Aortic Valve Replacement

Posted by Teresa, Volunteer Mentor @hopeful33250, Sep 28, 2016

In the near future, I’ll be having aortic valve replacement. I’d love to hear from anyone who has been through this procedure to provide some background on their surgery experience as well as recovery experience. I have heard that with open heart surgery, sleeping in a recliner for the first week or so is a good idea. Any other thoughts? Thanks for any information you can relay about your own experiences. Teresa

Hello Teresa,
I'll be sure to keep you guys up on the recovery process. Most of us that have/had this degenerating Aortic Valve have lived with it for quite some time. For me, my entire adult life. This new valve will put me in the best health I have ever known. I used to be as active as I could with the original natural valve(60 mile bike rides), but now it should be much easier to do what I used to do. Once they tell you the valve should be replaced don't wait too long getting it done. And look at the newer valves that don't require so much thinners. Glad I went with the On-X.

All the best.

Bruce

REPLY
@ch246cf10

Hello Teresa,
I'll be sure to keep you guys up on the recovery process. Most of us that have/had this degenerating Aortic Valve have lived with it for quite some time. For me, my entire adult life. This new valve will put me in the best health I have ever known. I used to be as active as I could with the original natural valve(60 mile bike rides), but now it should be much easier to do what I used to do. Once they tell you the valve should be replaced don't wait too long getting it done. And look at the newer valves that don't require so much thinners. Glad I went with the On-X.

All the best.

Bruce

Jump to this post

@ch246cf10 Thanks Bruce,

I had not heard of the On-X before, the doctors that I've seen have talked about the pig valve which seemed good to me because it would not require the use of blood thinners. My only problem is that I can't get two doctors to agree on the need for surgery at this point. My EF is still at 60 which is pretty good. Do you recall what you EF was at the time of replacement?

Teresa

REPLY

Hello Teresa,
I am not familiar with "EF". What does the acronym stand for? They gave gradient pressure readings from my echo's. Before surgery it was a 4, after surgery about 2 weeks ago it was 1.5. So I am in the normal range now.

I'm 52, and replacement tissue valves will last ~10 years. So if I plan to live past 62, I would have another surgery to replace the tissue valve. That is why I chose the mechanical valve. This was my 3rd surgery, and I wasn't wanting another. The blood thinner is a minor thing. My Brother-in-Law has been on them for 25 years. We are both equally active and I went to him and he is living just fine with the thinners. No side effects for him and he had 25 years experience taking them.

I should note that with the current TAVR(Transcath. Valve) technology a tissue valve can receive a TAVR. That is today. That technique is 9 yeas going now and when I am 62 and needing the tissue valve replaced, there would be no telling if that was still possible. That is why I I also felt the mechanical valve was my best choice.

Bruce

REPLY

@ch246cf10 Hello Bruce,

EF stands for ejection fraction – a measurement of heart failure, it will show up on an Echocardiogram. If you have a copy of an Echo prior to the valve replacement you will probably find the EF, listed somewhere in the report. Here is an explanation on the EF from Mayo, https://www.mayoclinic.org/ejection-fraction/expert-answers/faq-20058286.

Here is an article from Stanford about gradient pressure readings, https://web.stanford.edu/group/ccm_echocardio/cgi-bin/mediawiki/index.php/Aortic_stenosis_assessment, to show the difference between the two.

Thanks for the explanation on your choice of the mechanical valve. Your information has been very helpful to me and no doubt to others. I appreciate your help!

Teresa

REPLY
@wandering

My 90+ mother had heart valve replacement surgery about 4 years ago. The surgery was not open heart but a new procedure where the surgeon goes through the groin and up into the heart. She survived the surgery very well (her doctor says she is a “poster child” for the procedure). She also has a pacemaker. Her heart is doing very well however at her age she has other issues not related to the heart. Hope this has helped you and best wishes.

Jump to this post

Baylor heart hospital in Plano, TX has an entire wing devoted to heart valve problems. The surgeon who developed the TAVR procedure is still there. Sorry, I can't remember his name. If you'll google the hospital, you can get lots of information about the surgery.

REPLY
@ch246cf10

Recovering from my Aortic Valve Replacement. Surgery was on the 31st of January. Had it here in Austin at St. David's Main. Went well and was in hospital for just 5 days. My replacement valve is an On-X 25mm. I was really surprised how quick the initial recovery was from the surgery. Within 3 days I was able to get in and out of bed without help. Since I have been home pain is nothing and I just take Tylenol. Doing the Cardiac Rehab 1 hour a day 3 days a week. I overlooked doing the Rehab in 2005 when I had and Aortic Aneurysm, wish I had done it then. My INR range requirement for the On-X Valve is 1.5-2.5. Have weekly tests getting that tuned. From what I understand the On-X valves don't require as much blood thinners.

Working half days and from home as needed. Just glad the chest trauma was minimal as my two prior chest openings were from around the side and were very painful recovery.

Bruce

Jump to this post

My cardiologist is very vague about it all…..in fact, I'm considering a 2nd opinion. Mine is at 1.3, and he says no surgery needed until it is under 1. So far, no enlargement of the heart.

REPLY

Hello Teresa,
Rehab going well. I'm at the 7 week mark. They added in minor weight lifting exercises after 6 weeks. My sternum is still sore at the incision area so we are not lifting over 5 lbs. I'm back to work at 50% and have someone help if any lifting is required. I'm going to stick with the rehab all the way to the end. I'll be getting a membership at the senior center here in Round Rock and will continue with the exercise to keep in shape and keep the pounds off. I'm still at -10 lbs. since surgery. They tell me at rehab I need to lose 20 more.

