• 6 replies
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KaraZG, July 5,  2019  8:56pm EST

Aortic valve replacement in 11 days

Hello support network 

I’m a 49 year old active and healthy mom and wife who after 15 years of monitoring my bicuspid valve I am scheduled for biologic aortic valve replacement in just a matter of days.  I feel good about my plan of care but as the surgery date gets closer, I am eager to know more about what to expect fee and post op and how anyone else has handled having kids (11 & 13) visit?  Thanks!

6 Replies
  • Dahm1972
    Dahm1972, July 6,  2019  6:37pm EST

    Hi! I’m a 47 yr old healthy mom and wife, who after 25 years of closely monitoring my aortic and mitral rheumatic fever affected valves, just had them replaced for biological valves on May 30th. I have two girls (13 and 16). Ever since I knew surgery was coming close I let them in on what was happening (just with not much detail), I especially let them hear of my trust and faith in God.  They did not visit me until I was in the hospital room (3 days after surgery).  We tried to keep them in their daily schedules as much as possible (with lots of help from Granpa+ma). This was our experience, hope to have helped. 

  • AmbassadorR
    AmbassadorR, July 8,  2019  3:29pm EST

    Hi Kara,

    While I don't have children, I had asked people not to visit me in the hospital until a few days after surgery, as Dahm1972 had done. I wanted to be in a little more stable condition so I wouldn't worry family members who would visit later. I had one family member keping the rest of the family posted on my progress so they always knew how I was doing. I think seeing me in a more stable and recovering position made them feel more comfortable with my progress.

    It will be very helpful that you are relativity young, and are healthy. Your recovery will go a lot smoother. Some days will be better than others but with today's technology in this field things should go well for you. We are here if other questions arise. We here have all had some type of heart issue so we all speak with experience. Below is a link to a blog I wrote describing my experience with heart surgery. 




  • AmbassadorMR
    AmbassadorMR, July 9,  2019  9:34am EST

    Hi Kara,

    We all wish you the very best as your valve replacement procedure approaches. You didn't mention whether your procedure would be a TAVR (done through the catheter) or an open chest surgery. Bicuspid aortic valves (like mine was as well) are typically replaced with the open chest procedure at the present time and technology. If this is the case for you, the first couple of days post op are often the most challenging during your initial recovery process. Most patients are in a good enough condition and frame of mind to handle short visits by family members such as your kids at their ages. Like AmbassadorR I don't have kids but visits by my wife and other family were good for me once I came out of ICU and went to the general surgical floor. If you don't have complications you are usually in ICU for just one day following these surgeries.

    I would play it by ear and based on your condition, see your kids and reassure them that you are going to be OK. All the best to you and please let us know how you do with this life saving and life altering procedure.

    With You In Heart,


  • AmbassadorC
    AmbassadorC, July 9,  2019  9:19pm EST

    HI Kara, 

    Good evening and welcome to the support network.  You have found a community of heart warriors that will be your strength for the journey ahead. Both my fellow Ambassadors have provided you with great words of encouragement and sage guidance based on their heart journey.  My experience with heart valve disease involves the mitral valve. I had a repair done to my mitral valve via open heart surgery 6 years ago, this June 13. You are very wise to reach out to the community re: each person's experience with heart surgery.  As a heart patient, what I can tell you is that every "body" presents differently.  I didn't quite understand this until I was post op in terms of trying to pin point why I felt it was taking me "so long" to return to "normal"  I say this, so that you can be prepared to take the recovery at your own pace.  If you have not already, I invite you to view the AHA Heart Valve Education Center.  There is a post surgical mileston PDF that you can download and put on your fridge before you leave for the hospital.  It is a very useful guide to help you mentally prepare for the next milestone on your post op recovery.  My advice is to also celebrate your small victories post surgery.  What may seem like such a small accomplishment, is really a sign of progress in your recovery.  Recovery for Heart Valve Patients

    If you have not packed your bag for the hospital yet, I also invite you to review a list of tips and tricks that I prepared while going through recovery that I wish I had the good fortune to know of ahead of the game. Operation Backward Blood - Part 2 and  Part 3

    Wishing you the best for a successful surgery and recovery.  We look forward to hearing from you.  Please feel free to reach out with any other questions prior to your scheduled surgery, as we welcome you with heart.  

    From my repaired heart to yours, 

    Ambassador C 

  • KaraZG
    KaraZG, July 13,  2019  1:10pm EST

    Thank you all!  I am beyond grateful for this shared wisdom and feel much more prepared.  Sincere and heartfelt thanks for your time and willingness to help.   Prayers on the 16th would be  greatly appreciated and I look forward to posting soon that all is well and I’m well on my way with my recovery!  Best to you all! 



  • Sputnik34
    Sputnik34, July 23,  2019  11:35am EST

    Hi Kara


    How did everything go?  You should be home by now I am guessing?

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