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d12345, December 7,  2018  8:30am EST

Heart valve surgery

Hi Everone!

I am scheduled for surgery in two weeks. I felt super sure a month ago, but am getting really anxious now.

I have a busy business with issues with staffing, and not much help in my personal life either. I am a super healthy 61 year old, and therefore figured I would bounce back sooner than later, but now I am flooded with fear of the opposite.

I have a mitro valve prolapse with severe rigurgitaion and my docs have sugested surgery sooner than later. I did an enormous amount of research landing me on minimully invasive, robotic assisted vave repair. I was psyched at the thougt of less invasive-fewer days down, jumped back with all of the cautonary tales regarding negative possibiliies. I got over that, but now I'm worried about the logistics of living alone and navigating this new journey: losing my independence and possibly my livelyhood. 

I keep thinking maybe I could wait it out...

Any honest advice appreciated.


Health and wellness to you all!!


3 Replies
  • AmbassadorDN
    AmbassadorDN, December 9,  2018  1:42pm EST

    Hi, Deb,

    Welcome from another Deb! (I think I may have replied to you under another person's thread a couple weeks ago). If you are the same Deb, then I am glad that you are finally having the surgery done! My advice: Don't "wait it out." You will only be compromising your health as well as your heart. As my surgeon once told me, "Surgeons want to get in and fix things before serious damage is done." While you are healthy and active now, putting off your surgery can mean heart failure down the road. I've been there myself--it's not fun!

    Do you have anyone who can assist you after surgery? Many insurance companies cover home health care after heart surgery, and if you don't have friends or family nearby who can lend a hand as you recover, a home health nurse who can come in to help you shower as well as with other activities of daily living will be of great benefit and help reduce stress.

    Will you definitely be having minimally invasive robotic-assisted surgery? Yes, the recovery time can be breezy and get you back to "life as normal" within a matter of weeks (a heart friend of mine was back at work a week after her surgery), it is wise of you to consider the possibility that recovery could be longer. There really is no timetable for recovery. Since I volunteer with the AHA, I've met many heart friends. I know a 25-year-old who took three months to fully recover, and I know a 54-year-old who was back on his feet and running 5Ks after three weeks. I could say age and gender play a role in recovery--it does in some ways--but every body is different. Sometimes there are complications that equal a setback. I've had 3.5 heart surgeries (the .5 was a complication the night of surgery that landed me back in the OR), and my recovery for each one was different.

    It would be wise of you to know as well that post-op depression can strike you hard. It's great that you are so confident going in to surgery, but consider having an appointment with a therapist now to address any issues and fears you have right now, and continue the therapy after your surgery to nip post-op depression in the bud! I wish I had done this last year, but I had felt so confident going in, and coming out. And then, a few weeks later, I was a hot mess. Latent depression can set in. It's too bad that a lot of doctors don't honestly and fully recognize post-op depression.

    I wish you all the best, and keep us posted!

    To Heart and Soul Health,

    Ambassador DN

  • d12345
    d12345, December 13,  2018  8:02am EST

    Thanks so much for your reply. It's definitely robotic, but as you well know, anything can happen. I have a very demanding business and a brother who I am a partial care-taker to. I'm scared my whole life is going to fall apart!

    I sit here today, ready to cancel for now, but I know I need to do this. 

    Good Luck with evverything in your world!



  • BosKat
    BosKat, January 1,  2019  7:50pm EST

    Deb I feel your pain. I’m a 42 year old self employed, single mom undergoing Mitral Valve repair in early February.  I recently moved out of state with my two children so I don’t have a great support network where I am.  I hope your surgery went well and that you are quickly healing. 

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