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2nd op easier than first!

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markp66

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I had my failed tissue aortic valve replaced with a mechanical valve 6 weeks ago. I hated the week in hospital- scary, painful, constant tests etc etc etc and Im hoping my mechanical valve does last forever- at least 45 years!

Although the redo was awful for me (especially pre op worrying) the surgeon actually said there were absolutely no complications and it was easier, although longer than the first op. I had bleeding issues with my first op but even in the space of 4 years bleeding can be much more easily controlled than before. I think anyone with a tissue valve who is expecting a reop somewhere down the line should be very confident that the next op will go very smoothly once the week in hospital is over. My surgeon said without complications I shouldn't need another op but he did say that even another op wouldn't be too risky and there are people who are on their 5th valve replacement. However, he certainly didn't advice me to go down that route!

I still find it very strange when there is such a mixed perception on how long valves should last- some surgeons say tissue valves could last up to 20 years+, others say 8-15. Mechanical valves are meant to last forever, my surgeon and others I've spoken to agree. Others say 20-30. Valve companies say 200 years. My view is that a mechanical has the potential to last forever without complications and newer valves such as on x/ carbomedic both have their own ways to prevent pannus. I think the way valves are implanted these days is much better and more 'secure' from what I've been told. There is really no telling how long valves will last until there is significant new data in the future, tissue or mechanical but I guess the good news is that heart surgery is getting safer every other year so whatever the outcome we know we will be in good hands when it's time for another op.
 

Phil

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Hi Mark,

Glad to read things went so well and to read of your positive experience second time around. As one who is likely to undergo a second valve replacement next year it was very comforting reading.

Good luck and all the best for a wonderful recovery.


Phil.
 

ottagal

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Thanks for the reassuring post on having second op! I am certain you are glad to have that week behind you. At some point I will need a re-op and will think of your positive post when the time comes.

Wishing you all the very best with your continued recovery.
P.S. I could relate to you recounting that horrible week in hospital.
 

markp66

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Anytime in hospital is horrible! It was probably the worst week of my life. But it's just a week which I guess is a small price to pay for long term gain. And it only took me a few weeks at home to feel normal(ish). As my tissue valve failed after 4 years there was no chance I was risking it again because as my surgeon said, I'd be on my 4th reop by 40! I'd probably go tissue again if my mech valve needs replacing in 25-30 years though I'm sure there would be a longer lasting valve, if not from stem cells that would get me through to 80!

Phil- many people say their 2nd op is easier. I'm not quite sure why and maybe it's just been a coincidence with the people I've spoken to but there seem to be very few complications and recovery is just as quick.

Good luck!
 

dick0236

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...... and Im hoping my mechanical valve does last forever- at least 45 years!
.
I hope mine does too. Pretty sure I'll get "45 years" since I only have about nine months to go.....then we'll see about "forever". Good luck to you and your goal is realistic.
 

markp66

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The reason for my horrible week was a combination of things. PRE surgery was awful, slightly terrified which apparently is a good thing (body is meant to fight and work harder to survive...). The PRE Med they gave me did nothing. I didn't sleep well the night before the op. The PRE med in the morning was also Ineffective and when I was taken down to theatre I was completely with it and aware of everything. By that time I was hoping to be sleeping! Post op- I woke up in Intensive care and tried to pull the tube out of my mouth as I felt I was choking. I was then sick after drinking lots of water on and off all day (extremely painful post op!). When I went back to the high dependency ward there was a guy who was shouting in pain all night so I didn't get any sleep. I was also in a lot of pain and whatever they gave me didn't seem to work! The next day when they took my tubes out of my chest, probably the most horrific experiences of mine. Thankfully the nurses were amazing but it makes me feel sick even thinking about how they are pulled out through your body (4 big tubes!). Pacing wires being removed were not so bad. From then on it got slightly easier as I had my own room and all tubes etc had been removed. Constant blood tests and constant monitoring all added to the experience!

Having said all of that it's amazing how quick we recover from something so major and as I say, it's just 4-7 days of hell and then the gradual improvement is actually a great feeling. The main thing is to be as fit and healthy as possible pre op. It counts for so much in the recovery.

I think I'm slightly wimpish so if I can get through this I'm pretty sure anyone else can!
 

markp66

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Dick- amazing that you are nearly at 45 years with one of the earliest valve models. From what you have said in previous threads you are not the only one in the 4th decade with one valve. Bring on 50 years!

If you have any secrets let us know!
 

dick0236

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Dick- amazing that you are nearly at 45 years with one of the earliest valve models. From what you have said in previous threads you are not the only one in the 4th decade with one valve. Bring on 50 years!

If you have any secrets let us know!
How does that old saying go....."do as I say, not as I do". If I am able to make it, anyone can.....I have not always been a good patient.
 

Jkm7

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I had two OHS in four years and without question the second was much easier on me than the first. The moment I first opened my eyes the second surgery, I knew the truck that hit me was going much slower and was smaller than the train that mowed me down the first time. My recovery was smooth and without complication, thankfully. I certainly wouldn't relish the thought of another surgery but would not dread it quite as much,,,,,, I don't think.
 

LJM

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Nov 22, 2011
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I am 6 weeks post op on my 4th OHS. And i am starting to feel good now.

the hospital is the worst of it. I am thankful its over.
Glad ur home & getting better.
 

ElectLive

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I think anyone with a tissue valve who is expecting a reop somewhere down the line should be very confident that the next op will go very smoothly once the week in hospital is over. My surgeon said without complications I shouldn't need another op but he did say that even another op wouldn't be too risky...
You know, surgeons say this all the time...but still good to hear some first-hand evidence!
 

OldManEmu

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Mark
I found my second surgery considerably easier than the first, however the second time I wasn't in class IV heart failure to begin with.
I am a believer in the research that shows the condition and age of the patient going into surgery is the most important indicator of the likely outcome.
 

neil

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good to read 2nd op is not to bad for most,
 

bdryer

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LJM, you have had 4 OHS!? That makes you a rock star on VR.ORG.

Neil, in this day and age of medical advancement, "if"......and perhaps when you go through round 2 of OHS, that will only raise you to status of a groupie. LOL! Me I'm happy to be a "fan", anticipating my 1st OHS, "may" be my last as my MHV will out live me.
 

Kathy McCain

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Thanks Mark, and everyone for the encouraging and positive posts!!!

Good luck to you all!
 

neil

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mmmm groupie that sounds kinda grovvy baby lol
 

offwego

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Great thread and I also found my 2nd Mitral valve repair 7 weeks ago. I was prepared for the worst and of course dreaded it but while it wasn't the most pleasant thing to do, it was incredibly smooth and drama free (this time at least)..

The first operation was 10x harder, more painful, etc.. I have many posts about it.

I would have made the same decision as you did if my tissue valve had failed after 4 years...I was prepared for a tissue valve but amazingly the surgeon was able to fix it (easily in is words)..

Glad your surgery went so well!
 

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