Feb 3
santangelo56 , Posted on SUPPORT NETWORK Blog

I was scared until I started doing research.

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So, when i’d Walk to my car after work or on my way into the gym, I would become out-of breath. I went to my cardiologist (I was having atrial fib since I was 42) . He suggested an angiogram.

I was told that my arteries were perfect but I should get my aortic valve replaced sooner than later. I met with my doctor - his suggestion was to have an artificial valve put in and take blood thinners the rest of my life.

I workout, run, and lead a very active life (this was when I was 55). The thought of being on blood thinners is insane. Not to mention that whenever I would  need a medical procedure like a colonoscopy, you have to go off the thinners.

I started doing research...I live in Poughkeepsie and was not satisfied with my doctors or the hospital I’d have to be in. I ended up at Mount Sinai in NYC with one of the worlds leading surgeons, Dr. David Adams. I met with him and all stress disappeared. He also told me that even the Cleveland Clinic ( the nations leading cardiac hospital) no longer does artificial valves.

ANYWAY...I had the replacement surgery March 25, 2013. BTW: I also have an aortic aneurysm. It wasn’t large enough for it to be fixed and since my surgery it stopped growing. I now have a bovine valve.

I was back to work in 4 weeks. I workout like crazy, look younger than I am and still as active as ever. This is my long winded way of saying, “ get a second opinion”...it’s your heart. Question the doctors. If you don’t like what they say, discuss don’t just accept. 


1 Comment
  • JamesPL

    Really liked your story. Working out is key to not only maintaining good health but when those physical setbacks do occur, being in shape aids to a speedy recovery. Keep at it! Regarding blood thinners, I was told to get off them prior to my bypass procedure but I have since been on baby aspirins and omega3 pills which can also thin the blood. I have had a colonscopy while on them without issue. So although you may not want to be on blood thinners, my understanding is that baby aspirin is common and could be beneficial to help avert a heart attack.

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