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Sputnik34, October 22,  2019  10:08am EST

Surgery on Monday 10-28

So I have been observing and reading on here for a while and now the time has come for surgery.  On monday the 28th I will be going in for aortic valve replacement.  I am 38 and have opted for the Edwards Inspiris Resilia tissue valve.  While the verdict is still out on this valve, my surgeon believes that It may last 10-15 years in someone my age.  Does anyone who received this valve have any opinions on it or life expectancy of it?

I also have an acending aorta aneurism and my surgeon wants to leave it alone and not correct at the moment, as its 4.3cm and he believes it may stay stable for many years once the valve is replaced.  His reason for not wanting to replace it at the moment is that it touches on my aortic arch and he doesnt want to make a more complex operation if its not necessary at the time.

I am definitely very nervous for Monday morning.  Does anyone have any advice to share for day of surgery?  What is it like from the moment you walk into the hospital?  For me, I would love to walk in, change in to a gown, lay in bed, they start 1 IV, and im out.  I dont know how realistic that is though.

Any advice woudl be greatly appreciated.  And also wondering what its like when I wake up, and how bad the pain is.   Would anyone also be able to share what its like once im home and how difficult it is to sleep, move, etc.

Much appreciated!

  • afibabit
    afibabit, October 22,  2019  10:24am EST

    TAVR or open heart?

  • Sputnik34
    Sputnik34, October 22,  2019  11:17am EST

    Open Heart

  • afibabit
    afibabit, October 22,  2019  12:33pm EST

    I'd be interested in the decision process for electing open heart over tavr. I know both have their pros and cons, but what swayed you towards open heart?

  • Sputnik34
    Sputnik34, October 22,  2019  2:18pm EST

    For me it was easy...i had no choice.  At 38, im too low risk to have TAVR.  Surgeon said only option was Open Heart.  Plus I have a bicuspid valve which they also said was a contraindication for tavr

  • dk21015
    dk21015, October 22,  2019  3:08pm EST

    I had aortic valve replacement in July this year. A bovine tissue valve. I was registered quickly and went up to the pre-op desk to check in. I was wisked of to a room, changed into a gown and the doctors came in asking there questions. They briefed me on the surgery and recovery. i was wheeled down to the OR and put on the table. A mask came down over my face and then i woke up in recovery. The only problem i have is that when they spread my ribs apart it did something to my back muscles. I still have back pain although not as bad as the first week.

  • dk21015
    dk21015, October 22,  2019  3:11pm EST

    I was told by 3 doctors that TAVR is recommended more for people who would have a hard time recovering from open heart. Also they said it is newer and may not last as long.

  • afibabit
    afibabit, October 22,  2019  5:43pm EST

    I see. Yes, the bicuspid would rule out tavr and it would also explain why you need this at such a young age. As for advice, I would say that for at least the first few days after surgery, if you're talking with a doctor or nurse, try to write down anything you might want to remember later. The anesthesia will take a week or 2 to get out of your system and will likely cause some memory issues in the meantime. 

  • AmbassadorC
    AmbassadorC, October 23,  2019  8:33am EST

    Good morning! 
    As a heart valve repair patient via open heart, I understand fully your feelings before surgery. I too was very curious about the details before and after. This is very normal and you are not alone. May I ask where your surgery is being done? Here is why I ask. I have recently found in my volunteer efforts that if you are going to be at a teaching hospital, there's usually a presurgical department dedicated to helping patients relieve the anxiety and stress associated with surgery. While you are coming up close to your date, I would advocate reaching out to your surgical liaison of your preferred hospital and inquire if any such services are offered. I've also posted some tips and tricks on the support network in packing for your stay as well as post surgical recovery. I'm happy to share a link if you have not come across these tips and tricks. In the meantime, happy to share with you the HV Education resources a well. Please keep in mind, that every "body" is different in terms of healing and pain tolerance. While I feel there was a decent amount of pain associated post surgery in the hospital, it wasn't nearly as bad as I thought. For me, the hardest part was reconditioning my heart and strength to walk again. Baby steps, patience and celebrating the milestones are key to what I found successful in my recovery.  Please feel free to reach out with additional concerns or questions as we welcome you with heart❣️

  • TRabb
    TRabb, October 23,  2019  9:02pm EST

    Unfortunately, it's not as easy as walking in and going to sleep.  You will check and be taken to a room, usually with your loved one so you are not alone. A lot of hospitals will make you do a wash with special wipes which have an antibiotic solution in them. Then you can put your gown on, and the "awesome" hat. They will ask you a ton of questions to make sure they have the correct information in your chart and that you are who they think you are. Wrong patient, wrong surgery is no joke. Then you will get an IV. Of course, this all takes time. The hospital usually wants you there 2 hours before your time. And hopefully the team is on time. Usually, before you go to the operating room, anesthesia will see you and give you some relaxing medication in your IV.  Then you will be out and wake up in the ICU. When I woke up, I heard my husband and friend talking. My thoughts were, I hear people talking, I'm out of surgery, Oh My God I'm alive!! There is no better feeling in the world. I had no pain, but I had a pain pump that released a local anesthetic for 2 days.  It was awesome! The next day you will be out of bed, sitting in a chair and walking in the hall.  Each person has a different experience, based on their individuality and the hospital.

    I wish you the best. Take slippers that are easy to put on and a long charging cord for you phone. I look forward to hearing from you after.  #heartwarrior #newvalvenewlife

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