Well Mitral Valve Surgery #2 in the books. I am now the proud owner of a new mechanical valve. It has been about 2 1/2 months since the surgery and honestly I haven't posted lately because I just wasn't ready too. My procedure went well even though it took almost 8 hours because of all the scare tissue from my first repair surgery 5 years ago. However, Dr. Glower at Duke did an excellent job and I have nothing but the highest praise for him. I am still getting use to my new valve and the noise that it makes. I am also still getting use to all the INR testing that I am having to do to get my levels right. All in all I am happy with my decision to go with the mechanical valve being I am only 43 and already had #2 heart surgery's. I am hopeful this will be my last! Thanks to everyone who shared advice and answer my questions going into this second round. I wish everyone in this community the best! Feel free to reach out if anyone has any questions about valve surgery, recovery or whatever as I seem to be a pro now! hahaha
Can anyone share with me what it is truly like to be on blood thinners. I might have to have my mitral valve replaced and if I go mechanical I am wondering how difficult is it to live warfarin. I am very active with my boys. We are in the scouts, we fish, hunt, ski etc. Also worried about diet as far as vitamin K foods, drinking alcohol and other over the counter meds that may affect you while on blood thinners.
I just found out that my Mitral Valve Repair has not lasted but 5 years and my valve is leaking pretty bad again. They don't know why the repair failed but here I am again facing surgery. I have seen #2 surgeon's and they both want to try and re-repair it but even they know that it's a long shot. So know I am faced with the decision of going with a nature valve or a mechanical one if they can't repair it again. I know the pro's and con's of both and have done a lot of research on each. However, that doesn't make the decision easy. Any words of advice from folks out there with replacement valves? Either Natural or Mechanical. FYI I am 43 years old.
Well just when you think all is well another curve ball comes your way. That was the case with me last week. I have been feeling great ever since my Dec 16 MVR but last week I started having minor lung and chest pains that over a day or 2 got so bad I went to the ER. My chest was tight and it hurt to breath deep, move around or even to lay down. It was miserable! Almost as bad as the pain I felt right after surgery? Fortunately, I was not having a heart attacked or any other serious heart problem. The Docs at the ER ran lost of test EKG, Chest X-Ray, Blood Test, even a CT Scan and thought I just had pleurisy. They gave me some pain meds while in the ER and finally after 7 hours or so in the ER was sent home with Toradol. The next day I went to my Cardio and they preformed a echo that showed some fluid and inflammation around the heart i.e. Pericarditis. They got me started on some high dose Ibuprofen and I started to feel much better in a couple of days. I just wanted to share this for all the folks in recovery to let them know that this condition is some what common for heart surgery patients even many months down the road. So if you start having this kind of pain or any pain at all it is better to seek advice right away before it gets worse. Hope my story can help someone out there in the community from having to bear the pain I did. God Bless to All in this Community!
It has been awhile since I posted last so I thought I would just chime in for a short report. It has been a little over 3 months since my MV repair but it seems longer than that? Nothing really new to report. I am feeling really good and continuing to try to increase my stamina and my work outs. My resting heart rate has come down to the 75 range and I am only on #2 medications. Those would be Zetia for Cholesterol and Ramipril for blood pressure.
My ski trip to Colorado went off without a hitch. We had a great time and I had no issues with the altitude. Physically I was able to ski 5 out of 6 days. I did get a little tried especially my legs but you doesn't. Was really fortunate to be able to go and spend that time with my family.
I still have a little tenderness from the nerve and muscles that were damaged at the incision site but nothing to bad. I sleep ok but still wake up thru-out the night. Even though I have been walking/jogging ever since I got home. I still get a little winded or light headed if I run up the steps quickly, pick up something heavy, get up out of bed quickly or if I bend down low and stand up? It's not real bad and it doesn't last long but still not sure why and hope it eventually goes away? Has anybody else experienced this? All in all I have nothing to complain about just trying to get back to normal life and take full advantage of what God has given me!
I also wanted to say hello to my HVJ and surgical teammate Laurie! I hope you doing well and so Glad that Rachel is home. Prayers to both of you!
To all that are going in soon or in recovery I wish you all the best. You can do it!
Well just thought I would give a 9 week post-op update. For those that maybe new to this site I am 38 years old, a husband and father of #2 young boys. I had my mitral valve repaired robotically Dec 16, 2013 by Dr. Chitwood at the Greenville Heart Institute. My procedure went smoothly and I stayed in the hospital for about 5 days. I still can't thank the folks at GHI enough for everything they have done for me. I experienced nothing less than the utmost care and compassion from my surgeons all the way down to the nursing staff. I would highly recommend both Dr. Chitwood and GHI!
