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

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

Saw the cardiac surgeon earlier this week at Leeds. I now have my op date - August 28th.  Sooner than I thought.  He will try for repair first but if not a mechanical heart valve seems the better choice.  Find myself in a bit of a spin and trying to get organised.  I think alot of displacement activity is going on! Wondered if anyone had been told that a mitral valve repair would be tried for, but ended up with a mechanical heart valve?

Any practical tips on getting prepared for surgery?  Also any tips on becoming less tearful and more serene! 

Thanks for any advice at this stage.

Janet

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Comment by Janet Hogger on September 9, 2012 at 17:29

Hi Martina

I had a St Jude Mechanical Heart Valve put in as the mitral valve repair was not possible.  The op took 6 hours.  All seemed to go OK in ICU and on the ward.  I was discharged last Monday and going for little walks and pottering as instructed.  Last week seemed to be dominated by trips to the Warfarin Clinic. I tried to post on my blog last Wednesday but had difficulties with "post morphine visual disturbances"! I'm trying to follow all good advice to the letter.  My appetite has returned and eating lots.  Seem to be gradually improving but oh so sore around the sternotomy so thank good goodness for paracetomol.  So greatful to my surgeon and the team at Leeds.  So glad that bit is now behind me.  Onwards and upwards with the recovery & rehab.  Thanks for all the support on this forum.

Janet

Comment by Martina on September 9, 2012 at 16:45

Hi Janet

Hope you are OK, I was thinking of you and just wanted to say a quick 'Hello, hope all is going well?'

Best regards

Martina

Comment by Pierre Gomez on August 24, 2012 at 22:40

Hi I had my mitral valved replaced by Dr Munsch at LGI in 2010 .The initial plan was for a repair but he later told me he had to remove lots of tissue and as a result couldn't carry out a repair.But I think going for the replacement is a lot safer as a repair could sometimes lead to another surgery down the line.

Comment by Martina on August 24, 2012 at 17:58

Hi Janet, Rose gives very good advice - the surgeons & medical staff are great.

Best regards

Martina

Hi Rose, when I was allowed to drive again I too thought it was a fantastic milestone, gave me back my independence - so well done you.

Best regards

Martina

Comment by Rose Siva on August 24, 2012 at 7:53

Oh and Janet - I know exactly how you are feeling right now.  I resolved my worry/concerns/??? by putting myself totally in their hands.  They (the surgeon and hospital) do this sort of surgery several times every day if not week. I only do it once. So I figured it was much better to put myself totally in their hands and trust, and I was not disappointed  My experience with the hospital and surgery was gold plated - they kept me informed with what I needed to know, and were so supported and almost pre-empted my concerns.  Trust, and do what they say.  Rose

Comment by Rose Siva on August 24, 2012 at 7:32

Hi Janet

Symptoms were shortness of breath - when resting, which was a bit alarming.  My Dr referred me to a cardiologist who put me on drugs and I thought I was just fine as the symptoms went away. Then six months later I started getting arrhythmia - back to the dr - more drugs - all good. Back six months later for a check and he did some tests and said 'no you are not', and three weeks later I was in surgery.  It was all a bit surreal.  This happens to other people, not me, and anyway I'm fine (apparently not).  Heard an alarming story - a prominent cardiologist who was asked 'what is the most common symptom women with cardiac problems present with?  Answer - they are dead.

However had a big milestone today - I am now allowed to drive.  I am in Australia and heart surgery = immediate cancellation of drivers licence until cleared by your dr at six weeks.  The law (called Jets law here) was introduced after a small child (Jet) was killed on a pedestrian crossing by a driver with a severe medical condition.  Now they have a list = automatic licence cancellation until medically cleared. So driving again is quite a milestone!!!

Good luck.  There is life afterwards!  (You might have the odd doubt at some times but time (and sleep) is a great healer.

Rose

Comment by Janet Hogger on August 24, 2012 at 6:19

Hi Rose, sorry,I  didn't finish my last post when it was "added"! Did you have symptoms before the op?  I have severe mitral valve bi-leaflet prolapse with severe regurgitation and can't quite reconcile that to how I feel fine right now!  I guess the heart has compensated. Good luck with your recovery/rehab.

Comment by Janet Hogger on August 24, 2012 at 6:00

Hi Rose

Very interested to read your story as it is similar to mine.  We're a similar age (I'm 60) and I've opted for a mechanical heart valve if repair not possible.

Comment by Janet Hogger on August 24, 2012 at 5:57

Thanks Martina. 3 days to go then admitted to hospital on Monday.  Op is on Tuesday at midday.  Thanks for the good wishes.

Janet

Comment by Martina on August 22, 2012 at 18:49

Hi Janet, just wanted to say I will be thinking of you next Tuesday - wishing you all the best. You will soon be on that road to recovery.

Best regards

Martina

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