AVR REPLACEMENTS : I was diagnosed with... - British Heart Fou...

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AVR REPLACEMENTS

I was diagnosed with a bicuspid aortic valve in approx 2002 aged 18, I did not require surgery until 2013 and had a st. Jude mechanical valve with a full cut of the sternum, and was on warfarin with a inr range of 2.5-3.5, valve was fine until 2017 when I had a bleed on the brain due to the warfarin, so I needed to recover to undergo heart surgery again, this time I was given the inspiris recillia valve which requires no warfarin and had keyhole heart surgery so recovered in 2 weeks (they don’t cut the sternum).

I wish I found this site on my first op and I know everyone is different but I have fully recovered (famous last words), not because of me but because of the surgeons and nurses and rehab, the best piece of advice I can give you is don’t panic cause what doctors know about the heart we can’t even begin to understand, what I’ve learnt about my heart I can barely keep up, I have not done well in expressing it but heart surgery is not as scary as it sounds and I laugh and joke about it all the time and never try to find answers to a possible heart problems you may have until your doctors tells you themselves it will drive you round the twist and after all that worrying it’s probably nothing.

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You've done so well with the difficulties you've been through. And, you've said what I feel about having an AVR and open-heart surgery (I'm 57 years old). (I also suffered a cardiac arrest.) I had a positive attitude, trusted in my surgeons and was back to work and driving in 5 weeks after surgery. I do physical work so I took it easy at first. My sternum is still healing so I have some soreness but I'm amazed at how relatively pain-free the whole ordeal was. I always had a surgeon or doctor or nurse at my side when I needed them. I joke and laugh with my friends and tell them not to pity me because I am feeling better than I have in many years with my valve surgery.

Best wishes to you!

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These are great replies and news to someone who has only recently found I have anything wrong with my heart. Some days I’m scared and some days I’m thankful. I look forward to gleaning more information.

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May I ask what problem you have with heart

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I’ve been found to have a faulty aortic valve which might be bicuspid or caused by rheumatic fever when I was 10. I have no symptoms as such, have always had a benign heart murmur and find nothing to worry about. I’ve now been told mycondition is severe and in on a waiting list for surgery. All a bit of a shock.

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I’m assuming the leak is now severe and they may believe it’s time to intervene(but that’s an assumption they obviously know best) only advice I can give is get yourself as fit as possible before hand even more so than what you are now, so that when or if the time comes to have theo p your in the best condition possible, good luck with everything and you have nothing to worry about it, plus think positively it really does help, I had a murmur from birth and it didn’t trouble me at all good luck,please keep updating as I know exactly how you feel I had a 2 year old boy in my 1st op then a two year old girl by my second and I’m now fitter than ever,

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How long ago was your surgery and where did you have it, the whole sternum cut is longer recovery and I would do my best when I have another to ask to have keyhole again, after my full cut I managed to get back to work in similar period to you, my bleed on brain is the hardest by far, heart surgery is like catching a cold for me, I also on my second heart op they found an infection growing (infective endocarditis) but has since been treated,

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I had my surgery on the 24th of April at Papworth and was discharged on the 29th. I was fairly fit to begin with so was told that I would do well in recovery. I think the positive comments from surgeons and cardiologists helped me keep going and now I'm on the road to fitness again.

You've been through a lot. It's very hard work. Having open-heart was not as scary as I thought it would be. If you do need to have your sternum cut try not to fear the worst. I can't say that I was ever in "pain". Only discomfort. Really, I needed codeine for the first few days and a few times at home but then, only required paracetamol. I'm not on any pain medication now. However, if I'm not careful with lifting things, I will suffer with muscular pain and need to take something to ease it.

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I’ve had both sternum and keyhole heart surgery, my sternum now has completely healed after 5 years if anything my scars from chest drains niggle me more but I know exactly how you feel with muscular discomfort

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I'm glad you said about the drain scars - yes, these bother me most.

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I had bypass through sternum in March. Yes the drain scars cause me more discomfort to be honest and were the ones that healed the slowest. Strange how things happen the way they do. Best of luck to you all xx

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