As for me I am feeling good with no complaints. Still have a little numbness around the incision site from the damaged nerves and tissue but it is getting better everyday. I have been released from my surgeon and my cardiologist. Just annual check ups from here on out. I am still exercising EVERYDAY and can really tell a big difference in the last couple of weeks. I have started doing some light jogging mixed in with my walks and also started using the elliptical machines recently. I am doing 4 miles most days and starting to push the pace a little at a time. I have had no heart palpitations, A-fib or shortness of breath which I am truly thankful for. I am heading to Vail, CO next week on a family ski trip and I can't wait. Vail is truly one of my most favorite places. I know what your are thinking and yes I am going to take it easy. Not really going to push it a lot this year just want to cruise and hang with family.
Lastly I want to tell everyone that has helped me over the last few months THANK YOU! I would also like to tell everyone going in soon to stay positive YOU CAN DO THIS!!!
My best to Rachel and Laurie! Hope you continue to feel better each day!
WOW! Can't believe it has been 4 weeks already. Time has flown by compared to pre surgery when it stood still? I still think about that day and the entire hospital stay. I am so glad it is all behind me! Even thou it all went fairly smooth it still took its toll on me from time to time both physically and emotionally.
With that said, I am feeling good but still have some tenderness at the incision site. My recovery has been fairly smooth except for a fall I had soon after arriving home. I am so thankful to god and my surgical team. The entire staff at Greenville Heart Institute was amazing and took really great care of me. I go back next week for my follow up and hope to get released. I have seen my PCP twice since the surgery. He still seems to think everything sounds & looks good. My vitals have continued to stay inline and other than the fall I really have not had any complications. For which I am truly grateful!
I am continuing to walk everyday at least 2-3 miles at the Y and am doing about 15:00min miles. I am really looking forward to getting back in my groove and being able to play basketball with my two sons. It has been so hard to be patient and not push too hard to soon.
I know their are many others that haven't had it so easily and I just want to wish you all the best on your continued recovery. Especially Rachel and my surgical teammate in this journey Laurie! Hope you both start feeling better soon!
Thanks again to everyone in this community for all your support and advice. It has meant so much to me!
Well it has been two weeks since my surgery and I am getting along fairly well. I got off to a great start but then had a set back. I had a bad fall one night when I got out of bed and Bam landed face first. So now I look like a prize fighter! Word to the wise just because you start feeling better that doesn't mean you don't need to be careful or help when getting around. Other that the fall and aftermath I am doing well. My vitals are all good and my home nurses are pleased. Went to see my PCP and he said everything sounded great both Heart and lungs. I am not using hardly any pain meds at all and my appetite is good. I am walking about 2-3 miles a day at a nice pace around 18-19min. I am sleeping OK but still wake up a few time a night. I am getting a little cabin fever so I am going to change venue tomorrow and head to my dad's beach house for a few days. I know all of us have had a rough year so I hope and wish everyone a happy healthy 2014. God bless everyone that is going in soon or at home recovering!
It has been one week since my Mitral Valve Repair and so far so good! I had surgery Monday Dec 16 at 7:30 and was out and in ICU around 2:00. I woke up in ICU with the breathing tube already out and surrounded by my family. I was so happy to open my eyes and realize I was on the other side of surgery. I actually felt pretty good after the procedure and the staff ask me if I wanted to get out of bed and into the chair, I said YES! So they helped me up and into chair that afternoon around 6:30 and I watch a little Monday night football until about 10:00. I didn't get much rest the first night due to all the staff coming and going but my pain was not too bad. The next mourning that got me up at 5:30 am and into the chair. I was feel OK at the time and even tried a little jello. However, after I was up an hour or so I started to get really emotional! I think all the stress leading up to the surgery and all the stress on my body from the actual procedure caught up with me and the tear came pouring out. At about the same time my pain returned with a vengeance! Apparently I had not stayed on top of my pain and it hit me like a truck! I had to crawl back in bed and they pumped me with god knows what for a while to try and ease the pain. It took several hours until I was able to get on top of it and I learned my lesson. I never again got behind on my pain. About 2:30 Tuesday they said my room in step down was ready so my wife grabbed our gear, walked out of ICU and never looked back. The next three days went by event free and I was discharged Friday dec 20. I am glad to be home and am feeling really good. I am eating well, walking several times a day for about 20 mins, sleeping Ok in my bed but still have a little pain mostly in the mournings. I just wanted to thank everyone in the HVJ community for all the advice, tips and support. I know this journey would have been much more difficult without all of you. I took your advice to heart and made sure I stayed on ice chips and water for the first few days and made sure I got up out of bed as soon as I could? I also sent my wife to the store to get some prunes which I ate frequently to get my system back to normal from all the pain meds. I really am surprised how good I feel and how smooth the whole process as been? I want to thank everyone again for all your support and wish everyone a Merry Heart Healthy Christmas!
