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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Community > General Chit Chat > It's official, I'm having heart surgery on Feb 18th...wow, it's real now.
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Old 02-01-2011, 02:17 AM   #1
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Default It's official, I'm having heart surgery on Feb 18th...wow, it's real now.

NOTE, THIS THREAD AND THE OPERATION WAS THIS TIME LAST YEAR!! IN CASE YOU HAVEN'T NOTICED......I SURVIVED.


Mods, please leave this here for all to see, not move it to secret chit chat.

I haven't said anything in awhile about my heart condition, because although I knew I was going to have the surgery, I didn't know when. Well I do now.

On Friday, Feb. 18th I will be having the aortic valve of my hear replaced.

A couple days after Christmas I had the 3rd or 4th doppler, and this time the doppler tech was really thorough, and had me get into various strange positions and to cough and stuff, things none of the other techs had me do. Well evidently she finally got what noone esle was able to do, get a good picture of what was going on, and why despite the meds and stuff, I still have been struggling.

It turns out my aortic valve is "critically damaged." The surgeon today told me that normally the valve opens up to the size of a 50 cent piece, but mine only opens to the size of a dime, meaning very little blood gets through. And my heart has had to struggle to work, and becasue of it it's pretty weak and enlarged.

And the tissue of the valve is pretty calcified. It is evidently congential, I was born with a bicuspid aortic valve as opposed to the usual 3 leafs or cusps. And as I've gotten older the situation has gotten worse and worse, and only in the last couple years I've started to notice it. But thought it was something else, being and ex smoker, and getting the swine flu a few years back (which may have pushed it along more.)

The scary thing is, is that at this stage of valve damage I could have dropped dead at any time.

Which is kinda scary because, as I mentioned in the other threads I had been itching to get back into the gym around the time this got discovered by accident and do some cardio circuit work again. It coulda been bad.

So there is some good news/bad news with all this. Obvioulsy the bad news is I have to have surgery. But the good news is that the doppler showed that the drugs have been working over the last few months.

My ejection fraction has gone from around 30 percent back to about 45% (Normal is about 55%.) And some of the heart swelling has gone down.

This actually confirmed to my cardiologist that it looks like the valve problems and the cardio myopothy may indeed be connected, as opposed to to seperate issues (and therefore alcohol would have been a no-no.)

So where the original thought was that even with the valve replacement my heart would still be damaged, the thinking is now that once I recover from the surgery, and do the cardiac re-hab, I will be good as new, if not better.

All the shortness of breath, and tightness of the chest, and the inability to do much so actually go away.

And I can get my life back.

So in about three weeks they will put me on a bypass machine, turn my heart off, cut my aorta open and replace it with a piggy's valve.

I'll be in the hospital for about a week. Then home under care for about another week, and off work for anywhere from 6-12 weeks. I'll be doing cardiac rehab after about the third or forth week.

I have to make an appointment with a Dentist that the surgeon uses for a thorough cleaning and x-ray to be cleared to make sure there's no infection, and then the excitement begins.

I like the surgeon a lot, he's the chief of cardio/thoracic surgery at the hospital, and a very nice guy. He had a gentle nature, he had a good way of explaining things, and a good sense of humor. So I'm confident in him.

So wow...this is pretty damn freaky, eh? I'm pretty shocked. But if it means this will be over and I'll feel better, than it's a good thing.

I'm just really glad I got hit in the face with that damn vintage base ball last summer.

If you guys see this...my surgery got postponed til Monday.
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Old 02-01-2011, 02:26 AM   #2
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Best wishes, Revvy. One week in the hospital? You can do that standing on your head! Probably shouldn't though. It's amazing how far medical science has progressed. You'll be up and about in no time flat.

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Old 02-01-2011, 02:26 AM   #3
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Best of luck to you, it must be nice (in a way) to finally know what was causing all the issues. Hope you'll have a speedy recovery!

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Old 02-01-2011, 02:27 AM   #4
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I wish I could say I was worried for ya Revvy, but after watching these heart docs work their magic on my dad a few years ago, it's clear this **** is downright trivial to them. They sweat the oil change on their BMW more.

Just think of it as a ticker tune-up!

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Old 02-01-2011, 02:29 AM   #5
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Wow! Hope everything goes well with surgery.

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Old 02-01-2011, 02:33 AM   #6
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Here's what's gonna happen....wow.

The will be doing the less invasive version of this evidently, and I get a pig's valve.

Aortic valve replacement

The surgeon makes an incision in the chest

Aortic valve replacement surgery may be done as an open-heart surgery or as a less invasive surgery (where the surgeon makes smaller incisions and does not open the chest). This slideshow shows the surgery as an open-heart surgery. To replace the damaged aortic valve, the surgeon first makes an incision in the chest and cuts through the breastbone (sternum).

The chest is opened to expose the heart
Then, the surgeon opens the chest with a retractor to expose the heart. The surgeon opens the lining that protects the heart (pericardium).

The damaged aortic valve is removed
Next, the surgeon removes the damaged aortic valve.

The artificial valve is sewn in place
Finally, the surgeon inserts the artificial valve into the aorta. The artificial valve (also called a prosthetic valve) may be either mechanical or made of human or animal (pig) tissue. The surgeon sews the valve to the annulus, which is a ring of tissue that connects to the leaflets of the aortic valve.

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Old 02-01-2011, 02:36 AM   #7
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Best wishes Revvy.

Sure hope you have a speedy recovery.

Ed

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Old 02-01-2011, 02:37 AM   #8
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I wish you all the best, Revvy. I'm sure you'll come through with flying colors.

But first the swine flu, now a pig valve? You aren't turning Furrie on us, are you?

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Old 02-01-2011, 02:37 AM   #9
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Best wishes Revvy! Good to hear that you will be on the mend shortly.

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Old 02-01-2011, 02:39 AM   #10
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Good news Revvy!

Best wishes for a safe and highly successful surgery.

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