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Open Heart Surgery in Two Weeks
i just joined moments ago.
I'm having aortic valve replacement surgery in two weeks. After an TEEC was performed recently it has been determined my aortic valve is ~ 0.9 cm in diameter - it should be ~ 2.0 cm. Also because my heart has been working so hard the docs say they may need to remove part of the thickened wall and possibly repair the aorta.
The date is approaching quickly and I'm dioing my best to stay positive. Any advice and/or positive feedback would be greatly appreciated.
AHAASAKatie, June 6, 2017 9:17am EST
Welcome to the Support Network, we are so glad that you are here and sharing your story with us. I want to provide the Heart Valve patient education resources that we have for you. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/More/HeartValveProblemsandDisease/Heart-Valve-Problems-and-Disease_UCM_450280_SubHomePage.jsp Please take a few minutes and read through these web pages to see if the information is helpful to you.
Please share as much as you feel comfortable about the upcoming surgery and any questions that you have. We have a robust Heart Valve community that can help you.
myheart12911, June 6, 2017 8:54am EST
Two weeks out from your big surgery. I can still recall my nerves and concern leading into my open heart surgery last year. I had a TIA (warning stroke) that would lead to my valve replacement and the correction of a 4.7 cm aneurysm on my aorta arch. I went through an aggressive recovery and was back to work and walking every day in a few weeks. This past January I was diagnosed with stage 4 throat cancer. The treatment was 7 weeks of radiation everyday at the same time chemo every week- it was brutal. That was a stroke-open heart surgery - cancer combo, all in 14 months.
I tell you that to say this. The recovery will be so important for you. You will need to make up your mind that the outcome of this surgery will be a time when you are feeling back to normal and being your active self. That vision of how the outcome is will become your motivation to deal with some tough days post surgery. It will be easier to lay in bed and just feel bad- I'm telling you, get up and move around, get back into life as quick as you can-this is important...finally, your pain is absolutely temporary. Keep that in mind. There may be some relentless days it won't let you take a "break", work through, pray through and you will get through the pain.
I just finished my cancer treatment 9 weeks ago. I have gone back to work, I ran 3 miles yesterday, I have been eating solid food for 5 weeks without taste buds or a desire to eat...but I have made up my mind I will not let any of this have me. We all have our story. You are living yours. Listen to the nurses and docs in ICU and when you get home- set daily goals for yourself. Keep them easy, just things you can cross off a list and increase activity as you go. Most important, stay in a spirit of thanksgiving and gratitude all the time! May seem crazy, but there is a voice that is very real in difficult moments like this- a voice of doubt. Gratitude has a way of shutting it up. You will close your eyes, you will wake up and your recovery and story will continue. You got this!
Below is the link to a series of youtube videos that were shot after surgery. Part 4 is around recovery...I hope you find it helpful!