Living with a Mechanical Heart Valve: Click.Tick.Thump. Love It!

Support Group for Mechanical & Artificial Heart Valve Surgery & Using Warfarin

Thanks for the welcome Graeme. I am a 60 year old retired NHS Physiotherapist.  My sister (65 years) died earlier this year and the post mortem report showed that she had "markedly abnormal mitral valve leaflets and enlarged heart" which resulted in her death.  I recalled a time many years ago when a GP advised me that I had a heart murmur.  As I was young and fit I forgot about it.  Decided to see my GP after my sister's death.  He picked up the heart murmur and referred me urgently to the Cardiologists at the local hospital. I had the usual tests: 24 hour ECG halter, ECG stress test, TTE, TOE & finally Cardiac Catheterisation just last week. I have severe mitral valve regurgitation with very abnormal valve leaflets and an enlarged heart.  I am being referred to the heart surgeons at Leeds General Infirmary for Mitral Valve surgery. The Cardiologists believe my sister and I have the same connective tissue disease that targets the Mitral Valve and is prevalent in siblings. It seems extraordinary that my heart is so damaged and yet I feel fit and active.  I think the heart chambers enlarge and work hard to pump the blood around in these circumstances. Eventually the heart fails so there is no option for me but to try for surgery.  I am a bit anxious about what's to come when I see the Cardiac Surgeons.  I'm glad to have found a forum where people are going through similar events and emotions.

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Comment by Estrella Ramirez on June 13, 2012 at 5:58
The best thing of it is that we are not alone as i thought before the Forum. My aortic replacement valve surgery will be next July. And now I discover that I have an aneurysim in the aorta. Let see. God is with all of us.
Comment by Martina on June 4, 2012 at 17:10

Hi Janet,   I too have found this website extremely useful, the people are all so friendly, caring and informative. I had Aortic valve(Mechanical) & Ascending Aorta replacements just over 7wks ago - recovery is going well. Just like you I could not understand how/why I had to have such major surgery when I was pretty much fit/active but it is so much better to have the Op when you are fit then waiting until you are symptomatic.

I'm 47yrs and a keen cyclist and today I had another milestone on my road to recovery - I rode a bicycle for 10miles, well it was a normal bike with a motor to help me on hills. It was great - I got some exercise and didn't have to worry about the hills - it was great to get outside and cycling, albeit only proper cycling on the flats! The waiting for surgery is one of the harder things, I was waiting approx 6months, I felt like life was on-hold until the Op. I understand how you are feeling and hope this website can be of as much help & comfort to you while you wait as it has been for me.

As to adjusting to Warfarin, this seems to be going OK - blood tests every week at my Drs to check my INR, not quite stable but not far off my target which is 2.0 to 3.0. I'm currently around 1.8 to 2.2, it will just take time to stabilise. I'm eating similar to before the Op now - had many weeks post Op when I had no appetite but thankfully I'm back to my normal now. Even having a glass of wine or beer in the evening with dinner.

Looking forward to hearing how things are going for you.

Best regards


Comment by Graeme on June 4, 2012 at 16:03



hang in there. We are all with you on here. Keep us posted on events... :-)







Comment by Janet Hogger on June 4, 2012 at 15:17

Hi Catriona

Thanks for the encouragement.  Hope your rehab is going well and wondered how you are adjusting to Warfarin?


Comment by Catriona Carnson on June 4, 2012 at 8:55

Hi Janet.

I had my Mitral Valve replaced 4 weeks ago tomorrow.  I was diagnosed 6 months ago with Mitral Stenosis after a suspected case of Reumatic fever as a child. I was working full time until the Friday prior to my operation and totally understand the emotions.  How can I need such a major operation when I am functioning at a level that allows me to work full time and care for my 7 year old daughter?  In a few weeks I hope to be able to do all that I could prior to surgery - just with loads more energy.  If I can answer any questions or help - let me know.  Thinking of you,



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