My INR is stable at 1.6 and I only go in for testing now every 2 weeks. I don't notice any side effects from taking blood thinners.

Hope this helps.

All the best.

Bruce

REPLY

Hi Bruce I had triple by pass 1996 just do as Dr. tells you don't lift to much I wasn't allowed to climb stairs or Hills for a while either

REPLY

I had quintuple bypass in 2009. Do the rehab until it’s done. I was playing tennis and baseball within 6 months and am still playing.

REPLY
@ch246cf10

Hello Teresa,
Rehab going well. I'm at the 7 week mark. They added in minor weight lifting exercises after 6 weeks. My sternum is still sore at the incision area so we are not lifting over 5 lbs. I'm back to work at 50% and have someone help if any lifting is required. I'm going to stick with the rehab all the way to the end. I'll be getting a membership at the senior center here in Round Rock and will continue with the exercise to keep in shape and keep the pounds off. I'm still at -10 lbs. since surgery. They tell me at rehab I need to lose 20 more.

My INR is stable at 1.6 and I only go in for testing now every 2 weeks. I don't notice any side effects from taking blood thinners.

Hope this helps.

All the best.

Bruce

Jump to this post

@ch246cf10 Hello Bruce,

I appreciate the update and I'm glad to hear that you are doing so well. That is great that you are sticking with the rehab.

I'm still contemplating the whole thing myself. I'm going to do some pre-surgery cardio rehab, but I'm not sure I'm ready to commit to the surgery yet. My cardiologist thinks it unwise to wait too long as the heart damage could worsen and not be reversible. Lots to think about.

I look forward to your next update!

Teresa

REPLY
@colleenyoung

Teresa,
You may wish to read about @lyndamm‘s story in this discussion “Open heart surgery, aortic valve replacement and 3 bypasses” http://mayocl.in/2daQc4z

@judytru @thankful @jimmorris900 do you have advice for @hopeful33250 as she prepares for an aortic valve replacement. I think @mimi68 will also be interested in joining this discussion as she too is preparing to have the same procedure.

Jump to this post

I have a friend who is to have aortic valve replacement tomorrow and he is looking for any kind of information about this procedure. I told him about "Mayo Connect" and he thought he would like to receive any information that others who have gone through this would have to offer. Thank you.

REPLY
@colleenyoung

Teresa,
You may wish to read about @lyndamm‘s story in this discussion “Open heart surgery, aortic valve replacement and 3 bypasses” http://mayocl.in/2daQc4z

@judytru @thankful @jimmorris900 do you have advice for @hopeful33250 as she prepares for an aortic valve replacement. I think @mimi68 will also be interested in joining this discussion as she too is preparing to have the same procedure.

Jump to this post

Hi @charlottemaxine,

Thank you for all the support and information you are offering. Please note that I removed your friend's personal email address from this public discussion. Posts to the discussion board are public, and we don't want him getting unwanted spam etc. We recommend sharing personal contact information by private message as it is a secure, private option.
Thank you so much for understanding.

Here's some information from Mayo Clinic:
https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/aortic-valve-repair-aortic-valve-replacement/about/pac-20385093

I'm tagging @ch246cf10 @cynthia2017 @showflash @shakuni11 @redhawk @eugeneo @lyndamm @judytru @crhp194 @morningglory @michellr as they've written about aortic valve repair and replacement, and I'm confident they will return with more insights for your friend.

If you wish, you can also read some of their posts in this discussion on Connect:
– Aortic Stenosis & Valve Replacement https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/aortic-valve-calcification/

REPLY
@colleenyoung

Teresa,
You may wish to read about @lyndamm‘s story in this discussion “Open heart surgery, aortic valve replacement and 3 bypasses” http://mayocl.in/2daQc4z

@judytru @thankful @jimmorris900 do you have advice for @hopeful33250 as she prepares for an aortic valve replacement. I think @mimi68 will also be interested in joining this discussion as she too is preparing to have the same procedure.

Jump to this post

Hello,
Don't know how old your friend is, I'm 52 and had the same procedure on January 31st, and I was out of the hospital in 5 days. This was my 3rd Heart Surgery! I was expecting another 3 week stay like the last. First two operations were from the side(following the curve of the ribs). That is the most invasive and longest recovery, painful, etc. The Front Chest Opening the replace a valve was a cake walk. No pain meds past the 5 days in the hospital. Not a lot of people above the grass have experienced bot type procedures, I have. I'm no tough guy when it comes to pain either. It is just a less invasive procedure that you think. Tell him to do the rehab after the surgery, and do all the classes for the entire term. Don't go to a few and stop going. There is a reason for what they have you do in rehab, and it works. The Inpatient Cardiac Rehab folks will start to circle around him as soon as he wakes up. After discharge, sign up for the continued rehab. I have 2-3 weeks remaining on mine and I'll probably have my wife bake them a cake or something.

All the best to you and your friend.

Bruce
Texas

PS. Did I mention DO THE REHAB!

REPLY
@colleenyoung

Teresa,
You may wish to read about @lyndamm‘s story in this discussion “Open heart surgery, aortic valve replacement and 3 bypasses” http://mayocl.in/2daQc4z

@judytru @thankful @jimmorris900 do you have advice for @hopeful33250 as she prepares for an aortic valve replacement. I think @mimi68 will also be interested in joining this discussion as she too is preparing to have the same procedure.

Jump to this post

@ch246cf10

I appreciate your sharing your experiences with open heart surgery. At Mayo Connect we all learn (and are encouraged) by the experiences of others.

Rehab is important for everyone after surgery, whether it is for orthopedic surgery or cardiac surgery. I appreciate your emphasizing that.

I look forward to hearing from you after you complete your rehab.

Teresa

REPLY
Please login or register to post a reply.