I haven't logged in for awhile but my new Cardiologist ordered a heart cauterization and I had it in early August. I was relieved by the outcome, my valve was not closing due to scar tissue as the first doctor had proclaimed. The valve is working perfectly, just appears to be too small for me.
So if you are scheduled for valve replacement surgery I have two questions that you should always ask the surgeon - how many valve replacements have you done and how do you pick the valve size. I have asked two doctors and they say they "eyeball the size - no type of measurement is involved!!
I will have to have my valve replaced sooner than the 15 - 20 years as I was promised; but at least not right away (1 1/2 years after surgery).
We are going to watch for symptoms as currently I have only have one; night sweats. It is still disappointing, but I like and TRUST my new cardiologist. Hopefully my current valve will last at least 5 years.
Good luck to everyone facing surgery - it is not an exact science - never be afraid to ask for a second opinion. I will definitely let the first surgeon know what went wrong.
I saw the cardiologist today to get my TEE test results. As I was told in the hospital on test day, my one year old heart valve is only open the size of a dime. I am so disappointed.
Since I only have minor systoms, I am hoping to go at least a year or two before I need another valve. They can't tell me when or why, so I just need to move on and accept it.
I did tell the doctor that I would be getting a second opinion, which I fully intend to do! I also asked if this surgery could be the less invasive type. The answer no - that is only for first time valve repair. Has anyone ever heard that before?
Thanks to everyone for your feedback and encouragement!!
I had my surgery done at St Joseph Mercy Hospital in Pontiac Mi. The surgeon came very well recommended - my sister in law actually works at the hospital with him. I am mainly disappointed because in all my research, I never heard that this could happen. It always focused on the 15 - 20 years.
When I was 50 years old I found out that I was born with a bicuspid aortic valve and that eventually I would need to have it replaced. One year ago, in April 2010, I had my valve replaced during open heart surgery (full incision) with a pig valve.
Before surgery I read Adams book and followed a lot of patients on this website thru their surgery and recovery; it was very comforting to read the stories and know that I would be OK. At that time I did not start a journal, but do feel the need to now.
Last week I had a TEE test and even though I do not have any symptoms, was told that my 1 year old pig valve (that was supposed to last 15 - 20 years) is already starting to close up!! How can this be, I said.
The only answer given was - sometimes this happens!!
Has anyone ever had this experience? I really need some advice.
I am visiting the cardiologist this week to get the full test results and will definitely get a second opinion.
I am a 58 year old mother of 3, grandmother of 5 and I have a very demanding job. I can't believe that I will need to go thru the surgery again!