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Second SAVR now coplicated with a Mitral Valve That Needs Replacement As Well
I underwent an Aortic Aneurysm Repair and Aortic Valve Replacement in 2006. I am now faced with the tissue valve vegetating and failing rapidly 13 years later. In addition I am told that I now need a Mitral Valve replaced as well. I will be undergoing my second open heart surgery in Feb to replace those two valves. I would really like to speak with others that have undergone their second surgery as well so I can understand the risks. Any replies would be greatly appreciated.
NanaGwendy, January 4, 2020 9:18pm EST
Hi, GPlace1963. That second surgery is scarier than the first. I had a CABG and mitral valve repair that failed in June and had to have a second surgery to replace the mitral valve in October of the same year. The surgery was long, and I came out a little loopier than I did after the first one, but that resolved in a couple of days. Now,10.5 weeks post, I'm walking 5Ks and working on the machines at the gym without any big issues.
My surgeon said that the trickiest part of going back in was navigating the adhesions. After 13 years, yours are no longer what he called "sticky," so you should have an easier pathway to the heart. Talk with the anesthesiologist and your surgeon. Tell them about your concerns. I had a 2-page list of questions!
Best of luck. Fear was not helpful for me, but getting my questions answered did a lot for my confidence.
AHAASAKatie, January 6, 2020 9:02am EST
Thank you so much for sharing what is happening in your world. I am so sorry you are having to endure a second surgery and look forward to hearing what our other members have to share. Best Katie
AmbassadorB, January 6, 2020 2:42pm EST
I have had lots of fun with the heart medical folks, too. My first experience, about 15 years ago was a triple by-pass which resulted in a much improved function of the heart and overall improved condition. When my cardiologist told me to then get back to regular work outs and exercise at a local gymn, I followed his advice. Smart move. I still am a strong believer and faithful participant in regular work outs, including two weekly classes in balance and stabilization. All of this has given me confidence and an excellent quality of life. Then, 5 years ago, I had my Aortic Valve replaced through the TAVR procedure and still marvel at the ease and total lack of pain experienced with this operation. Of course I had an ICD implanted (defibrillation plus) along the way, and will have a new one installed, to replace the old one (like buying a new car) in about a year from now.
So what? I firmly believe that the biggest risk we face in this activity is to not have it done ASAP. I had been told by my cardiologist to get my Aortic Valve replacement procedure done right away. I said "Okay", and then proceeded to go on an already set-up vacation to Yellowstone Park. While in the Park - 1st day, I went down (passed out) and was advised by the Parks medical officer to have the Valve operation done immediately. Like right now. They were about to fly me to Idaho Falls to have the procedure done. Instead, I opted to come home and have it done by my folks. I am glad that I did. Is there a risk in all of this? Sure. The alternative, though, (putting it off) is a far greater risk to your quality of life and peace of mind. Equally significant is the fact that medical science today has progressed to a remarkable capability in the heart world that we live in. We are in the 3rd generation of Heart Valve devices and procedures - in just a few years! So? Trade in the old valve, etc., for a new one! We're lucky that we have the opportunity! Verify with your medical team that the new TAVR technology has been considered - in your case. Today, TAVR (Trans catheter Aortic Valve Replacement) can be indicated and reimbursed for those with moderate risk for open- heart surgery. A team of cardiothoracic surgeons and cardiologists approves the surgery risk.
Finally, I will be 90 years young this year and am looking forward to whatever more the Good Lord may choose to bless me with. Keep that ticker of yours strong, GPlace1963. What is the significance of "1963"? Your year of birth?
Do it! Cardio rehab following the procedure is also a smart (must do) activity.
Ambassador B Bernie
AmbassadorC, January 6, 2020 10:09pm EST
Good evening GPlace1963,
Welcome to the support network! You are among a community of heart warriors who have been there, done that and provide the support needed for the journey ahead. While I cannot speak to a second surgery, I can share with you that I had my mitral valve repaired via open heart surgery 6 years ago this past June. While I am certain that the fear of a second surgery can be equally as daunting as your first, rest assured that the medical advances of open heart surgery have become better as time has progressed. What is has not been perfected, is the risk of waiting. My fellow ambassador has provided some great words of encourgement. DO NOT WAIT! Often times with valve disease, because it is underdiagnosed or misdiagnosed, waiting is what makes matters worse, especially if not properly monitored by health care professionals. If you do not feel comfortable with the treatment plan that has been recommended by your cardiologist, get a second opinion before your surgery in February. You have every right as a patient to do so. If you would rather discuss your concerns of risk with your current cardiologist, you are also entitled to do so and shouldn't feel badly. I have learned through my journey, that you have to be your own advocate when it comes to the matters of the heart, or health in general. Feeling 1001 % comfortable pre surgery, will help you recover post surgically.
I also invite you to research the Heart Valve Education Center, if you have not already, as there are some super useful sections that may also help navigate through this second surgery. Please see the references below.
AmbassadorC, January 6, 2020 10:13pm EST