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One feature we had originally when we started this adventure 14 years ago, was the personal stories and experiences section. This will be returning very soon. It is a great benefit to be able to learn from the experiences of others. Especially for those who are faced with the new uncertainty of Valve Replacement Surgery.

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Mayo Clinic - Rochester Questions

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  • Mayo Clinic - Rochester Questions

    We're mulling over some questions/concerns since our recent decision to use the Mayo Clinic. I'm hoping that some here can help answer these and alleviate some of the anxiety.

    Spouse in the Exam room
    - if you refer Here to p. 39, you might think that your spouse may not be allowed to go into the exam room with you. Surely this is not the case? I can't imagine not having my wife in the exam room for these very important discussions.

    Private Rooms - My surgery would be at St. Mary's. How does the room assignment work. We REALLY need a private room for the peace and quiet. Is it hard to get a private room? Do you show up and find out they don't have any private rooms available? Are the suites an option for heart surgery patients? I know we'd have to pay more, but this is a bid deal for us.

    ICU Time
    I haven't found anything on this at Mayo, but I found it somewhere else. It was a statement that visitors would only be allowed in ICU for 10 minutes per hour. Wow - this would be very difficult for the significant other/spouse. 50 minutes in waiting room every hour? Any comments?

    Finally - Loud waiting rooms with noisy people and hard chairs are an issue for my wife. She's recovering from breast cancer and is still dealing with pain issues. Would I be checked into my room BEFORE surgery and then she could wait in the room alone?

    Thanks in advance.
    AVR 08/23/2013. 23 mm St. Jude Regent (Mechanical). Dr. Soon Park and Dr. Obrador Quintana, Mayo Clinic - Rochester.

  • #2
    Hi big L,

    I had my aortic valve repaired at Mayo Rochester last month and based on my experiences, you have little to worry about.

    -My wife was with me during all my exams.

    -I was given a private room and it seemed like everyone there had a private room, too. The suites, I believe, are intended mainly for Saudi royalty and are priced accordingly.

    - My wife and brother were with me during my entire 8 hours in ICU. My kids even came in to see me for a while in the ICU and of course that had to be during my one major bout with nausea. There are no visitor restrictions on the recovery floors other than common sense.

    - I didn't experience the waiting rooms, but while walking around post surgery I saw many smaller alcoves and seating areas. My wife said the staff did a wonderful job finding her and keeping her updated on the surgery. The staff will take your wife's cell phone number if she wants to leave or find a quiet area.

    Mayo certainly is a large center and at times you do feel like a bottle in a brewery, bobbing up and down, being pushed here and there, but the care was always very good and very personal. Don't hesitate at all to contact them and let them know about your various concerns. I think they will bend over backwards to accommodate.

    Good luck, you are in very good hands.

    Tom

    Comment


    • #3
      Big L

      - My husband was always allowed in to the exams rooms with me.

      - I had a private room. The post cardiac surgery rooms are all private. I asked about the private suites, my surgeon was not willing to let me stay up there.

      - I was in ICU for 2 days. My husband was by my side for almost the entire 2 days other than when he stepped out to get something to eat or went to shower. They actually had the most lax ICU visitation rules of any hospital I've ever been in.

      - I have been in the waiting rooms. There are comfortable upholstered chairs and if I recall correctly, there may even be an area with recliners, but I'll have to check with my husband on that. It is a really large room, and obviously, it is more busy in the morning as they are getting everyone off to surgery, so I imagine it could be a little loud and bustling then, but it definitely was not loud the couple of times I was in there. There are a couple of tv's in there, but they are spread out and not loud and blaring in the whole room. I'm sure they could direct her to a nice quiet area to sit and wait. They are very accommodating there, I'm sure they'll help her out. They will not let you check into your room before hand because you will be going to ICU afterwards and it's not really a "room". At some point in the whole process (I can't remember when exactly) they took my husband on a tour and showed him where he would be waiting, where I would be and where ICU was, etc.
      #1 OHS 1980 Wolfe Parkinson White, Duke, Dr Sealy.
      #2 4/08 Tricuspid Replacement (31mm St. Judes Biocor), ASD closure with Bovine Patch, modified right sided Maze Procedure, Mayo clinic

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      • #4
        FWIW, I had my surgery at Mayo Clinic - Phoenix, and from what I know of Mayo I would expect similar policies as Rochester.

        - My wife was welcomed to the exam by my Dr.
        - I understand that all the rooms at Mayo - Phoenix are private.
        - My wife said that she was told to limit her time visiting me in ICU to 5 min, but it was never enforced. The only time she was asked to leave was when they were pulling my breathing tube, and she had no intention of staying for that. I would guess that how much this is enforced may depend on how well the patient is doing.
        - I was not checked into a room prior to surgery, but my family had no restrictions on staying in the waiting room. They were free to leave the waiting room or the hospital as long as they could be contacted by cell phone. I know they spent some time outside in a garden by a waterfall. The bench was hard but it was a nice environment. Also, they had a surgery status board in both the waiting room and the cafeteria showing the current status of every surgery by case #, sort of like an airport flight arrival/departure board.

