What a difference 365 days make.
A year ago, I was getting my aortic valve replaced at the University of Michigan. 9 months later, I was hiking 12 miles in Sedona AZ. I want to thank the numerous folks on this site who kept my fears at bay, answered
Quick Question for the group of post-op folks
Journal posted on February 16, 2015
So...today is my 2-week anniversary of my aortic valve replacement, and all is well, with one small exception. Randomly, during the day, I will feel my heartbeat become more prominent. It's as if the heart beats stronger, but the heartrate actually goes down slightly. These episodes usually last for a few minutes, then go away and all is back to normal. I've spoken to my visiting nurse and my surgeon's team of nurses. No one seems all that concerned. I don't feel out of breath, nor do I feel any pain. And my blood pressure has been normal and consistent.
My question is: Have any of you had a similar phenomenon? Should I be concerned? Just checking!
Quick question for those who have gone through the surgery. Last night at the hospital, and today at home (I got released!), I am having a difficult time falling asleep. The problem seems to be that once I start falling asleep, I skip a breath and wake myself up. I'm exhausted! Has this happened to you, and do you have any suggestions to combat? Thanks.
Just a quick note today that yesterday's surgery went great. The doctor was able to do The smaller incision, and I'm already out and about walking the full length of the hallways. Thanks to everybody support, and when I have a bit more energy I will provide more detail. Take care all.
I had all my pre-op work done yesterday...you know the drill (physical, echo, EKG, pulmonary check, etc...). I'm fortunate that the tests all came back good, it's just that nasty little aortic valve that is the problem.
The key decision was: What valve to replace it with? I'm not lying....over the last 4 weeks, I had made up my mind at least 4 times, only to change it. I flip-flopped more than a fish on a dock. Finally yesterday, I decided on tissue. Although I know it means additional procedures once the tissue valve wears out, I'm putting my money on less invasive techniques being ready by the time that occurs.
In addition, I elected to be part of a trial on a new type of tissue valve...the surgeon explained that the changes are minimal...slightly larger flaps that in theory can last a bit longer. As a comparison, he said it's not like going from manual transmission to automatic, but more like going from 200 horsepower engine to 240HP. I like to think of it more like my iphone: I like getting the new ones before everyone else, I might as well get do the same with my valve!
The hard part now is the waiting. Jan 30 is my surgery day, and although I'm very nervous, I just want it over with. From reading others' posts, I know I'm not alone. If you're reading this, thanks for sticking with me! It just feels good to put my thoughts and concerns in writing. My best wishes to all of you who support everyone on this site.
Quick Assistance from the Group re: Renting a Recliner
I've read, both in Adam's book and in several of the previous posts, that I should look at getting a recliner at home for post-op time. For those of you who did this:
1. Did you rent from a medical supply firm or a furniture rental company?
2. Do you recommend the power recliners that helps lower and raise you to sit/stand, or just a recliner with a handle?
Any feedback would be useful, as I am having trouble finding what I think I will need. Thanks in advance for your help.
1. For those of you who had the option of mechanical vs. tissue valve, which one did you choose and why? I know the general pros and cons of each, and although I'm leaning in one particular direction, I would like your opinions.
2. My surgeon at U of Michigan offered, if I chose tissue valve, to put me in a Perigon Pivotal trial for a new type of tissue valve, Medtronic Model 400. It is supposed to last longer, etc.. Has anyone else heard of this? Any thoughts?
My first journal entry...I feel a little late to the game, but I did not find this site until I found Adam's book. It has been a great help, reading about so many others in similar shoes.
So here's a quick summary of my situation: 5 years ago, during a routine physical, my doctor heard a murmur, which after number tests I'm sure you're familiar with, turned out to be a bicuspid aortic valve. The cardiologist predicted surgery in 4-6 years, which he was spot on.
I'm fortunate to live near U of M hospitals, as they have a great heart center. I had my first meeting with my surgeon last Thursday, Dec 18 and he gave me the lowdown:
1. I need surgery soon.
2. Luckily, the only problem is the valve, no blockage, no enlarged aorta.
3. Given my age, I'm in between choosing a mechanical valve or a tissue valve. He went over pros and cons and said I could make the recommendation, and he would try to fulfill it (barring any problems during the surgery which would have to change the type).
4. He's hoping that the incision will be smaller than what I assumed. He said that it might be only 3 inches vs. 6 inches, but he can't promise.
So there it is in a nutshell. I'm sure I'll have many questions that I can ask the support group. I look forward to reading and posting on your sites, and hope you do the same with mine. Best of luck to all!