woke up as usual and I noticed my heart beating funny. I then walked into the kitchen to take my daily dose of Metoprolol 100mg which I did and my heart was just fluttering in my chest. I told my wife that I think I am having an A-Fib event and we better go to the Hospital Emergency Room to have it checked out.
We arrived at the hospital and my heart was beating Irregular and fast, the doctors immediately brought me into the cardiac care section and hooked me up to the heart monitor's. They also gave me a EKG and drew blood from my arm to send to the lab. The doctor told me that I am having a A-Fib event and they hooked up a IV line in my arm and started giving me medicine to regulate my heart beat again. Within 30 min I felt my heart start to slow down and the Irregular heart beat get better. Within about hour my heart was beating normally again. They monitored me for several more hours and I was feeling so much better emotionally and physically. The ER doctor was in contact with my Cardiologist & he called me to explain that this can happen with heart surgery patients. He also prescribed a blood thinner for me to take Xarelto to prevent me from having a stroke if I should ever have an A-Fib event again. I see my cardiologist next week to see why this happened and hopefully an adjustment of medication will prevent this from happening again.
Has anyone here experienced the same type of event as I just experienced?
I cannot believe it has been 8 weeks since my heart surgery (Aortic Vave Replacement, Mytral Valve Repair & Double Bypass) I am really starting to feel like I felt 10 years ago. No more shortness of breath and my stamina has also increased. I attend Cardiac rehab 3 times a week and I walk about a mile on the treadmill. I ride 5 miles on the stationary Bicycle, my power level is on 6 for the Arms and Leg Machine and I am doing great on the Arm Machine. I am not losing my breath nor do I feel overwhelmed or tired after the workout. My blood pressure relaxes is 114 over 62 and while exercising it goes to 126 over 66. Not to bad for a 72 year old man. So was the surgery worth the pain and anxiety, my answer is diffinatly Yes, because I actually feel the before and after difference and the after surgery difference is so much better. Keep on ticking folks now I need to get on my bicycle and pedal around my community for the next 45 min.
I was just asked a question from one of the folks here. "What Type of Aortic Valve Replacement did I receive" i know there are many different types that are in use today and the one that my Surgeon used to replace my defective Aortic Valve with was the "Edwards Inspire Resila Aortic Replacement Tissue Valve" This is the newest type of Tissue valve out today that was just approved for use in 2018 in the United States. It is supposed to last much longer than other tissue valves on the market today because of it's long lasting anti-calcification materials used in its manufacturing. I hope this helps the folks who are having there Aortic Valve Replaced in there choice of valve replacement.
It is now over 3 weeks since I had my severely calcified Aortic Valve replaced, my Mytral Valve Repaired and my Double Bypass compleated. I am really feeling good after my surgery and my strength is coming back more & more. I am so great full to the skill of Dr. Adams and his team at Mt. Siani for the very successful outcome in repairing my damaged heart. It is so amazing to be living in these times of modern surgery were you can find the experienced surgeon to correct what is wrong with your heart and go on to live a full and productive life once more.
Today, (July 18th) I went back to Dr. Adams office for a follow up visit with the Physician Assistant and the Staff Doctor. The PA gave me a Cardio-gram which was now perfect, she also checked my surgical Incision on my chest and on my leg where they harvested a vien for my bypass, both of those incisions are also healing very well. Then the Doctor came in and listened to my heart & lungs and thank God he told me my heart now sounds perfect again. (no more murmur's & no more palpation's). The Doctor also read me the surgical report of what was exactly done to fix my broken heart in layman terms that were fully understandable to both myself and my wife. I was so happy to hear that I am doing so well and the Doctor also told me that I will be able to start driving my car again in 6 weeks post surgery and in 3 months I should no longer be experiencing any chest pain (which is very minimal now) and I should be totally back to normal being active again.
I am glad the worst part of my Heart Valve Surgery is now behind me and I am on the road to a full recovery. I just hope that the folks who followed my Journal will have there fears and anxiety eased by reading about my heart journey and what was on my mind during this entire process. Yes it is very scary and at times it just boggles your mind with so many thoughts & fears trying to take over your mind. But if you just take it one step at a time and read what the other folks went through and researching the best surgeon for your particular problem, you will do just fine. I applaud Adam Pick & his HeartValveSurgery.com web site because it was a god send for me to learn that I am not alone in this. God Bless you all and I will continue to post updates of my progress most likely on a monthly basis now.
2 weeks post surgery and I feel stronger every day.
