Double valve surgery/a-fib

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M

Mb

Guest
Hello!
Just found this site. My husband is scheduled to have mitral/aortic valve surgerywithin the next three weeks. He is in the process of choosing a surgeon. He has a-fib (cardioverted once with no success), and CHF. He is a pretty sick guy. Fatigued, cough, (edema controlled with meds!!!), faintness, shortness of breath..etc, etc. etc. He was on zero meds Mid May, and now he is taking tons of stuff. Rheumatic ever at 19. Any coments, suggestions, info, would be appreciated.
 

Nancy

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 10, 2001
Messages
9,896
Location
upstate New York
Hi and Welcome

Hi and Welcome

So glad you found this site. You will find a treasure trove of info. and support here.

I just told my husband that I think I found his almost twin. However, my husband is scheduled for his 3rd heart valve surgery on July 18.

I'll give you a little background.

Joe had rheumatic fever as a teenager also. He's 70 years old now. He has a mechanical aortic valve replacement which is 24 years old, a mechanical mitral valve replacement which is 2 years old. The surgery coming up is for a redo on his mitral valve and also a "look-see" for his own tricuspid valve. Both of these are regurgitating. He also has a pacemaker which was implanted after he had 3 fainting episodes caused by afib and low heart rate, In addition to the low heart rate and afib, he also had periods of rapid heart rate. So the pacemaker acts in combination with a calcium channel blocker which slows his heart rate and the pacemaker which doesn't allow it to go too low. The pacemaker has the other advantage of having converted his heart rhythm to normal sinus rhythm, at least most of the time.

He also has had two lung surgeries, one for a benign tumor and the other on the other side for scar tissue which had caused a partial lung collapse and fluid backed up into his lung.

Right now he is experiencing extreme fatigue, edema which is controlled with Lasix and short bursts of Zaroxolyn, and shortness of breath. The fluid is backing up into his throat causing hoarseness, his lungs, causing shortness of breath and if it goes too far, his legs and ankles. He watches his weight religiously for any sudden gain and when the weight starts to get into a 5-10 lb. gain, he calls the cardiologist for med. adjustments. In addition to the diuretics, he is on a ton of meds. He's also on a salt free diet which he hates!

He was also anemic, but iron 3 times a day and folic acid took care of that. Otherwise he couldn't have the surgery.

I know what you must be feeling. It's a terribly tense period. Feel free to do a search on my member name which is Nancy (not NancyMVP), for other posts of mine which might be helpful. If you can find your way back to the old forum, there are posts there also.

If you want to email me, you can send an email through this site or directly to boggs614@aol.com, just mention Valvereplacement.com in the message title, so I don't think it's spam.
 
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B

Bill Hall

Guest
Mberge - Glad to see you found our site. I had my mitral valve repaired and aortic valve replaced by a homograft in Jan 2001. I had short periods of afib before surgery and more after surgery. One month after surgery it went away using meds and now I'm completely off meds. Cardiovert just after surgery did not work. I had rheumatic fever in 1963 and am now 48. I went to Cleveland for my surgery because they do a lot of surgeries and found a competant surgeon there. Good luck to your husband and you.
 
M

Mike in Florida

Guest
Hello Mberge4527

Hello Mberge4527

You certainly found the right place for
info on whatever questions you may have on your
husbands upcoming surgery. I'm a 40 yr. old who
also had rheumatic fever as a child. I did'nt
know I had heart valve problems until I began
having bouts of a-fib about 6yrs. ago. After a
few months of intermittant a-fib, I became
chronic and started to get CHF, after a couple
of nights of almost drowning in my sleep, and
extreme fatigue, my wife hauled me off to the
emergency room. For the next couple of yrs. I
kept the a-fib slowed down with drugs, but
still going in and out. The decision was made
to get to the root of the problem, and replace
my mitral and aortic valves with St. Judes
mechanical valves on Jan. 29,1998. I never had
a problem again with CHF, but the a-fib continued
to be a pain, after trying many different drugs,
I continued to be intermittant,and have been
chronic a-fib for 5 mths. or so, still working
on that problem. I think after your husband gets
his heart plumbing back where it needs to be, he
can concentrate more on getting the electrical
problems worked out. Ask as many questions as
you can come up with, this is the best heart
site I have found in my 5yrs. of playing on this
computer. I'm sure all will work out well,good
luck and God bless.
Mike in Florida
 
