Post-AVR: Significant Benchmark. - British Heart Fou...

British Heart Foundation
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Post-AVR: Significant Benchmark.

I've now passed the 6 month post-surgery milestone with only minor health setbacks, none of which were heart related but never the less, knocked back my fitness and strangely, my morale.

During my self-managed rehab, I revisited walks and activities which were difficult or impossible, prior to receiving my new aortic valve. It was an enormous boost to morale and self-esteem to have physical evidence that I was mended and my exercise capacity restored. Additionally, I could now eat and exercise which meant cafe stops or pub walks were enjoyable again.

So fitness restored, there was one hill walk in the Brecon Beacons where I was a DNF - Did Not Finish - on the last two occasions, prior to surgery. Angina symptoms made it difficult to walk the steep hills, so I had the disappointment of walking back to base, slowly and alone - a graphic and depressing reminder of my stenosis and declining physical condition.

Fast forward 6 months and I'm delighted to report that the relentless 3.5 mile constant uphill walk has been completed in glorious weather this weekend. Not quickly, but with no discomfort and with only normal breathlessness and rapid recovery. So a celebratory picnic in the Welsh sunshine on the summit with close friends. Result!

So my point? Just celebrating the wonder of medical science and restorative heart surgery. But also showing that despite the fear of the unknown and the debilitating period, immediately after surgery, there's every possibility that your previous quality of life will be restored.

It worked for me, for which I will be eternally grateful. There's every chance it could work for you too, so have faith and hang on in there. Oh and good luck!

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Good on you!

Motivating to hear examples of how heart surgery can change people's lives for the better.

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Given the liklihood of a serious cardiac 'event' if a severely stenotic aortic valve is left untreated, it's an amazing bonus to receive not only restored near normal life expectancy but the bonus of improved quality of life. How fortunate am I and others like me ?

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Hi Ian

It’s great to hear you’ve passed your 6 months post op and you have definite paramiters you can measure yourself against. You sound quite competative like me but sometimes as you probably know this can be a gift and a curse at times. It must have been an awesome feeling to complete the walk this weekend 3.5 miles uphill is a fantastic achievement and with a well deserved picnic at the top I bet you were grinning like a Cheshire Cat.

I’m now 10 weeks post op and feeling fantastic and stretching myself all the time .

Well done YOU this post will be inspirational to lots of people including me so thank you for your post have a great week and keep on living

Pete ❤️

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Many thanks, Pete. It's good to stretch the new boundaries in search of the renewed me! Pleased to hear you too have the joy of recovery, having paid your dues, pre- an and post op. Onwards and upwards, literally for me this lasy weekend!

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I’m really delighted for you - it sounds like you are buzzing!!

I think this must be one of the only advantages of having felt so poorly pre-op. I’m afraid I am the opposite at the moment - pre-op I was walking for miles, up and down hills for miles therefore have missed out on the feeling. Whilst I know my heart is in much better shape having had my new valve, I am missing out on the joy of feeling rejuvenated, and instead am working towards my pre-op fitness levels 😳. But I’m really happy for you 😁!

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Hang on in there, Alison. I'm sure your time will come.

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Congratulations,Ian, I’ve just passed my 7 month post triple bypass today.

I have my last rehab session tomorrow, here there are 24 sessions twice a week. When I look back to the beginning of rehab, I was so weak because I was very ill with an electrolyte imbalance afterwards & was having to walk with a stick, I can see how much I have improved now, no stick, stronger legs, using weights ect I am so grateful for the rehab.

I am going to carry on at a local recreation centre where cardio fit sessions are run weekly to help you improve further.

We’re both getting there in our own ways aren’t we?

Jean

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Thanks, Jean. We all progress at different rates but share the same destination. Once you've felt improvement, it gives the motivation to achieve greater things , so good luck with your ongoing rehab and improving fitness. Sounds like you're well on your way.

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Well done Ian! You must be feeling on top of the world! It’s great to hear success stories and reassuring to those of us at the pre-op stage. Having my mitral valve repaired (hopefully) in March so need to keep hearing all the positives!thanks for sharing

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That's quite a wait sims789. It could never be as bad as your creative imagination will anticipate. And it's a routine and we'll practised operation.

May I wish you good luck and a speedy recovery.

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Thank you! I would have had it done today as it was originally booked for 19th November at hospital nearby. However I have been accepted for minimally invasive surgery so waiting longer for a surgeon who is an expert in this field. Well worth the wait and distance so I’m happy with this 👍. Many thanks for your good wishes.

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I understand recovery time can be much reduced with minimally invasive surgery,so a good call.

It's not LHC hospital is it ?

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Yes it is! I’m hoping for a shorter recovery time but know everyone is different and complications can happen whichever way operation is performed. You must be so pleased to be on the recovery side now and doing so well!

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Then it could be Mr Paul Modi who specialises in mitral valve surgery, including minimally invasive and robotics. He replaced my aortic valve, albeit using the standard OHS route.

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Yes, I met him a few weeks ago and he agreed to take me on for mini mitral (not suitable for robotic). I was very impressed with LHC hospital too so feel in very safe hands. How was your LHC experience? Did you know you were having OHS beforehand?

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Went looking for minimally invasive AVR with Mr Modi but as his speciality was mitral valve surgery, agreed he would personally perform a standard sternotomy which happened at the end of April.

Nothing but praise for the man, his team and LCH. I travelled from Lincolnshire and was home after five days. He described my surgery as 'uneventful'. Altogether a positive experience. You can relax - you will be in good hands.

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That’s so good to hear. Five days was extremely quick for sternotomy and great that he agreed to replace your valve.

I shall no doubt be nervous the closer I get to March, but am 100% positive being with Mr Modi at LHC.

It’s been great to talk to you about this - many thanks, Jan

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I was operated on at LHC as well but that was a triple bypass, no complaints at all. I live on the Wirral just across the Mersey from Liverpool so didn’t have as far to go like you Ian. I was amazed at the number of patients who had come from all over the country.

Jean

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Well worth the drive, Jean. I spent 21 years on the Wirral so no shortage of local visitors, which was nice.

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Thanks for this!...,your hike sounds great. I am now 6 months post- avr surgery. I have been making myself go to exercise class for the past 6 weeks -twice a week - as i had to be a couch potato for the 5 months i was waiting for surgery.

I want to go back to italy in fall so need to have more endurance. Thanks for encouragement. Today i also walked 4 km for the first time in a year.

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