AVR on Nov 21, 2022

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Dunwanted

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 3, 2022
Messages
45
Location
Dominican Republic
Hello Everyone,

hope you´re having a great day.

I have my surgery date set for November 21, 2022 in cleveland Ohio, meaning i will doing international travel for my surgery, to be honest i havent been nervous about the operation but i feel that when the day comes i will be panicking which i think is completely normal.

I wanted to get some advice from people who have done any type of travelling for their surgery (specifically travel via airplane), to see after how much time it took them to travel back via airplane as i do not want to spend my entire recovery time in the cold weather, i preffer my usual warm caribbean weather :)

I havent spoken with my surgeon yet, which means i haven´t had the valve selection talk with my surgeon (because everything has been in such a rush) but from what i´ve heard everything points that i will get a mechanical and most likely be hometesting my INR as soon as possible, Has anyone had any type of minimally invase surgery (mini thoracotomy or mini sternothomy) if so, how long was the healing time is it shorter than the regular Sternotomy surgery?


Also wanted to thank everyone in this forum, this forum is filled with useful information and has helped my a lot!
 

Croooser

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Supporting Member
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Apr 21, 2021
Messages
89
My surgery at CC was a mini sternotomy for a tissue AVR and an aortic aneurysm repair. I was cleared to fly home (2.5 hr flight) 6 days after surgery. We took the CC supplied car service to the airport and they are very familiar with handling heart patients from the hotel to the airport. My wife put me in a wheelchair at the Cleveland airport and In Orlando but I was able to walk myself from baggage to the curb. She drove home (1.5 hr). And... I was 71 yo in pretty good shape. If you have a connecting flight, plan accordingly.

Obviously, it depends on whether or not there are complications.

HTH
 

Survived03

Member
Joined
Nov 7, 2022
Messages
9
Location
California
Back in 2003 I traveled about 5 hours to attend my fathers funeral post surgery. This was after full repair of an ascending aortic aneurysm and BAV temporary repair. My surgeon assured me it was safe to travel. My cardiologist also ok’d the trip but advised me that in a few cases you may go into arrhythmia post surgery and should seek local care so I had a plan in place to visit ER if this occurred. Which it did not. Having gone through arrhythmia since then, I’m not as frightened by this possibility. I did take advantage of wheelchair service throughout the travel. Good luck and don’t worry.
Edit: I failed to mention the critical point. This was one week out of surgery.
 
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bizinsider

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Joined
Jun 27, 2016
Messages
177
Location
San Diego, CA
Hi there...

I had my bio-bentall and ascending aorta repair with a single bypass at CC in March 2020. Full sternotomy. Stayed at the adjoining Intercontinental. I was 67 at the time. I had a mild complication that had nothing to do with my heart, so was in the hospital for 8 days. (Somehow wound up on the VIP floor for the final three days, which was kind of cool.) We flew home to California on Day 10. It was a four-hour flight. Was in first class, which I highly recommend post-surgery - just treat yourself (or biz class Internationally.) Flew into LAX and had a car service take us the hour and a half to San Diego. I was surprised how good I felt and how the travel was inconsequential. I used CC's car service coming in, and going back to the Cleveland airport, and they helped setup the wheelchair service, which is a must on both ends.

You do NOT want to try to walk it. The distance from the gates to the terminal is MUCH longer than you might think. The folks who handled the wheelchair put our bags up and took them down. I was sitting at my desk working on Day 11. International travel takes it to another level, which is why I urge you to pay up for FC/biz if you can.

But to reassure you, unless you are in very bad physical condition going into surgery, you should be fine on the other side. If anything, I was stunned how rapidly I started to improve. And my chest never really hurt. My back - yes! But my chest, no. (And for what it's worth, if you have back pain and your surgeon has a holistic nurse on staff, as did mine – Svensson – take full advantage of his/her skills at whatever it is they do. Mine did Reiki (a type of foot massage) and the back pain miraculously improved. I was dubious, but at that point I was willing to try anything.

It sounds like you have a great attitude. Keep that up through the process, along with your sense of humor. Treat it as as an unexpected bump in this journey of life. The heart is very forgiving, and remodels itself as "thank you" for doing the repair. Best of luck.
 

Dunwanted

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 3, 2022
Messages
45
Location
Dominican Republic
Thank you survived, bizinsider and LondonAndy for your comments .

Just finished all my test and talked to a cardiologist and was given my options, thank god i did this know my biscupid valve is a unicuspid valve due to how calcified one of the leaflet is it doesn't even move.

I was given 4 options here at Cleveland Clinic:
1- mechanical (on-x)
2- bovine
3- Ross
4- Ozaki

I have dont research for all the options previously everything looks like im going for a mechanical, eve tho the ross seems very promising.

Thanks everyone for the support and all the information, thanks to everyone here im know what to expect and that makes me less nervous or anxious.
 

LondonAndy

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Aug 1, 2015
Messages
556
Location
London, UK
Another tip: take pen and paper with you, in case you need to leave messages. I presume it is the same in the US, and surgeons or doctors do ward rounds daily after surgery? Well, it seemed like almost every time they came around I was not in my bed, having been taken off for an x-ray or some other test. They spoke to me as if it was my fault when I did see them! So I made up notes to leave on the pillow, such as "Gone for x-ray" etc, and "In hot tub with Nurse Lottie", who had the most infectious laugh ever and I could hear laughing all the way down the corridor after I showed her that one ...
 

Dunwanted

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 3, 2022
Messages
45
Location
Dominican Republic
Thanks Andy,

I just spoke with mt surgeon which was pushing more for ross procedure or ozaki procedure.

I told him im already set on the mechsnival and going to the on-x, he also said i am medium risk for cardiac surgery which i dont know exactly how much more riskier it is for me.
 

pellicle

Professional Dingbat, Guru and Merkintologist
Joined
Nov 4, 2012
Messages
10,739
Location
Queensland, OzTrayLeeYa
and going to the on-x
before you sign up:
 

Dunwanted

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 3, 2022
Messages
45
Location
Dominican Republic
before you sign up:
Thanks for the information.

Fun fact doctors said im a special case, my bicuspid aortic valve became unicuspid due to the amount to calcification on one of the leaflet.
 

DaveLee

Active member
Joined
Mar 28, 2021
Messages
27
I would like to tell you my experience once back in my own bed.
I had a lot pain so needed a strong pain killer, so Oxycodone was what I was given, it worked great. I took one before bed an would wake up with pain about 4am. I keep the pills and water on the night stand. Then one night I woke reached over for the pills and then it hit me right between the eyes I WAS NOT IN PAIN but my body was me telling to take the pill. It took me a moment to figure out what was going on. I put the pills back on the night and went back to sleep. The next day I gave them to my wife and ask her to hide them and I never took another one. That was in 2008.

Dave
 

Unicusp

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 30, 2021
Messages
330
I had a mini sternotomy back in 2013, and a full sternotomy last year. The full had quicker recovery and much less pain. I had bad upper back pain for months and pericardial effusion after the mini.
Agreed on the mechanical choice over the other options.
For pain, try to get morphine instead of fentanyl. Works better.
I had a unicuspid aortic valve as well.
Good luck!
 

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