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

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

Well bags packed off for my 5* All inclusive hols to Derriford hospital tomorrow ready for op on Wednesday. ( aortic valve and Ascending aorta replacment). Think i just need to get my "huggy" ready and hopefully sorted! Will keep you posted in hopefully week or so! x

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Comment by nic nic on May 19, 2013 at 19:02
Hi leet Anne happy to hear you had the surgery and i m sorry i got a bit lonny i did not return the favor and be kind and answer your posts as i should have.
How are you now?
Comment by Martina on February 22, 2013 at 23:00

Hi Lee-Anne

Glad to hear you are feeling better today – you will I’m sure as the weeks progress have more good days than bad days.

As for INR control – it’s only been just over 3 weeks since your Op - early days, so don’t worry too much about this. Consistence in all things is the key and you will need time to achieve consistence in what you eat, the exercise you take & quantity of alcohol you drink (if you do drink any ). I have a glass of red wine every night, sometimes 1.5!! As a joke I mentioned to my nurse I was thinking of consistently drinking a bottle a night J  or having a green cabbage in one hand and a bottle in the other. Once you are exercising everyday i.e. being more active and eating regularly I’m sure you will find the INR stabilises.

My INR hasn’t varied too much, highest I’ve been in the 10months post Op is 3.7, variation was ~1.7 to 3.4 during the first approx 5wks post OP. I left hospital on a Warfarin dose of 3mg, my Dr raised my Warfarin dose 1mg approx every 2wks – up to 5mg by week 5 post Op, I’m now on 6mg but the actual dose will depend on the individual. I generally stay within my target (2.0 to 3.0) except for example when I go on holiday or when I don’t eat so many Greens in a week. I eat a small bit of spinach every few days and try to eat Greens nearly every day (small amount of salad well green leaf stuff many days during the week) – I find INR increases if I don’t eat enough Greens i.e. my normal level. Also, INR increases if I don’t exercise enough, I try for approx 40 mins on exercise bike etc 4 times a week, hard to do when you are busy with life/work and this cold weather.

Just give it time, you will get into a routine with time and I’m sure your INR will stabilise.


Best regards


Comment by Lee-Anne Bray on February 22, 2013 at 21:23
Hi all, well I feel more back to my normal self today and feel I'm doing well.
I did have an x ray on Tuesday as still got a lot of pain in my back and on right side from the chest drain I had due
To a haemothorax in my chest (bleed in my chest). X ray ok drs put it down to bruising and scar tissue due to drain. This has been so much more painful than any of the op or the healing sternum.
Just wondering if anyone has tips on inr levels as mine has come in today at 5.8 but apparently better high than too low like last week at 1.9 trying not too let it take over as I haven't done anything differerent for it to fluctuate.Suppose its a waiting game now! X
Comment by Lee-Anne Bray on February 13, 2013 at 13:39
Hi Martina
I didn't read your message until after i saw the nurse this morning. The nurse had a look and said it looks clean and told me to put vaseline on it. This is the third nurse to tell me to do this so perhaps i'll brave touching it later. I will mention the cream to the nurse tomorrow.
I was very pleased today as my inr is up to 3.3 today so fingers crossed it will stay the same tomorrow so they won't need to inject in stomach every day!
Thanks again for your advice martina!
Comment by Martina on February 12, 2013 at 22:39

Hi Lee-Anne

My Scar was a bit itchy for the first week or so - the hospital gave me 3M Cavilon cream - I found it very helpful, maybe you can ask the nurse tomorrow for some. My itching went away after a few weeks.

It's so good to have this website so we can help each other.

Hope you have a good nights sleep

Best regards


Comment by Lee-Anne Bray on February 12, 2013 at 21:48
Thanks Martina,
The scab has dried up again at the moment. I think i May have caught it as its really itchy and where the drains were is really itchy too. I know its usually a good sign its healing but i am trying to be careful.The nurse did tell me to start putting vaseline all over the wounds which i was a bit unsure of doing yet but perhaps that is what i should have done to pump this happening!

Thanks again, i knew it wouldn't be long before i was asking advice! X
Comment by Martina on February 12, 2013 at 21:03

Hi Lee-Anne

Sorry I can't help you with this, I didn't have any weeping from my scar - I'm sure your nurse tomorrow will help. When the scar heals, weeks for now you could try using Bio-oil, read up on it & ask your nurse about it- I didn't find out about it for several months post Op but when I did start to use it I found it helped. As the wound heals the scar hurt when I stretched it - the Bio-oil helped with this. I use it twice a day - for about 4 months now and it continues to help me.

Sorry I could help.

Best regards


Comment by Lee-Anne Bray on February 12, 2013 at 19:51
Hi has anyone got any tips on treating the scar. I've noticed tonight the bottom of the scar is starting to leak a bit of clear liquid.I am a bit worried about it tonight but i know i can check with the nurse tomorrow. As warfarin levels are only 1.9 so on injections for the rest of the week so fingers crossed it increases tomorrow.
Comment by Martina on February 10, 2013 at 14:42

Hi Lee-Anne

So good to hear from you - I was thinking about you.

Remember to take it easy, you will feel like doing things but don't push it too much - sleep loads and don't worry about lying on the soaf resting - your body will let you know when it's time to do more.

Don't hestiate to ask questions, we are all here to help you.

Best regards


Comment by Lee-Anne Bray on February 9, 2013 at 22:53

Hi, Hooray my operation went ahead the second time!

I had my operation Wednesday 30th January and came home on Tuesday this week. 
All went well until i had to have a chest drain put in my back on Friday as had a bleed in chest so needed 4 units of blood.

I was suprised to be home on Tuesday as being on a heparin drip since Sunday the warfarin level was only 1.3 and fortunately by Tuesday was up to 2.3 so i was so pleased to go home.

Oh i did notice whilst in hospital a ticking so i put my watch to my ear and realised it was me ticking! So it sounds like i've swallowed a watch!!

 As you said Catriona the team at Derriford were all absolutely fantastic and i really cant praise them enough. 

 Thanks everyone for your comments and im sure i'll be asking lots more questions especiaaly when the pain killers and morphine are stopped!!


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