To everyone that is going in soon or out recovering I wish you all the best on a speedy recovery. Especially Rachel and Laurie.
Discharged earlier today and headed straight home. No place like home. I am feeling good with just a little pain but not enough to complain about. I had a few ups and downs after surgery but I have to say the the folks at GHI did a great job both with the surgery and with my post op care. The staff was top notch! I am going to try and post more about my experience and advice to others going in tomorrow. Just enjoying being back home in my chair!
We'll I am in recovery 2 days after my Mirtal Valve repair. Doc said everything went well and the repair looked good. Meant to post yesterday but was in too much pain. Feeling much better today and working towards getting home by Friday! I will post more about my adventure soon. Laurie interested in how you are doing? Shoot me a message when you can?
To everyone in the HVJ community I would like to say thanks for all your support over the last several months. My surgery is tomorrow early AM so I wanted to post this tonight. I really want to thank everyone that has answered questions, shared experiences and given me advice. It helped me to be able to talk with people that are or have been in my shoes. I had a great day with the whole family. I went to church, then to the club for a Santa brunch with my kids and all their cousins. I also coached basketball practice for my 7 year old team and now back home getting ready for tomorrow. I am ready for tomorrow and to start my recovery. I will post as soon as I can to let everyone know how things went. Thanks again to everyone and see ya on the flip side:)!!!
I know we won't be going in together tomorrow as we originally thought but I wish you the best. As you said We got this!
To everyone going in or recovering I wish you all the best, especially Rachel!
I am heading to Greenville for pre-op testing tomorrow and hope all goes well. I am ready to get this surgery behind me(Dec 16) and get home before the holidays. Plus my ECU Pirates Bowl game is on the 21 and I never miss a game! I find it funny that I graduated from ECU and who would have ever thought I would be back in Greenville for heart surgery? Thankful to have such skilled surgeon's in my own back yard! I am so proud of the program they have become and know I am going to be in good hands. Like I told my wife I would rather have a pirate cut on me than anyone else!
The last few weeks have flown by but I finally have come to terms with all this. It was hard for me in the beginning to actually believe that I needed surgery at 38! However, after visiting #3 different surgeons that all said the same thing "Get it fixed now" I really feel more confident that I have made the right decision. I am really more concerned for my dear wife and kids than myself. I know all will go smoothly but I hate having to put this on their shoulders. I remain positive with my head up and ready to get started on my recovery! Good luck to all going in and those still recovering, especially Rachel!
I am only 2 weeks away from my surgical date and I am getting nervous! I have been very busy trying to get everything taken care of around the house and at work before I go in. Been reading a lot of journals to try and get a better handle on everything that is getting ready to happen. Thanks to all for sharing your stories. It does help and makes me not feel so alone in this journey. Rachel you are in my prayers as well as everyone recovering or about to go in. Well that's all for tonight.
Last wed I scheduled my surgery date 12/16! I have chosen to go with the robotics system for my repair. The Doc said it should be a simple repair of just one of my posterior leaflet's and possibly a new Gore-Tex chord. I feel confident with the surgeon and the facility I have chosen as the are leaders in the robotics field. Now I am trying to not only make peace with this decision but also figure out what I need to start doing to prepare for my return home. Any suggestions about how to prep the house and any necessary supplies would be great!
I have a meeting nov 5 with my Cardio. First consultation since my TEE revealed I might need a repair to my Mitral valve do to severe regurgitation. I also have #2 consults set up with #2 different surgeons. One is more traditional(no robotics) and the other is a leader in the robotics field. Just looking to get a game plan together to have all my questions thought out. Any help regarding important questions I need to be asking would be greatly appreciated!
I am new to the community and have just been told that I need my mitral valve repaired do to severe regurgitation. I have no symptoms so I am a little nervous about the whole thing. Just looking to get some words of advice? Which procedure to choose for the repair? Recover time? Life after?