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Aortic valve repair or replacement, early 2020

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carolinemc

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30 years sounds like a pretty good deal for no Warfarin or ticking. I might take a second surgery later for that kind of trade.
You do not have to take blood thinners for repair back in 1970's. I was a child back then. But when I got older and at one point, a smoker and no insurance, no check ups on the valve. When I did have the replacement, I did go on Warfarin and had the clicks. Once you have a replacement Aortic Valve, you will be on blood thinners for life. I would trade for a different kind of Blood Thinner to have no more blood work every month, and be able to eat all the green veggies. And the valve I had replace was my original one I was born with.
 

Superman

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You do not have to take blood thinners for repair back in 1970's. I was a child back then. But when I got older and at one point, a smoker and no insurance, no check ups on the valve. When I did have the replacement, I did go on Warfarin and had the clicks. Once you have a replacement Aortic Valve, you will be on blood thinners for life. I would trade for a different kind of Blood Thinner to have no more blood work every month, and be able to eat all the green veggies. And the valve I had replace was my original one I was born with.
29 years on Warfarin myself. Very familiar with that and the ticking. However, I eat all the green veggies I want. Just so long as I test regularly. Had broccoli with my Chinese for my Birthday the other day. Having Brussel Sprouts with Thanksgiving (yes, on purpose- I like them).

I’ve done just fine with a mechanical valve, but if I knew I’d get 30 years on a repair- I’d take that trade for a second surgery later. The risk, or course, is that one can’t know how long a repair will last.
 

Superman

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or maybe the world will have crashed and burned ... before venturing into Sci-Fi answers, Blade Runner was set in last week. I saw it in 1983 ... I was just starting University. Doing Biochemistry as it happened.

View attachment 887260
Read, “Do Androids Dream if Electric Sheep?”, by Philip K. Dick. That’s the book Bladerunner is based on.

For more reading fun, the movie, “Total Recall” is based on a short story by the same author called, “We (can/will?) Remember it for you Wholesale.”
 

pellicle

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johnmarkos

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Thanks! Before and after pictures are a great idea, but I don't think I'll send them in the family holiday card. :D We never get around to sending them anyway, anymore.

I'm feeling less nervous about this surgery than I expected to a few years ago -- I knew this was coming eventually, since the early part of this decade. I guess the normally quite active worrying part of my brain has decided to be quiet about this one big thing and merely bother me about trivialities. I'm still thinking about it, trying to ask good questions and make good decisions, but I'm not anxious about it the way I sometimes get worked up about less consequential things.

And I'm happy to have scheduled the surgery, because my cardiologist and heart surgeon tell me that it's unwise to wait too long.
 
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johnmarkos

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Our system is a mess -- that's for sure, but in my own situation, I'm lucky to have had decent health insurance my whole life. I don't foresee that going away, knock on wood.

But, yeah. Lots of people aren't as fortunate as me -- we need universal healthcare in the USA.

So, about the future, take a clear eye'd look and ask the question: is funding getting better? Will you find yourself without a job (which underpins health care in the USA no)?
Eg
https://newsroom.heart.org/news/hig...cans-with-cardiovascular-disease?preview=7d5f
 

pellicle

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I'm lucky to have had decent health insurance my whole life. I don't foresee that going away, knock on wood.
hard to predict the future is. We have a member here (of patchy activity) who after his surgery had some cognitive and post surgical depression issues. He lost his job and spiralled down and then when his insurance ran out he spiralled down further and talked suicide things. I've spent some time on the phone with him, but its beyond my capacity to help (from the opposite side of the planet). His job was a very secure job that isn't under any sort of threat from AI, yet as you get older its under threat from younger men.

My point is: you just never know and valve surgery should be planning for the rest of your life (not just what happens before surgery, and a void after that)
 

johnmarkos

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Good point, and food for thought. Thank you for that, because it started me talking about "what if" scenarios with my spouse.

We talked about what we would do if I were experiencing post-surgical depression. Also, we discussed how we would ensure continued health insurance long term, even if I lost my job.

My point is: you just never know and valve surgery should be planning for the rest of your life (not just what happens before surgery, and a void after that)
 
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Superman

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My second one I was anxious for. My first one I was relieved it was coming. Talked to my dad recently and he doesn’t remember being nervous at all. But I had been preparing for that one my whole life and to me, it was an end to limitations.
 

Protimenow

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If you do a repair, you're betting that, by the time your repair fails, there will be better technology available than you can get today. For example, perhaps a new valve that won't require warfarin will be available. Perhaps a new medication that replaces warfarin and doesn't require weekly INR testing (and that doesn't cost as much as a Chevrolet every year) may be on the market. Perhaps a new transcatheter repair valve will be available with an expected 50 year lifespan.

It may not be that big a gamble to wait -- if the 'repair' doesn't damage your heart while it's failing.

OTOH - you can consider going with a mechanical and probably not having to worry about another surgery (barring things like aortic aneurism and other things unrelated to the valve).

Good luck, whatever route you decide to take.
 
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