M

Mb

Guest
Thank you, thank you, thank you.....please keep those replies coming. They are helping! One more question.....coudl you let me know if you are all able to work???? Thanks
Marybeth
 
B

Bill Hall

Guest
MBERGE - Yes, I went back to work seven weeks after surgery and went full-time immediately. I didn't have much symptoms before surgery, so I don't feel any better, but not worse either.
 

Christina

Beloved Member
Joined
Jun 9, 2001
Messages
1,102
Location
AZ USA
Hi there MBerge4527,

I had two AVR's last August (second one due to blood clot) and did not go back to work for quite a while. I do physical work, and was simply unable to do it. Even when I finally did go back it was a major strain on the sternum at first. My incision also was very sore due to keloids. It is still sore, but not as bad. I hope it'll get better with time.
I was able to do some work on the computer after about 5 weeks, but not a whole day. My upper back would start to bother me, and I just couldn't sit that long. Was glad I had the luxury of staying home that long and getting my strength back.
I am almost 11 months post-op now, and am back to the old grind. Feeling okay most days, not every day!
I have had days that I felt on top of the world and felt wonderful, but than other days I feel really crappy!
Am also disappointed with my energy level. Had hoped for much more by now.
I think I am feeling about the same as before surgery. I also had few symptoms, other than being tired. I still feel tired.. I think I was born tired..LOL!!!

Christina
 
J

Jean

Guest
MBERGE4527

MBERGE4527

Hi! Had a bicuspid aorta replaced with a homograft at the Cleveland Clinic and Jan. 2000. I was very sick beforehand and my regular doctor let it go way to long before I got disgusted and said this is my heart ...refer me to the best cardiologist you know now! Saw him two days later and he called me the next day after an echo and said get in here today. I was in CHF and I found out later that if the meds had not stablelized me , he would have put me in the hospital the next day.

To make a long story shorter, 18 months later I feel great. The enlargement in my heart is all back to normal. I went back to work 10 weeks later with no problems other than trying to claim my classes back to my rules and routine! "Hello! The old witch is back...no you cannot drink pop in class and yes work is due the day I say it is...do I look like the sub!?"

I am doing farm work, teaching high school and walking and running now. I feel great, thank God!

Keep us posted and ask anything you want...somebody here will have an answer.
 
S

srwieland

Guest
Welcome to a truly wonderful forum and group of people who were a huge help to me. I had AVR two months ago at 50 yo. Everything has gone extremely well and I'm back to work doing fine.

You'll find a wealth of experience on this site of those who've been through it all--from easy surgeries and great outcomes to cases that ended up being a real mess. Keep in touch and let us know exactly what's going on and what your issues are and you will get much detailed help. The anticipation time before surgery is the worst. Get as well informed about the whole process as you can during that time.

You and your husband are in our prayers and Godspeed with this new challenge you are facing.
 
M

Mb

Guest
Thank you all for your kind words. We are waiting now for an appt. for a second opinion from a Dr. in Boston., otherwise, Wayne is scheduled for 7/26. He does have lots of symptons, a-fib, fatigue, short of breath, indigestion, faintness, etc. etc......I think maybe the double valves combined with the a-fib make the CHF worse. Meds have helped. Thank you all. Keep this beautifl, kind man, in your prayers.-Marybeth
 

hensylee

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 10, 2001
Messages
11,656
Location
snowy - Sharpsburg, Ga USA
Welcome to our home. Come on in and have a cup. I can't help on valve replacement; I had bypass. But I can pray and I can support. You have found a wonderful site to get all the info and support you need. My brother just had a cardioversion a couple mos ago and so far he is doing well - just hope it holds.

I wish all the best to your husband and yourself, as well, in the upcoming weeks. YOu could find that you have a brand new husband when it's all done. Godspeed
 

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