My Heart Valve Surgery Pictures
Following my second opinion from Dr. Chaikin, a cardiologist in Los Angeles, it was confirmed that I would need to have aortic and pulmonary valve replacement surgery.
I was 33 years old. As you can read in my story, I would go on to have a successful double valve replacement but a very challenged recovery.
After surgery, I wrote The Patient's Guide To Heart Valve Surgery to help future patients and their caregivers better understand the realities of open heart, valve surgery and recovery.
Since publishing my book and posting this website, several people were interested to know if I had any heart valve surgery pictures which documented the "open-heart surgery experience".
Guess what? I did. It turns out that Robyn (my wife) had taken many interesting, heart valve surgery pictures following my open heart surgery.
Robyn's Pictures During & After My Heart Surgery
There are several pictures of my heart valve surgery (below) which I think help illustrate what this experience is like.
- First, there is the picture of me in the intenstive care unit just a few hours after my valve replacement surgery.
- Second, there is the picture of me leaving the intensive care unit in a wheelchair, blowing on an incentive spirometer.
- Third, there is a picture of me one week after surgery. In this picture, you will see the scar resulting from the median sternotomy (aka cracked sternum) in all of its glory.
- Fourth, there is a picture of me in cardiac rehabilitation at Torrance Memorial Hospital.
- The fifth picture of my open heart surgery was taken in Hawaii, ten months after my open heart surgery. As you can tell, my scar is barely noticeable!
- 435 days after surgery, this pictures illustrate the completion of my physical recovery from heart valve surgery. In one picture, I am just exiting the Pacific Ocean in my wetsuit with my surfboard. I have just surfed for the first time in fifteen months. Another picture is from my wedding.
- Finally, there is a picture of Robyn and myself on our wedding day.
Well. I hope these pictures help you visually understand what some of the open heart surgery experience is like on the outside. If you have any questions, you can always email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, if you are interested in more information about heart valve surgery, you can visit my blog or read my book.
Keep on tickin!