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  1. L

    I have 4 days to decide - help!

    The tissue valve may not get you 10-15 years. You may need a replacement earlier. I've seen too many posts from those who opted for tissue having been told they'd get 10-15 years, and they needed VR much sooner. I've been hearing about the TEVAR for almost 5 years ago when I pondered tissue vs...
  2. L

    TAVI Valve in valve

    Yes, so far only uses of this is among elderly and high-risk who could not withstand traditional surgery. Five years ago, I heard the same thing here: oh, they'll all be catheter replaced in the future. Five years later, there's no change in TAVI being used only for elderly and high risk. The...
  3. L


    That's probably fairly common. If surgery has never even been a remote blip on your radar screen, finding out you need it can be jarring. I've known since I was a kid that "one day" I might need a heart valve replaced, so it's been in the back of my mind, and when the time came for the need, I...
  4. L

    Home monitoring ... I'm sure I'm doing it right, but ...

    Totally agree. I have a friend who takes warfarin, not because of a valve, and if she's even a tiny bit over target, clinic tells her to stop or lower her dose.
  5. L

    Cooling the body down freaks me a bit

    I found it mildly unsettling; however, it's what needs to be done; it's managed and controlled by professionals who know what they're doing and do this regularly. You won't really be clinically dead, as you'll still have brain waves and all your organs will still be oxygenated. It's just that...
  6. L

    Vitamin K tablets

    I would much rather be close to 3, don't know why you want to aim for lower range. If you want to keep yourself in a narrow range, I would aim for 2.5-3.0, just my opinion. I don't know what it is about self testing and the desire to over manage numbers and see this a lot with diabetics who...
  7. L

    Home monitoring ... I'm sure I'm doing it right, but ...

    Since such a small amount of people on ACT test at home, I don't think they're the problem. The problem with doses going up and down every few days comes from doctor's offices and ACT clinics. Your last statement is probably true for almost all who test at home and self-dose. I've heard way...
  8. L

    Home monitoring ... I'm sure I'm doing it right, but ...

    Thank you. Back in the 1960s when valves were replaced the INR test didn't exist. Some of those folks are still with us today, having gone through years on no testing. Imagine that. One of the problems with ACT mismanagement is too much testing. Testing every few days and adjusting doses that...
  9. L

    Medical ID's

    Probably not if someone put his/her ear to my chest, but a stethoscope does block some outside noise and if they can't hear my valve, they can't hear my heart beating either. More importantly, what is someone going to do at a disaster scene that would matter if I were or were not taking...
  10. L

    Questions to ask a cardiac surgeon

    First thing I asked was if I could have VR without a sternotomy and surgeon said possibly with a mini thoracotomy, about a 3 inch incision between 2 ribs on the right side of my chest about 5-6 inches down from collar bone. I was glad not to have had my sternum broken.
  11. L

    might need heart surgery

    It does for some, though not all. If he's having a problem he should ask doc to Rx a different med.
  12. L

    32 and confused re: valve type selection

    Yes, that estimate is for some, though the younger one is, the less likely a tissue valve is to last a long time. I considered a tissue valve with almost 20 years older than original poster, and surgeon said a tissue valve would mean 2, possibly 3, additional surgeries. Bottom line for me I did...
  13. L

    TAVI Valve in valve

    There have been successes with TAVI reported for the last couple of years for high-risk patients. Some studies show an increased risk of stroke post surgery. No doubt it's a viable option for high-risk patients, but the likelihood of it being the preferred way for VR one day, still seems a bit...
  14. L

    How will I know if it's A-fib?

    You most likely will not be able to determine if you're in afib unless you've had it before and know what it feels like for you. If you're experiencing any irregular beats, particularly if you're short of breath or light-headed, have someone drive you to the ER or call 911.
  15. L

    Mechanical valve - irregular heartbeat

    I had afib in the hosptial and a few brief episodes once I was home. I do get some irregular beats now and then, but always go back to normal fairly quickly, like less than 30 seconds, so don't think it's a concern. I first had PVCs years ago when I had endocarditis, and have had them off and...
  16. L

    Medical ID's

    I have no ID and see no need for one. I don't have the traditional sternotomy scar, had a mini thoracotomy instead, but one listen to my heart and the mechanical valve will be heard. Loud and clear. I figure it will be heard unless heart has stopped, and in that case it won't matter. I do have...
  17. L

    Mechanical Valve Clicking

    The older St Jude valves, Masters, are more noisy than the newer ones, Regent, at least that's what I've heard. I rarely hear my Regent. It would be interesting to know how the same model mechanical valve can be noisy in one person, and much quieter in another. Does it have something to do with...
  18. L

    Mechanical Valve Clicking

    Let your surgeon choose the valve. When I first met with surgeon, we agreed on On-X valve; however, I ended up with a St Jude Regent. Something about he On-X not sitting right in me, so he switched. I rarely hear the valve. I sleep on my side and that's the only time I hear it, and it's not...
  19. L

    might need heart surgery

    Daniel Bethencourt, MD, might be a good choice, too. He's at Long Beach Memorial and I believe Orange Coast Memorial, too. He was my surgeon and I highly recommend him.
  20. L

    Side and tummy sleeper....how long after surgery will i be on my back??

    I slept on my back in the hospital, but not once I got home. I was able to sleep on my left side, the one I favor, as soon as I was home. My chest tube was on the right side, as I did not have a sternotomy, if you are, drainage tubes are usually in the middle section below chest. I could sleep...