Does anyone have any feedback on aortic valve replacement and symptoms that it may be failing? How long did your tissue valve last and when it did fail how long did it take to require 're-surgery??? Thanks in advance
Well it's been a while since I posted. Tomorrow it will be 2 years since my first AVR . Most days I don't event think about having had surgery and life is good for me. I have no residual effects from either of my valve surgeries and my echoes are really good, I have only trace leaking from the human valve I have which is really good. They have no real idea how long this will last, apparently there aren't a lot of human valves used. I'd be curious to hear from others with human replacements, I am going to discuss stopping the Atenelol I am taking, it gives me hand and feet swelling. today I was thinking how afraid I was tonight 2 years ago and feel grateful that tonight I am relaxing and happily living life. 2 weeks ago I went to Disney World and rode the rides, walked for miles and had a great time. Thinking of all of you out there yet to have surgery and pray for peace for you, calm thoughts and hope you know you can do this!
Hello all. I just passed my one year anniversary of my second AVR. I am living with a homograph and doing well! My first cow valve in May of last year only lasted 12 weeks. I had a nasty endocarditis that ruined the valve and nearly me! but i am feeling great, no skipped beats, no fevers and im back to my old self. Its amazing what time can do to heal our bodies and our spirit. Though no one knows how long this valve will last, i do not live in "dread" of the day i may need another procedure. Nor do i fear infection quite so much. None of us knows the future but for those of you coming up on a replacement surgery always remember that its normal to fear the unknown but know that those of us who came before you are here, doing good and life WILL get back to normal even if you face unforeseen obstacles. Hey veterans, anyone have advice if I should do Aerosmiths Rockin Rollercoaster at Disney after replacement? :)
I am now 4 months since my second valve replacement. It seems all the infection is gone and things are working well. I must say i was relieved to pass my 3 month mark since that is when my first AVR showed infection and it needed to be replaced. I havent had any fevers, feel good and exercising again. Though I was a bit nervous to start aerobic exercise again, I feel i am past the point where i could hurt myself. I have a valve type question. Is anyone familiar with a human valve replacement? I had to get one because of the severe infection I had but now that i survived the surgery and treatments, curious as to how long these valves last. I know mechanical is longest 15-20 years, followed by bovine/porcine which is 10-15 but does anyone have any experience with a human? I know am grateful to God to be alive and I shouldn't worry about it but I am curious. Any response would be appreciated.
Well, its time to update you on my progress. Unfortunately I ran into a speed bump on my road to recovery. The symptoms I posted last, weren't from pericarditis. I had a very rare bacterial endocarditis that was almost undetectable and caused an infection on my new valve. On August 8th, i had to have another valve put in , I had to get a human valve this time and now on IV antibiotics for 6 weeks. The surgery was very long but I flew through it with flying colors even though I had 2 valves in 12 weeks! Statistically speaking, this occurs less than 1% of the time, and even less chance of the undetectable type i had. Despite this, I am doing great. I am grateful for the wonderful health care i received and no more fevers!
well it is 11 weeks since my AVR and I'm feeling great. my scar that was sensitive ti certain fabrics doesn't irritate any longer and I'm ready to get back to normal. i must say I've enjoyed catching up on books i hadn't read , movies i hadn't seen and naps i hadn't taken. most of the time it feels like i never had anything done., just occasionally bothered by postcardiotomy pericarditis. I get fevers, muscle aches and fatigue. It only happens every few weeks and is well controlled on ibuprophine. Also, I still can't sleep on my left side because of fluttering in my chest. Funny, only one position that bothers me. For everyone still waiting for surgery, I encourage you to relax and try to enjoy the good parts of the journey.
