How did you learn that you had a problem. Were there any symptoms? Did anything feel off to you? I'm always worried about that sort of thing since my mother recently had a spontaneous partial aortic dissection.
Good luck! I had open heart surgery (aortic valve replacement) in 2016 and that recovery wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. Worst part was learning to stand up using my abs and legs rather than pushing myself up with my arms as I was in the habit of doing, but as you know by now that’s a big no-no when you’ve had your sternum opened.
How long were you in ICU?
How long will be your recovery? And will you have any restrictions?
How are you feeling? Any spasms during healing?
I had a heart attack due to Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection, at age 37. Are you in a support group? I found that to be the thing that helped my anxiety the most. Did you have open heart at the Cleveland Clinic?
Welcome to the group of people you never asked to join!
You survived. now, take care! <3
What will your recovery look like? Did you have a valve replaced? If so, what was it replaced with (mechanical, human, animal)?
From someone who had a valve replacement at 2 years ago when I was 22, wishing you the best in recovery. I had a bicuspid aortic valve that was at risk for an aneurysm so pretty much the same as you. I bet youre glad you are out of the hospital. I was in there for 7 days and it was hell. Things get easier by the day, especially since we were probably the youngest people in there by decades. (or at least I was). I actually still have discomfort from the wires used to heal the chest, so I will probably get those removed in the next few months, but it isnt too bad. Hope you arent in too much pain, the first few weeks sleeping and laying down can be a real pain. Did they repair the valve or replace it completely?
I had open heart surgery at 31. If you want to chat about anything recovery-related (or confronting your mortality in a terrifying way-related), let me know.
Question to follow the rules: what are you reading while you're recovering?
I'm a cardiovascular perfusionist, the person who would run the heart/lung machine during your surgery. It isn't uncommon for other health care professionals to not know who we are or what we do (as of 2018, there are somewhere around 3,800 of us in the entire U.S.). So I always wonder if our patients know we exist or what we do. So all of that said, did your surgeon describe the heart/lung machine to you or the role of the perfusionist? I'm just curious. I kind of like the anonymity of my job.
Did the surgeon/anesthetist say any witty, concerning comments as you were being put to sleep? E.g. “Ok, count back from ten as I check WebMD on how to perform open-heart surgery.”
First off, congrats on the successful operation.
Second: apologies in advance for the selfish question related to myself, but it's an AMA and you have valuable experience so I hope you'll forgive me. I'm also 30 and I have the same sort of valve. My dad got his replaced in his mid 40s. His doctor (and now also my doctor) told me that a lot of people have these valves and only a small percentage of those people need them replaced. Did you hear something similar? Were you aware of this condition before this event?