Support Group for Mechanical & Artificial Heart Valve Surgery & Using Warfarin
I had a type A aortic dissection 10 years ago with a total aortic arch replacement (bentall procedure) which I think is the same as you are looking at. The operation was complicated due to the Aortic Dissection but after getting over the operation and a very sore chest while healing (about 6-12 weeks) I was up and about and after 6 months fully recovered. That was 10 years ago and since then I have had a wonderful and active life including lots of exercise.. Warfarin does limit your life a little but frankly I never worry about it and never let it run my life :-) My doctors belief in my MHV is that it will well outlive me :-) and as it is a St Jude model they themselves say it has a 100 year lifespan.... So I think you can be very confident it will last you the rest of your life ... cheers Graeme
Yeap, this is a fantastic website - it helped me so much Pre & Post Op. I had Aortic valve (Mechanical ATS one) & Ascending Aorta replaced nearly 1 yr ago. I'm 47yrs and the medical staff told me it would last me a lifetime.
There is a wonderful woman (Anne Jones) on this website and she had a MHV fitted 39yrs ago :)
I know it is easy for me to say but try not to worry about it too much - there are lots of us MHV folk out there.
Kerry - that is the attitude, keep positive. There is absolutely no reason why you should not be around in 40 years for your baby. Remeber the idea of this operation is to ensure that you are around in far more than 10 years time! As for where the operation takes place, I live in West Berkshire and was sent to London for my operation. There is no doubt that being sent to a centre of excellence is the best, you want to be operated on by a team that has done this 100s of time in the past.
As Graham has said do not worry about the Warfarin, you will quickly learn how to manage your INR (and not have the Warfarin manage you). I have travelled far and wide since the operation, and so long as you follow the advice about foods that can impact on your INR you will have no problems at all.
It does take time to recover from the operation, but you will be amazed by how quickly you will start to recover, but do listen to your body and do not try and do too much too quickly.