well i've passed 6 weeks since my AVR. There are days I don't even feel like I've had anything done and days I feel tired.. Im in my 3rd week of cardiac rehab and doing great. Up to 40 minutes of exercise and no irregular heartbeat. sleeping good and painfree for 3 weeks now. I still get fevers but was told it is an autoimmune response that occurs after valve surgery in fairly "young" people. i take an antiinflammatory and it goes away..My vision is normal again. i am hoping to be cleared to go back to work in 2 weeks. I remain on a low salt diet and am trying to lose weight. Not easy after 50 years old... I used to be able to drop weight at will... when I get back in the gym i will do better. i did lose 12 pounds in a few weeks but didnt lose any this week. Happy with progress.
well tomorrow is 3 weeks since surgery. am off pain meds, walking and feeling fairly good. I do have some strange symptoms... Has anyone gotten fevers? i get low grade temperatures. They checked me out with bloodwork and cultures and cant find anything... no chest pain or shortness of breath... The temps are controlled with tylenol. also my vision (distance) is blurry. I read that the heart lung machine can cause some vessel swelling and this will go away. Im going to let my eye doc check anyway. Im concerned with the fevers anyone else have that?
I came home on day 5 and happy to be here. The hour and a half ride wasnt bad at all (Thank you Percocet). Today is day 8 and I believe I have crested the hill and though I need to manage pain, I feel really good. Im walking and eating well. I had some nausea after I got home but seems like a switch was flipped and that went away and hasnt returned. My suggestion for those facing surgery:.. Pick a good doc and hospital and dont look back. ..When they tell you to deep breathe they mean it and do it dispite the pain.... Keep a sense of humor and dont listen to people who are negative and talk about their bad experiences. Thats only THEIR truth, not yours.... Know that you arent the only person to go through this and that you CAN do this. I am amazed at how well my journey is going. It has helped me stop and smell the roses long the way and helped be set some new priorities.
well, I have my new valve. Got it Thursday. was very frightened and really kind of freaked out in preop. I was only in the SICU for one night. I had the vent for about 6 hours, they said i woke up right away. I came to a room yesterday after they removed the Swan Gantz from my jugular, the A line from my wrist, chest tube from my side and catheter. lots of "removing" none was painful, the chest tube burned coming out. I slept last night better than in ICU. Today they took my pacer wires out and Blakley drainage tube. That wasn't fun but only hurt a second. I am so swollen from being on the heart lung, I gained 14 pounds in 24 hours. I must say that the pain and fatigue are a challenge but I found that finding the right combo is critical. The percocet makes me nauseated so the IV Torodol works the best for me. I must say that so far this was all better than I had thought. (course its only day 2 and early in the game) . More later... Sandy
Had a cardiac cath yesterday. it wasn't bad at all. Found out my vessels are fine, so i just need a valve. Good news as it relates to the surgical approach. start my mouthwash, nasal antibiotics and scrubs tomorrow. had a great evening with my family and I am ready to go... next week this time I will be on the mend!
Today I met my surgeon and cardiologist at Penn Heart Institute in Phili... Talked to the nurse practitioner, had preadmission testing and made the decision for a bovine valve. I am banking on the possibility that if i need another valve in the future that i may meet the criteria for a percutaneous "stent-like" insertion that they are doing in other countries. Im happy with my decision for me. my cardiac cath and carotid dopplers are this Friday then next Thursday my surgery. less than 3 weeks after starting this ride. i feel comfortable with this after meeting the team at Penn. what a place!!! Im still a bit frightened but i know.. i can do this..
Wow it feels like this happened fast. 2 days ago I learned that after 56 years of great checkups and stable echos, the inevitable day has arrived. Time for a new Aortic Valve. I have severe stenosis and symptoms. But why do I feel surprised? The doc said someday this would happen. So many "changes" running though my mind. This isnt a "good time". How willl my life change? Overnight I went from NO medication to 5 medications. Gee will I be OK till they fix this thing? I dont want surgery. (Not that i Have a choice)..I do like a heart that works. and right now mine isn't. Too many decidsions. How do I "pick a valve"? I can barely pick LUNCH! :) I downloaded the Patient's Guide book and read it in 24 hours. Sounds like I'm in for quite a ride.....