        I am quite satisfied with my choice of Mayo Clinic - Phoenix. Though it is not as highly rated as Rochester, it is significantly influenced by practices and research from Rochester, and that influenced my decision. I certainly would be comfortable with Rochester.
        At age 51 diagnosed with Bicuspid Aortic Valve and Aortic Aneurysm (root 5.0cm, ascending 5.1cm)
        Valve sparing surgery (Yacoub) performed May 2013, Mayo Clinic, Phoenix, AZ

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by big_L View Post
          We're mulling over some questions/concerns since our recent decision to use the Mayo Clinic. I'm hoping that some here can help answer these and alleviate some of the anxiety.

          Spouse in the Exam room
          - if you refer Here to p. 39, you might think that your spouse may not be allowed to go into the exam room with you. Surely this is not the case? I can't imagine not having my wife in the exam room for these very important discussions.



          My DH was always in exam room with me for all appointments. The surgeons actually like that as it is another set of ears. The patient doesn't always grasp everything they say as it is so much to process and having a trusted family member with you can make a difference. I have never heard of any surgeon or cardiologist, at any hospital/office who refused the patient's request to have someone with them.


          Private Rooms - My surgery would be at St. Mary's. How does the room assignment work. We REALLY need a private room for the peace and quiet. Is it hard to get a private room? Do you show up and find out they don't have any private rooms available? Are the suites an option for heart surgery patients? I know we'd have to pay more, but this is a bid deal for us.


          Wouldn't we all love a private room. Some hospitals have private rooms for heart surgery patients and some do not. I had a roommate one of my surgeries and a room to myself for the other. The newer Cardiac Surgery Floors seem to have more private rooms than older hospitals/floors.





          ICU Time
          I haven't found anything on this at Mayo, but I found it somewhere else. It was a statement that visitors would only be allowed in ICU for 10 minutes per hour. Wow - this would be very difficult for the significant other/spouse. 50 minutes in waiting room every hour? Any comments?


          As patient, you will be in and out of sleep the first hours after surgery. You will be happy to see your DW but will doze off again. We all do. She should expect this and be prepared. My DH and other family member visited with me as soon as I woke so I knew they were there and they could assure me I was safe and had done well. That was enough for me. I did not want them staying 24/7 at the hospital the way some patients do. That is a personal choice and my choice was that as soon as I felt I was concious and aware, I did not want my DH sitting all those hours in the hospital. I was getting good care and knew it. I also felt enough in control to advocate for myself. That choice will be yours. Some CICU enforce strict visitation rules and some do not and some make exceptions, on occasion.


          Finally - Loud waiting rooms with noisy people and hard chairs are an issue for my wife. She's recovering from breast cancer and is still dealing with pain issues. Would I be checked into my room BEFORE surgery and then she could wait in the room alone?


          Likely you will not yet be checked into your room but your hospital may do it different than I experienced at Mass General. You will go to CICU after your surgery and they are not apt to permit a patient still in surgery into that unit. At Mass General, a visitor has to be buzzed in. You cannot simply enter. Each of us stay a different amount of time in CICU so they cannot say in advance how long before you will be moved from CICU to a step down room therefore, no room will be assigned you in advance. You could be there 10 hours or a number of days. No knowing in advance.

          Your DW should bring along a pillow, a throw blanket, whatever it is that could provide comfort for herself. The heart surgical waiting area for families is different in all hospitals. It would be good when you go for pre-surgery checks to inquire as to what facilities they have for comfort so she will know what to expect.

          Thanks in advance.



          My answers in bold. Hope they help.

          Comment


          • #6
            As stated above.

            My family was with me at all times, during every discussion. Only time was when they rolled me into the pre op room to wait for one of the surgical rooms to open up.

            They ask you if you prefer a room alone or not, and yes it's more money, but a small price to pay, and my family was there whenever I asked for them.

            The waiting room at St Mary's is very quiet, low key, and comfortable.

            So what I'm trying to say is that everything you are worried about, is not an issue. I had an incredible experience there, and if I'm due for surgery again, I'm not hesitating to go right on back there. Great staff, friendly people, comfortable rooms, and very accommodating. It's like staying at the Ritz except medicated out of your mind!
            Aortic Valve Replacement. February 23, 2012.
            Dr. Harold Burkhart, Mayo Clinic, Rochester Minnesota. St. Jude Valve.
            "Be the light for those that walk in darkness"

            Comment


            • #7
              Well, I've gotten busy with work and yard work etc. and haven't responded. Thanks for the replies. I spoke with Mayo and -yes- I think we'll be fine. MOSTLY private rooms, spouse in the exam is just fine and ICU time isn't a problem.

              Thanks
              AVR 08/23/2013. 23 mm St. Jude Regent (Mechanical). Dr. Soon Park and Dr. Obrador Quintana, Mayo Clinic - Rochester.

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