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Msg to AmbassadorC
Sorry if this is the wrong place to post this but I couldn't find a place to message you directly and thought my questions might be of interest to others as well.
I just finished reading your story and wondered if they ever told you why you had the complications you experienced after your surgery? Also in the last installment you state that you recently had a cardiac catheter ablasion as well. Why did you need to have that and are these complications common? I'm having surgery on the 25th and everytime I read of complications, I get a little more anxious.
AmbassadorC, July 22, 2019 8:09am EST
Good morning. Thank you for your message and inquiry. While this is not to be construed as medical advice, I can only speak to my experience. What I have mentioned in previous posts is that the biggest take away is that every “body” presents differently. I never really was provided a medical explanation as to the reasons for the complications other than they “can be” common side effects of the impact related to open heart surgery. I surmise that surgeons will not speak to these alarming (to the patient) yet “common” side effects to the medical staff, as then no one would want to treat their underlying disease. That said, the ablation was needed as a result of the scar tissue that formed due to the open heart surgery. Essentially my heart - the “pumping” chamber was repaired but then caused “electrical” issues with the atrial flutter and a fib. That said, I am now to understand that any repair or replacement to the mitral valve, afib to flutter tends to be a common side effect of thr surgery. Again, while this is not to be construed as medical advice, this was specific to my journey. What I can also assure you of, given the repair to my valve, I have enjoyed a much better quality of life, despite my complications. I am able to exercise vigorously via kick boxing 3 times a week and am stronger than ever. While it is easier said than done, take each persons journey as it being specific to their body. You may or may not encounter any of the side effects of others. What you are going through is completely normal in your fears of the unknown, but know that you will get through this. Stay heart strong and keep on fighting with heart as you get closer to your surgery date.
Please feel free to reach out with any additional concerns or questions.
Lorraineg57, July 22, 2019 11:00am EST
Thank you so much for the prompt reply. As my surgery date nears, I seem to be noticing more and more the number of people who seem to have complications as a result. I am asymptomatic at this point aside from palpitations and possibly fatigue (poor sleep so I'm not sure what causes the fatigue). I have severe regurgitation and left atrium enlargement. I know this will need to be addressed at some point and have opted to have it done now while I am in good condition otherwise. My cardiologist said he would do a "wait and see" if he were me, waiting until I'm symptomatic. I don't see the point in waiting until I'm showing heart failure sx to act since the reality of it is that this WILL need fixed at some point. The surgeon said that the "wait and see" approach is bascially falling out of favor and getting it fixed sooner is now the preferred option. Of course he IS a surgeon so...I am a 62 yo female. My heart is very strong and I have no comorbidities.I'm also very active, use a heavybag a few times a week for kickboxing and lift weights. My biggest fear is that I won't be able to be active after it's all said and done. It's heartening to hear that after all you've been through, you are stronger than ever. I think I'm just losing my bravado as the date approaches. My surgery is this Thursday.
AmbassadorC, July 23, 2019 2:34pm EST
My pleasure and happy to help. All of your feelings are normal in so far as loosing your “bravado”, all the what if’s and the like. Have you considered getting a second opinion to help reassure you in terms of timing? And will you be getting a repair verses a replacement ? I raise this topic only to emphasize that while your surgery is already scheduled, you need to feel 1001 percent confident that your heart is in the best hands possible to your standards. After my surgical consult, my surgeon encouraged me to seek a second opinion if I wanted. While I did additional research on other centers of medical excellence, I did end up staying with my surgeon, but it was the confidence of mind that both my cardiologist and surgeon were on the same page in terms of the timing of my repair. Looking back, having that mental confidence, I feel contributed greatly to my post recovery. While this is not meant to derail your scheduled surgery, it’s an option you have as a patient and being your own advocate.
Ambassador C ❤️
Lorraineg57, July 23, 2019 2:56pm EST
My cardiologist is of the “wait and see” school of thought. It’s not “you may never need surgery”, it’s just about when. The “let’s wait until you start showing sx of heart failure”.
I knew all along I didn’t want to do that. In fact I had asked my previous cardiologist, who moved out of state, about surgery when I was still at moderate. I’m probably in the best shape of my life right now and my heart is according to my cardiologist “super strong” so I don’t see any reason to wait until I’m not. Plus, my left atrium is enlarged and that will just get worse. My surgeon comes highly recommended and he alluded to the fact that the “wait and see” is an outdated school of thought for my stage of progression. Now if there were a chance that I would never need surgery, that would be a different story. :)
AmbassadorC, July 23, 2019 5:47pm EST
Glad to hear your heart is in the best of hands. ❤️ And you have peace of mind. I fully understand the not a matter of “if, but when” timing. That’s the kicker with valve disease, as it is very often is asymptomatic and very much under diagnosed. Thus it is essential to keep up with Dr recommendations for follow testing. Echos and stress echos are key to the measurements of regurgitation.
My very best wishes to you for a successful surgery and recovery. Please let is know how you are doing once you’re ready.
Keep on fighting with heart❣️
Lorraineg57, July 23, 2019 6:44pm EST
Thank you so much for the support.
DD071219, November 19, 2019 1:09pm EST
Hi Lorraine57, Our stories are almost identical. I am 62 and had surgery on July 12th with only symptoms being palpitations and left atriium becoming enlarged. I am curious to hear how your recovery is going and whether you had Afib after surgery. I had two episodes within a week after surgery but have been fine since. My only real issue right now is some blurred vision but I feel it is improving now that I am off of all meds. Would really like to hear from you.