Adam, great webinar with Dr. McCarthy and Dr. Thomas. It will be two years in April that I had my successful repair - open heart surgery for my Barlow's pathology (both leaflets & many cords were bad) and I am still always learning! Thanks for keeping us informed with the continued education you offer on your site!
Today is my 1 Year Anniversary for my OHS! I cannot believe it's a year already. At times it was a slow, hard journey, but I welcomed the distanced as time went on. I am feeling great! So thankful and Blessed for the wonderful surgeons, doctors & nurses who save our lives.
To everyone out there celebrating a successful OHS or preparing for one:
May God's Blessings & love be with you all...
Thank you again Adam for this wonderful website that offers all of us so much 'needed' support as we walk through this Heart journey!
I have a question: How long after surgery do you have to stay on 'metoprolol tartrate'? I had my mitral valve repaired & the nurse (who works with my surgeon) said I would be taking it for at least the first 3 months. Today my family doctor said I could possibly have to take it the rest of my life (???)
Today is one month since my surgery. I just had an echocardiogram & Yay, my mitral valve is working perfectly! The bad news is, I had a CT Scan with contrast a couple days ago & it showed I have fluid/infection in my lower right lung. I have been having a hard time breathing & my doc wanted to rule out blood clots. Great, I don't have the blood clots, but a little worried I have this infection. I went to see my cardiologist today & he said the right side of my incision is also infected, which worried him. He said it could all be connected. My regular doctor had already put me on a heavy duty antibiotic so I'm hoping this will rectify this infection.
Has anyone dealt with this situation? It's a little unnerving when the cardiologist tells me he is worried that the infection could spread to my heart - ugh ... Plus I just had a sore throat & cold ...
Well I have a crazy story: my doctor told me to put vaseline on my incisions to help them heal. I started using a small container my husband had in his drawer for a few days. Then I noticed I had a larger jar of vaseline in one of my drawers. I started using it, the next day I broke out in poison ivy all over my chest, incision area & neck. It made me think, we don't have poison ivy here in AZ, at least not the places I have been. I then realized my jar of vaseline had been used 3 years earlier on my horse while he was back east. He had bowed a tendon & I was doctoring him & using vaseline was one of the items I had used. I had gotten poison ivy from him at the time, which he carried on his leg from the shavings they used in his stall. I must have brought the jar of vaseline in the house at some point & didn't remember doing it. I am highly allergic, so they always give me steroids to take...well this time after heart surgery, steroids is not something I can take...I felt like an idiot explaining my incompetence to my doctor that I used a contaminated jar of vaseline - ugh ...So now I am trying to contain the poison ivy & keep it from spreading...I read that poison ivy can stay active on or in something for up to 5 years...Like going through OHS isn't enough on my plate, I had to add poison ivy to the list. Thankfully my incision looks good at this point!
Two-Week Anniversary! My heart journey continues. Two weeks ago I flew to Stanford to have my surgery. Mitral valve repair or replacement. Both my leaflets were very damaged so there was no guarantee for a repair. I had chosen the tissue valve if needed. I am very active and clumsy. The thought of Coumadin for life wasn’t a good choice for me. (I have already fallen out of bed after surgery – yikes, but all is good)
We arrived Monday, got settled in to our hotel. After dinner, just before I was to head to bed, my left gluteal muscles down through my leg into my foot went into a major spasm. The pain I was in, was a 10. I told my husband he was going to have to take me to the emergency room. I’m thinking ‘what is going on, tomorrow is pre-op, can this really be happening?’ I had already had to have a blood test a couple days before I left to make sure I wasn’t sick. As we all know the worries before heading off to major surgery.
I was hit by a car as a child, so I have a lot of hip & back pain plus fibromyalgia. I don’t leave home with out my Motrin & muscle relaxers. But surgery was in two days; I was unable to take any meds since last Wednesday. This pain was new to me. Totally different then my normal back muscle spasms. Thankfully I thought to call the after hour phone line for the Heart Dept. at the hospital. The cardiologist on call advise me to take one muscle relaxer plus my Motrin but if the pain didn’t subside I was to go to the emergency room. Thankfully within a half an hour I was off to bed with subtle pain. (Enough so that I could sleep)
The next day was a long day of pre-op. I had a hard time walking but they informed me, it would not stop my surgery! Yay, I needed to get this surgery over with.
