So I met with the surgeon that my cardiologist set me up with. When I saw my cardiologist, he advocated for a TAVR. I was unconvinced that was the right choice for me. Appealing, yes (potentially easier procedure & no anti-coagulant), but I really figured that it was time for a mechanical valve. He told me that the surgeon would tell me the same thing (go with a TAVR).
So I was a bit taken aback this afternoon when the surgeon (Dr. Eli Capouya) almost immediately said that I should get a mechanical valve. After all of the reading I've been doing, on this forum and elsewhere, I had come, slightly begrudgingly, to the same conclusion (before I saw him today).
We sat and talked for quite a while and went over every single thing I wanted to discuss, including the potential for an aneurysm. It doesn't look like I have any inkling of one at this point.
Next will be to get a heart cath scheduled and possibly have the SAVR, with a St. Jude valve, the following day.
Lots of emotions right now, but I do feel good to have come to a decision that jives with what my surgeon thinks. And I feel comfortable with him. And it'll be good to get this done and then not ever (fingers crossed) have to worry about having another OHS.
I am still going to see about getting a second opinion, but I'm less concerned about that after today.
If anyone has any personal experience with Dr. Capouya, I'd love to hear about it.
I encourage you to research ch the surgeon and the facility. The best hospitals in Atlanta only scored 54 out of 100. I was not willing to risk my life to those stats even though they do plenty here. My insurance covered Cleveland Clinic and all I paid for was travel and lodging. That was still not an insignificant amount, but well worth the reassurance that I had the best work on me. Ask your facility and doctor for their stats, how many of these surgeries do they do, what is their mortality rate, do they break it down by proactive vs. emergency and by age? National average mortality for what I had was 3.7%, but latest year Cleveland had on record (2017) was 1.1%. Cleveland breaks down their stats by type of surgery.
Don’t get me wrong any hospital can have issues or be great, I just did my homework and wanted all the odds possible on my side.