Journal posted on July 9, 2018
Now that it has been 2 weeks since I had my surgery (Arotic Valve Replacement, Mytral Valve Repair & Double Bypass) and I really can feel the difference with my heart. I used to always get lots of palpation's before the surgey and if I over exerted myself either by walking to fast or long I would start breathing much harder. Now after the surgery I do not have any of these symptoms at all. I walked to the end of my block and back home again several times a day and I feel good, no more hard & labored breathing. I saw my cardiologist 2 days ago and he said I am doing great and he no longer hears the swishing sound of my heart murmur, just a nicely functional working heart. He also adjusted some of my medicine and I no longer need to take the water pill to rid my body of the extra water weight I put on from the surgey. After the surgery I was up 22 pounds (206 lbs. ) and now I lost all that and am back down to a very healthy 178 lbs. My chest incision is healing very well and now after 2 weeks the numbness on my chest is finally going away. So far I have really not experienced much pain from the surgery which is a good thing as it keeps me off the Opioid Pain Meds. I still take my 2 naps a day and I am still either sleeping on my recliner chair or the soft sofa. I tried sleeping in my bed but for some reason I just find the mattress to hard to get comfortable on my back. Next Wednesday (July 18th.) I have an appointment with the Surgeon and I will keep you all updated after that. Well, so far so good my heart is working fine & really no other complaints to speak about. I am just glad the scary & hard part is behind me and my recovery is coming along well... I will update you all in another week... Keep on Ticking Folks.
I had a successful surgery on June 25th and thank goodness I really do not remember much of that day. I remember being scared and reciting my prayers while they were puting in my IV line in the surgical holding room. But I also felt a comfort of well-being that is hard to explain. Then they wheeled me into the operating room put me on the table. All my inhabitions of being naked in front of the surgical team did not seem to bother me at all. The Anesthesiologist was telling me that he will be giving me the "Happy Juice" now, and thats all I remember untill I heard voices yelling at me to "Wake Up John" and them pulling the breathing tube out of my throat. Thats is about all I remember on that first day.
Day 1 post operation, i remember waking up and saying to myself that I do not feel in much pain. I remember touching my chest and it just felt numb. The nurse raised the bed so I can sit up and look at all the wires and drainage tubes on my body. But again, I really did not feel much pain. I was just very thirsty and the nurse brought me some cold water to sip on. Latter that day one of the Surgeon's came in and told me everthing went very well during the surgery and that someone will be here later to help me walk a few steps. My wife then came in for the first time to visit me and that was the biggest thrill of my life to have her by my side. Later on the first day post surgery, because I was doing so well they moved me from the ICU, to the step down cardiac unit and I was happy about that because I had a beautiful view of Central Park from my window.
Day 2, 3 & 4 post surgery I felt my breathing getting better & better and I was pushing 1000 ml on the spirometer which they told me was great. Now 10 days post surgery i am doing 1500 to 1700 which is really great. This needs to be done often to help your lungs fully expand back to normal and to greatly lesson your chance of contracting pneumonia. On day 4 all the draining tubes were removed from my body and I felt much better after they were pulled out of me.
Day 5 post surgery I was released from Mt. Siani and I was so happy to be going home again. When I arrived home my Boxer wanted to smother me with kisses, but thankfully she did not put her paws on my chest. I did my walks in my home with my wife watching out for me and I felt stronger after each and every walk. (walking is the key to a speedy recovery, so keep up the pace) my first dinner at home was a God Send.. I enjoy it so much over the yucky hospital food.
7 day post surgery we called my cardiologist's office and made an appointment to see him for a checkup on July 5th to adjust my medications. Then the Surgeon's office called to see how I am doing and to make an appointment to visit his office on the 18 of July.
So now that it is been 10 days post surgery, I am feeling so much stronger & much less sleepy and I still do not feel much pain from the surgery, nothing that a few TYLENOL cannot handle. Be well my friends the worst is behind me and only a full healthy life is ahead of me.
I have 3 days to go before I check in to Mt. Sinai Hospital for my heart surgery. Somehow it all seems like a bad dream coming to a head. I would be lying to you all if I told you I was not scared & the fear of dying has crossed my mind several times. Is this a normal process to think this way or is this just my mind playing tricks with me, but one thing is for sure as the past few months slipped by quickly these next 3 days will come about a lot quicker. I do remind myself many times that this surgery needs to be done before it does permanent damage to my heart, because that will for sure dramatically shorten my life. This is the major thought that keeps me always going forward during this amazing journey. I also realize that I have an excellent surgeon in Dr. Adams, who has a fantastic surgical team with lots of experience, so I will be in good hands. Dr. Adams has also told me not to worry because I came to the best place in the world to have my heart repaired and that I will be just fine. I guess when you get this close to your surgery date you just need to settle down with a positive outlook and keep moving forward. I will be keeping up with my Journal as I am recovering next week... God Bless You All and to all that offered me wisdom and advice.
