Upcoming aortic surgery: Hi again I’m... - British Heart Fou...

British Heart Foundation
19,026 members12,992 posts

Upcoming aortic surgery


Hi again

I’m a month away from surgery and still at 47 deciding between mechanical and biological valve

Problem at the moment is my anxiety is through the roof and everything from the post arriving to a tel call to yet another blood test as they increase med doses is not helping.

Started to get snappy with my family which isn’t helping. I’ve been the main carer for my wife’s 7 ops in 25 years but I’m feeling all alone

3 Replies

Having heart surgery is a scary prospect - I’ve had two AVRs, so it’s normal to feel anxious. Have you discussed the pros and cons of the different valves with your surgeon? The main advantage of a mechanical valve is that it should last your lifetime, the downside is being on warfarin. There is a new type of tissue valve available now which is supposed to last a lot longer than the other ones and some can be done without open heart surgery. You should get called in for pre-op checkups about two weeks before your surgery so I you’ll be able to discuss it with your surgeon. I suggest you make a note of any questions you have and take a pen and paper with you to make notes of what he says, or take someone with you, as it is easy to forget questions and answers.

The BHF have a few booklets that I found really helpful to read prior to my first AVR. They explained what to expect before and after surgery, the recovery period etc.

You say you’ve been your wife’s career during her surgeries, so it’s hardly surprising that you are getting anxious because suddenly the shoe is on the other foot and you are going to be the one needing to be looked after, so you aren’t in control 😉. I was driving after six weeks and back at work after 12.

Talk to your family about your forthcoming op, your concerns etc, it’s very easy to give the impression that you are fine about it when I fact you’re not. Let them help you through this. Of course all of us on the forum are here for you as well, so ask questions, vent etc, we’ve all been there!

Take care.


Ive onli had natraul valves. (Sorry i can’t spell). I’ve not regretted them. They can last between 3 - 20ish years depending on how healthy ur lifestyle is.

I’ve had a few heart surgeries where I was worried and went quiet cos of them and one heart surgery where my cried a lot before and after surgery. There’s nothing wrong which op fears.

I am also awaiting triple valve surgery in Papworth, I have been recommended tissue valves. I shall not attempt to suggest otherwise. You may be able to find my previous posts, I have what has been described as a shopping list to deal with, and shall bow to his seriously superior knowledge.

Wendy is very right..let family and friends know your fears and worries, it does help. All the best with your op.

You may also like...