I was scheduled for the second surgery of the morning at 11:00 am. Apparently that day all the morning surgeries were taking longer then expected. I wasn’t wheeled off until 4:30pm to the operating room. I finally started to wake early Thursday morning. My first words (after all the tubes were removed): I feel like I was hit by a Mack Truck…My husband was thankful for any verbiage as he couldn’t wait for me to wake up.
I was pleased to find out that my surgeon was able to repair my valve. He told my husband, it was a very difficult repair. That another surgeon would have replaced it. I was thankful, since the reason I went all the way to Stanford was because my surgeon specialized in difficult repairs!
The first week I was so sick. I had bad reactions to all the medicines. I had hallucinations for a few days; every time I stood I threw up. I could not eat and had a hard time drinking water. Smells drove me to more sickness. They wanted to send me home Monday morning. I told them ‘no’, I can’t stand without getting sick, something has to be done. They kept working on different meds; I was able to leave by Tuesday night. But by Wednesday in my hotel room I couldn’t leave the bathroom. I called the heart center once again. They finally gave me a stomach drug called: Zofran …it was like a miracle. After two pills I was on my way by Thursday. I could now sit and have dinner with my husband and son. But the dinner was sadly interrupted when I got a call from AZ that my beloved horse I had owned for 20 years had a bad bout with colic impaction along with a heart murmur (the vet had just discovered the murmur) and she had to be put to sleep. (Here I am, in CA because of my heart murmur only to find out my horse also suffered from one, that’s not the reason she died. Her intestinal impaction was the cause). I felt bad not able to say good bye to my buddy, I missed her by one day ☹
I was so sick at one point I could not fathom flying home on Saturday. But now I had a renewed attitude since I was feeling pretty good. I flew home Saturday with no problems. I arrived home Saturday night only to have severe intestinal pains. (Could this be sympathy pain because of my horse, which I knew wasn’t the case). I once again called the emergency after hours at the heart center. The cardiologist called me back, told me what to take to help & I was on my way and able to finally relax! Sleeping nights is still an issue that I am working on…
Which brings me to my two-week anniversary. I know it is only a small milestone in the recovery process. But I am finally able to celebrate and be thankful for the baby steps I have taken.
For those of you just through your surgery, it does get better. Hang in there! And for the experienced members of our community, thank you for all your wisdom & support you have given many others and me over the months since I have joined this wonderful site.
Of course I know I will have good days, bad days and will post questions along the way. But that is what this awesome blog site is all about. The questions, the prayers, the love and concern shown to each other.
Thank you to Adam! Your site has been priceless. I am forever thankful ☺
I'm sure to fly home on Saturday. It will be a short flight San Jose to Phx. But I am only 10 days post op. Can't wait to get home instead of staying in a hotel. But I'm scared, has anyone had to fly this soon? If so how did you make out?
It's been a week today since surgery & one day since I have been released. I am really struggling. I have been so sick to my stomach from the meds. Smells are horrible, everything makes me sick. I having a hard time emitionally from this whole experience.
When does it get easier? Has anyone else experienced these same issues?
Good morning to all my heart brothers & sisters. I am thankful for all your prayers & well wishes!
I had my surgery on Wed/20th at 4:30pm. It has definitely been a experience. My surgeon & hospital are awesome! I cannot express enough gratitude for these wonderful professionals that have taken care of me. Dr. Woo is an excellent dr. Both my leaflets were badly diseased. He had to do a few different procedures to make the repair possible. I was told most other surgeons would have replaced my valve since they were so bad. But Dr. Woo specializes in Mitral repair made it happen!
I am still in the hospital. I am having problems with swallowing foods so I am still on a soft food diet.
I am thankfull for my heart pillow!!! And like Adam has mention the value of the Spirometer!
For those of you entering surgery soon & those of us in recovery 'May God be with you!
