Aortic valve replacement problem

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Kathmack

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Had an aortic valve replacement procedure about three months ago and after that the doctor saw that the new valve was regurgitating more blood than it should. So he did a TEE procedure to find out what happened but the TEE test results said that the new valve had fixed itself during the weeks since he had first seen the valve problem. I am still worried about the valve though. Has anyone had this problem happen?
 

pellicle

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Hi
can you tell us some more basics?

Its often the case that the least invasive methods of understanding what is going on are the least accurate and least reliable, which is why when we use a test and get a result we find curious we move on to a more reliable test.

Time is the best test, so my advice is that if you don't feel bad then don't make yourself feel bad with concerns. Some advice from the past
Marcus Aurelius
1626475165559.png


Seneca
1626475109443.png
 

Warrick

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TAVRs still pretty “new” so I guess the way the outside mesh cage expands and seals could have had paravalvular leakage but now does not.
TEE or trans esophageal echo is from what I understand is the best look at things as they dont have the ribs in the way clouding the picture, so I’d be satisfied if they say its good then it is.
 

Kathmack

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TAVRs still pretty “new” so I guess the way the outside mesh cage expands and seals could have had paravalvular leakage but now does not.
TEE or trans esophageal echo is from what I understand is the best look at things as they dont have the ribs in the way clouding the picture, so I’d be satisfied if they say its good then it is.
Thanks for your input Warrick - I will definitely try to be as calm as I can be but I was so taken aback upon learning that I had a valve problem in the first place that it really scared me in a major way. I’ve mostly been wound around my other health issues (panhypopituitarism and severe lumbar spine pain) that I made the assumption that those issues were all I needed to pay attention to.
 

pellicle

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but I was so taken aback upon learning that I had a valve problem in the first place that it really scared me in a major way
It usually does that to people, but being here with a similar group should help you see this just a bit of plumbing that needs attention on occasion, and we go on leading normal lives with minor adjustments. Most of my adjustments have been age related.

PS: I feel that much of this problem is centered around the mistaken view (pervasive in our language) that the heart is special.
  • affairs of the heart
  • the heart of the matter
  • my heart isn't in it anymore
stuff like that.

Yet the brain is often maligned in language as only being about intelligence or emotion:
  • he's some sort of brainiac
  • doesn't have a brain
  • all those egg heads

However the heart is no more than a pump. Sure you can't live without a heart, but equally you can't live without a liver or a brain. Certainly its crucial but can be repaired or even replaced (see heart lung transplants). However disease like cancer seldom strikes the heart but does indeed strike the brain and if it does you're a goner ...

Repair of the heart is (while a complex surgery) possible. The brain ... not so much.
 
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Kathmack

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It usually does that to people, but being here with a similar group should help you see this just a bit of plumbing that needs attention on occasion, and we go on leading normal lives with minor adjustments. Most of my adjustments have been age related.

PS: I feel that much of this problem is centered around the mistaken view (pervasive in our language) that the heart is special.
  • affairs of the heart
  • the heart of the matter
  • my heart isn't in it anymore
stuff like that.

Yet the brain is often maligned in language as only being about intelligence or emotion:
  • he's some sort of brainiac
  • doesn't have a brain
  • all those egg heads

However the heart is no more than a pump. Sure you can't live without a heart, but equally you can't live without a liver or a brain. Certainly its crucial but can be repaired or even replaced (see heart lung transplants). However disease like cancer seldom strikes the heart but does indeed strike the brain and if it does you're a goner ...

Repair of the heart is (while a complex surgery) possible. The brain ... not so much.
Thanks for your very interesting and erudite message. I certainly agree that the brain is definitely more important than the heart in so many ways. When I was told I had panhypopituitarism twenty years ago I was much more concerned than I am about my heart since the endocrinologist who diagnosed my illness (after a decade of my searching for a diagnosis) stressed that the pituitary gland is known as the master gland and is central to the proper operation of all the endocrine glands. Almost anything that has gone awry with my health has been in some way aligned with my nonoperational pituitary. My bones in particular have been majorly impacted by this situation, especially my back which is a big mess. Had back surgery five years ago but the surgeon made an awful mistake leaving me with worse pain than before surgery. I prayed that this would be the last health situation I’d have but along came my aortic stenosis. I think I wouldn’t have any concerns were it not for the doctor telling me after surgery that the new valve was regurgitating more blood than it was supposed to. He said that I was the only patient he’d had where this had happened and said a TEE procedure was necessary to figure out why this had occurred. So I had the procedure and afterwards the doctor said the valve had corrected itself and nothing else had to be done. That was two weeks ago so I’m trying to keep ultra busy in order to elude my worries. Thanks very much for sharing your thoughts.
 

pellicle

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Hi Kath

When I was told I had panhypopituitarism twenty years ago I was much more concerned than I am about my heart since the endocrinologist who diagnosed my illness (after a decade of my searching for a diagnosis) stressed that the pituitary gland is known as the master gland and is central to the proper operation of all the endocrine glands.
I'm not sure if your opening sentences were intended to be a chide, however in my defence I knew only about your heart issues. So I am sorry if I caused you any offense.

