It's been a little over 9 months since my second AVR surgery (which was 21 years after my first) and I must say I feel soooo fantastic. They say it does take 6 or 7 months to fully get back to normal and sure enough about some time in November I really felt a bigger hop in my daily life.
I recently went back to my cardiologist for a check-up. He took me off one medication and said I didn't even need an annual echo unless I felt something was wrong. Cool.
He also has been keeping me abreast of his activities with the new TAVR procedures. He has now done 35 of these in the past nine months. The most recent was for a 95 year old woman. She was home after a few days and feeling fine. If I ever need a third valve that will be the way to go!
My best wishes to everyone. If I can get through two of these surgeries you all can certainly get through one!
Well I am almost finished with my course at cardio rehab. I am feeling better than I have in years (even though I didn't think I was feeling sluggish before the surgery but probably was).
Since this is my second valve I have the benefit of constantly comparing to my first experience. I have to say that this new valve feels like a smooth running Mercedes engine while my first one was more of a Chevy. I always seemed to have palpitations etc with my first one even when it was new. Now it is smooth humming. I will have to ask my cardiologist if he has any insight into this difference. Was it something about how they are implanted, or are they just made better now?
I am also constantly asked how I managed to stretch my first tissue valve to a useful life of almost 21 years. The answer is that none of my doctors seems to know and I do not have a clue either. My cardiologist told me that I was his personal record holder for longest time before a re-operation was needed. How cool!
Even though I have not posted in some time I come here often to read. I want to once again express my sincere best wishes to all who are awaiting their surgery or have recently completed. I will post again after next Dr visit but I expect things will only get better !!! And they will for you too !!!
So things are going great! Got the all clear from all docs to go back to normal activities. I've been at work for several days now, the last few basically full days. Since I work in Manhattan NYC the commute is no small task - trains, planes, automobiles, subways etc. and no issues.
I also started cardio rehab. I'm sure they have me on a pretty low level right now but still am not feeling much tiredness so not too shabby. I think this will prove very useful long term.
I have lots of comparisons to my first surgery which I will post at a later date. It was interesting that my cardiologist told me I was his personal record holder in that my first tissue valve lasted 21 years. How cool!
I'm sleeping much better and often without any narcotic meds, just advil. Even sleeping on my side - woo hoo! My exercise level has really improved after what I would say was a slow start. Yesterday I walked a total of two miles. I continue to try and stretch it a little bit every day. My dr wants me to enroll in cardiac rehab. I'd appreciate feedback from others on that. I don't think I'll start that for another few weeks though.
My appetite still sucks to be perfectly honest. I'm generally not that hungry and even when I am nothing seems to taste that good or the way I remember things tasting before the surgery. I hope this will pass over time.
Next week I will probably begin to do a little work from home. That is fine as I am getting a little bored but it will be weird to get back to the same old thing after this big event in my life.
OK that is all from here. I wish all the best to those recuperating and those waiting for their surgery.
Well it is about 10 days post op for me and I'm doing well. Been home for about 4 days and beginning to feel bored so I think that is good. Still trying to obviously manage the pain through a combo of the narcotics and ibuprofen. Some days and nights are better than others LOL. I go to see my cardiologist on Monday so he will give me an assessment as to how I'm doing. I've started walking in the neighborhood but I clearly have a long way to go to get my stamina back.
Just two days after my surgery both my cardiologist and my surgeon participated in their first artery-based aortic valve implantation via the newest experimental technologies. The patient was a 91 year old man. Here were their comments: "I thought I was witnessing the end of heart surgery". "The patient looked like he had a hernia operation".
Sorry for the delay in getting another post on here but I guess you saw the ones from my wife. It was a little more exciting than I bargained for but I'm fine now. Tonight is my last in the hospital and I'm coming home tomorrow.
So I'm already feeling the usual recovery challenges. Still kinda bloated. Digestive system our of whack. Obviously some pain but not terrible. I hate the incentive spirometer! But I will go home and just work through them. The important thing is that the new valve is in and sounds great. All my other cardiac readings are good too.
So what are my take aways from all this? Well it turned out for me that a redo surgery was indeed more of a challenge. Would I have chosen a mechanical valve instead? Nope I still like my original choices.
Second, make sure you choose a great surgeon and hospital. In my case there was a complication but no problem they addressed it.
Ok going for a nap! I will post more once I get home. Thanks to everyone for all your support. I hope everyone had a super holiday weekend too.
Just got back from hospital. We had a little scare as he had some internal bleeding from scar tissue from first surgery so they had to go back I this morning and fix it. Thankfully his surgeon did and Rob is doing much better. Still in ICU but no breathing tube, he is talking, eating ice chips, drinking water and is comfortable. Probably will be another day before he gets into a regular room but things are 100% better than they were this morning
Hi all, this is Suzanne, Rob's wife. Rob's redo avr was successfully completed this afternoon. They are keeping him asleep for a few hours while he stabilizes but the doctor felt the surgery went very well. I will post updates as it goes along, but we are happy to have this part of the journey completed.
Since the date was changed I've had a confusing few days between the hospital and my doctors trying to get the admissions and blood test schedules sorted out. All appears OK now but there should be a better way.
Today was my last day at work. Clearly all my colleagues are more nervous than me. Is there something wrong with me ???
Looking forward to a relatively calm weekend. Surgery is early Tuesday morning.
Went to my cardiologist for one last visit on Friday. Date of catheterization was moved up to this Friday 3/30 from Monday 4/2. I found out the reason why is because both my cardiologist and my surgeon will be at a training session to learn how to implant the new catheter-based valves and then will be doing their first one a few days after my surgery. Darn if I could have only had my bovine valve last a few more years!!! I told him not to party too hard at the conference...
Otherwise all is a go. I am feeling calm and will try to get a lot of rest and eat well all this week and into next. I have been asked many times if I am nervous. Not really. I have been through it once although I know it does not guarantee a similar outcome this time. But I do believe stress makes the whole experience much harder and does not allow the body to truly focus on healing to the maximum extent.
Question for the group if I may. my surgery is about a month away. I have 2 girls - 12 and 16. We haven't told them yet about all this although they are fully aware of my condition and that I will need another surgery some day. Any ideas on how soon before the surgery we should tell them? And, any words of wisdom on exacty how to do it?