Counting down the days. My surgery is April 20th. I just had a little scare. My allergies have been really bad the past few days. But of course heading into surgery, I wasn't sure if I was getting sick or allergies. So off the the doctors this morning for blood work. Thankfully it all came back normal...So Allergies it is! I'm still in motion for surgery on Wednesday!
Question: to any of the woman out there who have had surgery - what do you recommend bringing to the hospital with you? What type of comfortable clothing? I will be in the hospital about a week & staying a week in the hotel before I head back home.
In one month I will be flying up to Stanford hospital to prepare for my surgery...I guess everyone counts down the days. Thankfully my dr agreed for me to have a CT angiogram with contrast verses the invasive angiogram. So next step will be the blood work to check my kidneys...
This journey is def a process. I send my prayers to everyone heading into surgery next week!
Question: I hear a lot of people talk about 'back pain'. Is this something everyone deals with? I already have back problems (from an accident as a child), just laying on my side for an echo cardiogram causes me back pain. So this sounds very worrisome to me :(
Has anyone used Dr. Woo @ Stanford for Mitral Valve Surgery?
Journal posted on February 27, 2016
Well I guess this is a slow process. My doctor sent my results to 3 other surgeons to get their opinions regarding a repair or replacement. (I guess they don't actually know until they get in there if they can repair or replace). He told me not wait to long on scheduling my surgery, but it seems like this whole process can take a while. In the meantime, I am trying to google everything I can. Has anyone used Dr. Woo at Stanford for their surgery? I live in Arizona, any recommendations on surgeons for robotic surgery? (At least I am hoping I will be a candidate for Robotic)...My cardiologist recommended Dr. Woo, so I asked him to send my test results to him . Just looking for some insight & opinions...I would appreciate hearing any stories regarding other peoples experience with their mitral valve surgeries...Thx
Well, I haven't posted for a while. My recent visit to my cardiologist along with my echo cardiogram shows my valves have weaken more. I went from 'moderate-severe' to now Severe Mitral regurge. So I will be off to the surgeon for valve replacement surgery :( I was told since both of my mitral valves are damaged, I will need a replacement. I am hoping to schedule my surgery for June at Stanford, but still waiting to hear back from my doctor. He sent my test results out to two different local surgeons to get their opinions on whether I am a candidate for Robotic Surgery or not. (keeping my fingers crossed) I am already trying to deal with the disappointment of needing a 'valve replacement' instead of a repair. I am very active, ride horses but more importantly 'Very Clumsy' ...so the idea of getting a mechanical valve & living on a daily dose of Coumadin, scares me death. Plus I love my green veggies & salads ....I am entertaining the 'tissue/pig valve'.
I thought back in July I was off for surgery but got a 'wait & see - 6 more months' answer & hoped I was off the hook for a while ....So I guess this time it's real ...I would love to hear other stories similar to mine, to get an idea of what to expect...thx
I just finished reading The Patients Guide to Heart Valve Surgery. So informative and inspirational. Thank you Adam for sharing your story and information and starting this wonderful site! It's nice to have some place to go to receive so much support, information & know that your not alone on this journey ...
Hi, I'm new to this site. I'm a 55 yr old female, have always been in good shape & weight. I was diagnosed with Mitral Valve prolapse when I was in my twenty's. Since 2009 I was told I have regurgitation & started my yearly testing which revealed my regurge was 'Moderate'. My regular MD has been overseeing my yearly test. When I recently went for my yearly echo test my condition has now changed from 'Moderate' to 'Moderate-Severe' so now I am on my way to see a Cardiologist. I was very sick with severe coughing, bronchitis/flu etc. back in March which I feel has contributed to my weakened heart valve. Since being sick I started to get times of labored breathing which I had thought was Asthma & was treating it as such. Now I know it's from the change in my heart.
I have my first appt with the cardiologist on June 18th & I am starting to question on wether I should try to see the doctor sooner (this particular cardiologist doesn't have any sooner appt). I do not have any other symptoms yet, my energy level is great - no swelling of the feet & legs. I workout on the elliptical for 20 mins & it doesn't bother my breathing.
I guess I am just looking for anyone out there that has any experience or similar story. I don't know if there is anything I should be doing in the meantime before my dr. appt.?