Aortic Valve Replacement Surgery - any tips?

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CatDad82

Member
Joined
Jul 1, 2019
Messages
8
The worst of my first surgery was waking up still intubated, and then being allowed to become fully alert, still intubated. I was led to believe that I would be disconnected when I awoke. I thought I was going to die from choking. Luckily, my nurse saw how freaked out I was and gave me the suction device, and so I was suctioning myself, which helped me calm down. After that surgery, I've always told my anethesiologist that I want that breathing tube out before I wake up. And I've had 2 more surgeries now, and have not had a repeat of that first time. I can agree with all the other posters on their thoughts, too.
That happened to me too. It was so awful. I thought I would choke.
 

Protimenow

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 10, 2010
Messages
3,031
Location
California
By now, the surgery is finished, you've probably gone home. I hope everything went well.

In my case, I have a few vivid post-op memories:

The most interesting, I think, was waking up for a while in post-op. This seemed like it was the following morning, and there were obviously a few others in there, from the sound of the meters (and probably machines, and people attending to patients).

The patient in the bed next to me coded. I heard all kinds of activity going on in that area, and finally, the person died. I remember thinking - and possibly saying out loud - 'thank you.' My thought at the time was that, if somebody in that room was going to die, I'm glad that it wasn't me.

I remember walking down the halls, building my strength. I remember being very disappointed when I had tachycardia - I assumed that it would stop after the surgery.

I remember on the way home (my wife drove, of course), stopping at Costco to get some prescriptions filled - walking in and being grouchier and more impatient than I usually am. I'm sure that the staff REALLY appreciated it.

I also remember, in retrospect, probably dealing with pump head....my surgery was in August. In December, my job review wasn't good -- and I didn't react as aggressively as I probably should have. I blamed this on a new supervisor -- but it may have been that my performance wasn't at a level that it was before the surgery.

(I wish I'd been able to respond better -- this may have been the best job of my life -- until my next one(?))
 

CatDad82

Member
Joined
Jul 1, 2019
Messages
8
That happened to me too. It was so awful. I thought I would choke.
I was the same way. I woke up and they kept my tubes in for hours. I was restrained as well so my movement was really limited. Fortunately they gave me anti anxiety meds regularly to keep me from freaking out too much. I did have a couple instances when they had to suction me and I thought I was going to choke though. It was one of the worst experiences I’ve ever lived through.
 

Chris

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 19, 2011
Messages
52
Location
Los Angeles, CA
Yeah, waking up with the tube still in isn't pleasant. In 2010 (first AVR) they brought me around as they removed the tube. I wasn't fully awake, so the tube wasn't bad, but when they suctioned the top of mu lungs just before they removed it, my heart went into A-fib. And that lasted about six hours. That was a rough afternoon for me.

This time (June 2019) they brought me most of the way around and proceeded to tell me they'd take the tube out in about thirty minutes, which was not what I was hoping to hear. I don't meditate, but I started trying to right then. :)
 

Ladybug

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 30, 2019
Messages
52
Hi...I thought I could share my story. My name is David. I’m 37 and I recently found out I have a heart murmur and need to have my aortic valve and aorta replaced. My surgery is scheduled on July 10th. They’re going to give me a St Jude mechanical valve and do a graft to replace my aorta. Is there anything you wish you’d known going into the surgery beforehand?

Thanks!
 

Ladybug

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 30, 2019
Messages
52
CatDad82,

You are recovering, I’m sure. But please let us know how you are doing.

Well wishes...
Ladybug
 

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