How long between 1st heart consult and surgery?

Posted by Paul @phoenixpal, Sep 1, 2023

I know everyone's situation is different, but I'm trying to get just a general idea from Mayo Phoenix patients of how long it took to finally get into the operating room from the start of the journey.

My 1st cardio consult at Mayo is not until October 3rd. Meanwhile I have sent in the results of my cardiologist's TEE where he states "Severe mitral valve leakage". AZ Abrazo Heart Hospital can proceed with the surgery with 2-3 weeks. But I'm waiting and hoping for a Mayo minimally invasive operation.

Unfortunately, and understandably, no one at busy Mayo can give me any indication of how far out "non-crisis" heart surgeries are scheduled.

What have been other people's wait times?


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Hi Paul @phoenixpal, I see you have not had any responses to your question yet. Maybe it's because of the Labor Day weekend? I can't speak to the Mayo Arizona campus, as I was referred to Mayo Rochester for open heart surgery. I was seen in November and offered open heart surgery by February. That was three years ago, Covid happened and life changed for many hospitals and medical clinics, so that may influence the time frame. I was not considered emergent, neither was I considered elective...I was somewhere in between and kind of urgent.
October 3rd is a month away, and only you can decide if that is a time frame you feel comfortable with. The Mayo clinic is experiencing volume issues like most every hospital, which does little to calm our anxiety about our heart conditions.
So even though I was offered open heart surgery in February (after November visit) I chose March 2020. But that is when the world shut down due to Covid and I ultimately had it done in July of 2020. I don't know if this helps you or not, as that was three years ago and things have changed so much.
Trust your gut instincts and if you find you are leaning on waiting for a month to be seen at Mayo, you may have an answer to that question a month from now!
I hope someone from Arizona who has had recent experience chimes in with helpful the mean time, how has your severe mitral valve leakage affected your life? Are you able to exercise and be active?


Thank you Debra for sharing your experience. Ha! I had my knee replacement at Mayo in February 2020 right before everything changed. My PT told me weeks later that she'd just been to a PT conference out of town, but had to stay in her hotel room the whole time due to "a bad flu"!

Actually your November to February time frame is what I'm expecting (hoping for) from Mayo. It'd be great to get it done over the holidays. As my wife told me this morning: "only one month now". Most important though is waiting for the minimally invasive surgery, which only Mayo seems to offer here.

As a lifelong swimmer/runner, the diagnosis goes a long way to explain why I've always seemed to be more wiped out during and after workouts than my fellow swimmers etc (not getting all that oxygenated blood pumped through). So, knowing now what's going on, for the time being I've decided keep up my regular workout, but to quit racing against the clock and just ignore it in the pool. I turn 70 this month and my cardiologist encouraged me to keep my heart rate at a "reasonable" level.

Thanks again for sharing


Hi Paul I had severe aeortic stensos along with an aeortic embolism 3.8 diagnosed after heart attack 9/11/18 hospital had the heart attack at said before thanksgiving, I went for 2nd opinion at another hospital and after 3 minutes of consultation they agreed with the first opinion. So I went to Rochester Mayo and they ran a few tests said it's bad but not an emergency. Was told every year they make medical advancements so just wait. Fast forward 6/2023 Dr V at Mayo replaced valve and the ascending and descending aorta. DR V was a little upset because he thought I waited 1 year to long. Trust your doctors, listen to your body and with the good Lords help the operation will be a success. I will suggest 1 thing and that is do your research so you know what's involved, I learned more after operation than before so disappointed in that..


Depending on the urgency and prognosis, a person can be seen between 10 days and 10 months. The average wait for a first catheter ablation is about 3-4 months, and so far the elderly and urgent can be handled within about 6 weeks in my Canadian experience. Surgical cases are triaged like all other forms of intervention. The triage is an ongoing process, so subject to change every 30 minutes.

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