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Wed, Jun 26 10:07pm · Thoracic aortic aneurysm in Aortic Aneurysms

Hello,
Thanks! I enjoy sharing my experience to help others out. Some of my surgeries have been thus far the most difficult event to recover from in my entire life.
My Bicuspid Aortic Valve made it 52 years then that was it, had to be replaced(Valve replaced in 2018). I had the Aortic Aneurysm in 2005 and even then, they knew the Aortic Valve was degrading, but the procedure for the Aneurysm Repair was so long that keeping me on the bypass machine any longer was too risky so they had to leave it alone. If you can replace the valve early in the lifespan, they will use a Man Made valve that will last the rest of your life whereas the Cow or Pig Valves are usually rated for 10-12 years. Glad you and your Son are aware of your conditions and monitor it. Some folks don't even know they have the conditions.

All the best.

Bruce
Texas

Wed, Jun 26 3:18pm · Thoracic aortic aneurysm in Aortic Aneurysms

Hello,
The typical Heart Valve has 3 (Tri) Leaflets to the Valve. Bicuspid, has 2 (Bi) Leaflets to the Valve. The Leaflets flap open and closed with the pulsing for the heart. The Heart is a Pump. When it contracts, it forces blood to move thru the body. The Valves keep the blood from rushing backwards into the Heart in the case of an Aortic Valve. One in a 100 people have the condition of Bicuspid Aortic Heart Valve, so just 1% of the population which seems small, but that a lot of people when your population is 300 million. Still an exclusive club!

The Bicuspid Valve having just 2 Leaflets wears out much sooner than the Tricuspid Valve. The two leaflets become calcified and stiff and will fail to open and close all the way. They call this Aortic Stenosis. I had all this. Lost energy, couldn't hike on the trails. Had the Valve replaced with a Man Made On-X valve and all is better for the rest of my life.

Hope this helps!
All the best to you!

Bruce
Texas

Sat, Jun 8 7:21pm · Aortic Stenosis & Valve Replacement in Heart & Blood Health

Hi Elina,
Aortic Stenosis is a stiffening of the valve. Typically something that will happen to all Bicuspid Valves as the tissue gets all fatigued and wore out from having to function in a position of the Heart that really needs a Tricuspid Valve. I had the Stenosis as well and my Aortic Valve was Bicuspid. Two probably go hand in hand. Some folks make it their whole life just fine with a Bicuspid Valve, and some folks like me had theirs failing miserably at 52. You doing the right stuff just being here and speaking with folks who for the most part had these procedures performed on them.

All the best!

Bruce
Texas

Sat, Jun 8 6:29pm · Aortic Stenosis & Valve Replacement in Heart & Blood Health

Hello Elina1 and Betty,
TAVR is not used for Bicuspid Valve replacement. It is designed to replace a standard Tricuspid Valve only. I went thru the Aortic Valve replacement surgery on early 2018, and they would not do a TAVR on the Bicuspid Valve. My requesting a TAVR wan't going to happen. A tissue valve is probably what they will want to use. You should discuss the Replacement Valve options very carefully with the surgeon. For folks older than 70 they usually do a Tissue Valve. I was 52 so they opted for a Man Made Valve. If a Man Made Valve is what they will use, ask for the On-X Aortic valve. Has the lowest blood thinner approval by the US Government. Less meds.

For me Valve Replacement Surgery was a breeze compared to the 2 prior Bi-pass and Aneurysm Surgeries. Those were many weeks in the hospital. Cut openen from the side. Don't join that club. I understand there is an age difference, but his body will tolerate it very well. His recovery will just be longer than someone younger. Tell him to keep his chin up! An you keep his spirits up and yours too!! Keep us all informed on the outcome.

All the best!

Bruce
Texas

Mon, May 20 9:08pm · Aortic Aneurysms – Introduce yourself & meet others in Aortic Aneurysms

Hello,
That is a pretty big punch list of issues. Hope you can correct as many as possible. Some I don't know what the acronyms mean. I had real bad headaches before my aneurysm repair and the issue went away completely after the surgery. They were so bad, it was just go to bed and sleep it off kind of thing. I would get them at work and would go sleep in my car. It was real problem. Maybe try some lite exercise if the Dr. approves. That will help with the weight and bring the BP down. I walk 3 miles a day on a treadmill where I can monitor the speed and incline which you can't do just walking on the street.

All the best.

Bruce
Texas

Fri, Apr 12 9:52am · Severe Aortic Stenosis: Air Travel OK? in Heart & Blood Health

Hello,
I'm doing very well. Thanks for asking. I'm back to everything just like normal. My INR requirement for the Onx Valve is 1.5-2.0. I have been under at 1.3 for some months now. I'm at the every week testing interval. If the INR gets above 2.0 I feel cold. That should be OK now as we are getting to the warmer months. So in the winter months I like to run closer to the 1.5 to avoid getting cold. We were in Alaska for 10 days last month and even with my INR low, it was a cold visit for me. Drinking alcohol thins the blood so I had wine every evening and that helps. I was wearing double thermals under my clothing to stay warm! Who does that!!

We are going back to Alaska in August for another 10 days. I will hit the climbing trails that challenged me before my surgery and see if I can actually complete them this time. In June of 2017 when we were there I tried climbing Flat Top Mountain(Look it up) on the outskirts of Anchorage but I was so short of breath I couldn't. I'm sure now it will be an easy task. I wanted to go to Flat Top when we were there in March but is was too cold to mess with that.

Wife got me a membership at the local Seniors center and I do 3 miles on the treadmill every day, Saturday and Sunday too. I have been increasing the speed and incline to make it more challenging. I was doing Push-ups for while as exercise but I was injuring my shoulder and had to lay off those for now.
I cut my self by accident at work yesterday and even this morning the cut was still bleeding. I just glued over the cut and will be careful with it. Have to be real careful when taking thinners.

Let me know if I left anything out.

All the best!

Bruce
Texas

Sun, Mar 17 5:58pm · Aortic Aneurysms – Introduce yourself & meet others in Aortic Aneurysms

Llouise T,
I hope you are seeing a Cardiologist. Ask the Cardiologist if you should be pre-medicating before going to the dentist. This is usually a large dose of antibotics before they work in your teeth to abate any bacteria from your mouth that may get into your blood stream and causing an infection. I have to do it every time before I go in for a cleaning or any dental work.

All the best.

Bruce
Texas

Sun, Mar 17 5:52pm · New Diagnosis - ascending aorta aneurysm in Aortic Aneurysms

You bounced back quickly and that was a blessing. My last heart surgery was thru the sternum too and it was just 5 days in the hospital and no pain past those 5 days. Just took tylenol. Exercise if you can every day. Do something to stay fit.

I had an aortic aneurysm in 2005 and it was a tough surgery. Opened around the side, not thru the sternum. The doctors that repaired the aneurysm just recently contacted me and advised I need to be regularly screened for more aneurysms. I'm at risk for more. Guess it is a genetic thing. I sent them my scans last month and expect a report back from them in the next week or so. They are a research hospital: University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston Texas & Memorial Herman Hospital. Don't miss your checkups.

All the best.

Bruce
Texas