You seem to have a fair share of other issues, and I'm sorry that is the hand you got dealt. I can only say about the heart surgery issues that under normal circumstances its just a short drop down in quality of life during recovery and an improvement there after for the majority of us.

When a particular event occured in my life I gave up on prayer entirely and instead decided that what I should do is work on what I know and what has measurable observable effects in my life. I have tried since then to make my mind so that things. My only reflections and meditations now are on my own spirit and what I can do to make it stronger and cope with situations as best as I can. I ask god for nothing, I accept what the universe provides.
 

tezza

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Great news that the TEE showed that everything is well. Focus on the positive and move forward, as you are doing. It is natural to worry when things aren't right, I would have been worried too. Hoping that it continues to go well for you.
 

Kathmack

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Great news that the TEE showed that everything is well. Focus on the positive and move forward, as you are doing. It is natural to worry when things aren't right, I would have been worried too. Hoping that it continues to go well for you.
Thanks very much! I’m doing the best I can to not worry about things over which I have no control. There was a time when I completely trusted whatever I was told regarding my health status but after the big error that occurred during my back surgery in 2016 I realized that some folks in the medical profession make mistakes and will go to the nth degree to escape responsibility. I was surprised with a capital S when I got a letter and a phone call from the head of the hospital telling me that an error had occurred in their operating theater and recommended that I retain an attorney. The physician who actually made the error never contacted me about it or took any responsibility for what happened. I am sorry that I allowed this situation to affect me as much as it has but I had consented to the back surgery thinking that I’d regain the quality of life that I had previously, but instead woke up in worse shape than ever. I really believe that at some point I will firmly deposit my negativity into my Forgotten Past Basket.
 

Kathmack

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Hi Kath



I'm not sure if your opening sentences were intended to be a chide, however in my defence I knew only about your heart issues. So I am sorry if I caused you any offense.

You seem to have a fair share of other issues, and I'm sorry that is the hand you got dealt. I can only say about the heart surgery issues that under normal circumstances its just a short drop down in quality of life during recovery and an improvement there after for the majority of us.

When a particular event occured in my life I gave up on prayer entirely and instead decided that what I should do is work on what I know and what has measurable observable effects in my life. I have tried since then to make my mind so that things. My only reflections and meditations now are on my own spirit and what I can do to make it stronger and cope with situations as best as I can. I ask god for nothing, I accept what the universe provides.
Golly Pellicle in no way was I trying to chide you regarding your input on my valve situation! I very much appreciate your thoughts and I took no offense whatsoever re anything that you shared. In all honesty, my approach to life is essentially the same as yours and is more observable when I am not feeling a tad snowed under by uncontrollable events. I am very lucky to have a wonderful dog who patiently listens to me and offers lots of support while being quite unaware of the supportiveness she provides.
 

Michael O

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I will definitely try to be as calm as I can be but I was so taken aback upon learning that I had a valve problem in the first place that it really scared me in a major way.
Echoing Pellicle's comments above. One of the difficulties I've had in dealing with my (uniformly great) doctors is the rhetorical disconnect between the way they express the *urgency* of the procedure and the way they talk about the *difficulty* of the procedure.

They're going to great lengths to indicate that I must get this OHS as soon as is practically possible, but are disconcertingly calm about the surgery itself and the recovery path. It's not that they're being casual - it's that they've done thousands of similar procedures with good outcomes. My sense is that they see "convincing the patient to get to the table" as being more of a difficult task for them than "completing a successful procedure".

Once I sussed out the distinction between the urgency and the difficulty, I became a lot less anxious. Hope this helps.
 

Kathmack

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I had the TAVR procedure to correct my aortic valve so I realize I was fortunate in not needing to get an incision. Actually there was little in the way was of discomfort and I was only in the hospital for one day. The discomfort came a few weeks later when the surgeon told me that my valve was allowing too much blood to regurgitate. I just wasn’t prepared for that piece of info as the doctor had stressed what a piece of cake TAVR was in terms of safety and successfulness. I had left the hospital quite carefree where my heart was concerned so I was rather shaken upon learning that I was the only patient under my doctor’s care to whom this had happened. Gee whiz, lucky me! This was my second surgery wherein I had come through only to face a problem. However this time my new valve was able to fix itself apparently.
 

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