Pre-Surgical Testing was compleated yesterday 6/14/18
Journal posted on June 15, 2018
Yesterday was a very busy day at Mount Siani Hospital with all my pre-surgery testing. They took 7 tubes of blood out of me to test for everything known to mankind. The results came back all good so i was thankful for that and I also had a new chest xray & CT scan done along with a new cardiogram so my surgeon has the current information that he requires. I also spoke with the anesthesiologist who explained how he was going to prepare me for my surgey, then the physician assistant came in to explain what was going to be done on me for the surgery and the follow up care after my surgery. He was very thorough in explaining everything to me, about my stay in the ICU & my stay in the cardiac care unit for the remainder of my hospital stay which will be about 5 to 7 days. I was also given a spromiter for breathing exercises at home and a speical antiseptic soap to wash up with before my surgery. The folks at Mount Siani were just amazing to me and there attention & attitude towards me was just wonderful & caring. So in 10 more days I will be fully prepared for my heart surgery because of the confidence in my surgeon Dr. Adams and the amazing people who will be caring for me afterwards. I used to be so scared to even think of this surgery being done on me, but finding the right doctor & the right hospital has done so much in helping me out mentally to get through this and to look forward to a better and more healthy life. I want to thank Adam Pick & his amazing website that helped me find the right doctor & hospital for my surgey, I could not of done what I did without HeartValveSurgery.com.
24 more days untill my surgery & I feel good about it.
Journal posted on June 1, 2018
June 14th I have my Pre-surgery testing which I am looking forward to completing. Then on June 25 I go for my surgery (Replace Aortic Valve, Repair Mytral Valve & Double Bypass) but i feel more confident & comfortable than ever because of the Surgeon I have doing the Surgery. The first surgeon I went to was very good but i just did not feel confident about him, because he told me that I have only a 60 or 70 percent chance of repairing my mytral valve. Getting a second opinion from a great surgeon like Dr Adams at Mount Sinai was a God send for me. Dr. Adams told me he can repair my moderately leaking Mytral Valve 100% and replace my Stenosis Aortic Valve with a Tissue Cow Valve along with doing a double bypass because I come to the best place in the world to have my surgery done. So I am really prepared for June 25th, Spiritual, Mentally & Physically because of my faith in my God and my surgeons ability to repair & correct my heart problems.
I went for my second opinion at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City today (May 2nd) and had a consultation with Dr. Adam's. He was just fantastic in explaining what is wrong with my Aortic & Mytral valve. He told me that it is 100% certain that my Mytral Valve can be repaired and that I only need only my Aortic Valve replaced. While he has my chest open he will also do a double bypass because of a 70% blockage of two heart arteries. I left his office feeling extremely confident of his abilities & skills. So now I scheduled my surgery for June 25 and now my search for a surgeon with skill & compassion is over.
Waiting for my catheterization &TEE test to be scheduled.
Journal posted on March 29, 2018
Completed my blood test & chest X-Ray. Now I am just waiting to hear back from my cardiologist office of when my catheterization & TEE test is going to be scheduled. Frankly for me, the wait is more upsetting me then getting the procedure. I hope the rest of this scary journey into my valve replacement goes much better.
Today 3/22/18 I am going for my Chest X-ray then tomorrow i will be going for my blood test. My cardiologist ordered this to be done because my next step is to go to Jersey Shore Medical Center for a Catheterization and have aTEE procedure done as a outpatient. Then I have an appointment again with my cardiologist on April 17th. We will go over these test results which is to show a more detailed scan of my heart & valves. My previous echo showed that not only my Aortic Valve has moderate to severe stenious but my mitral valve has some regurgitating also. I still have no idea of when my surgey will take place, but I informed my cardiologist that I prefer to go to NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center. They are ranked 3rd best in the country & I just feel more comfortable having my surgery there. This site (Heart Valve Surgey.com) was a god send to me in making my most important decision of my life. As I progress further into my up coming heart valve surgey I will do my best to keep this journal updated.
I had my new Echo done about 2 weeks ago & today I followed up with a vist to my Cardiologist. First thing he asked me was how was your breathing, do you notice your getting out of breath more easily than a year ago. I told him yes, I have noticed that I am breathing harder with only moderate exertion. He asked me this because the Echo now shows my Aortic Valve is getting narrower do to the Stenosis and that it is time for the valve replacement. I also have Mytral Valve regurgitation and this may have to be repaired also. Frankly I am scared to death, but I have no other choice but to get these valves replaced & repaired. I am 72 years old and in reasonably good health so I am hoping for the best. I have to go in as a outpatient at my hospital for several pre-surgical tests & then with this information i need to go to the surgeon. I will update this entry as I move along with the process. But, frankly I am at this point in my life I am very scared.