Going in for 3rd OHS in 2 weeks at Cleveland Clinic

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May 8, 2023
I'm both amazed and encouraged by those that have posted here in these forums. I'm beyond grateful that such a thing exists today, as I had my first OHS in 1989 at the age of 8 due to bacterial endocarditis. It was only through annual checkups that we heard of Marfan's Syndrome, and by the time I was 20 my aorta reached the point of needing replacement. So, during a summer home from college, I opted for a homograft replacement. Lived a normal life for the past 23 years, but now am facing a 3rd surgery in two weeks to replace that valve (it had a good run!) at the Cleveland Clinic with Dr. Roselli.
We live in Ohio, so it's only a 2 hour drive. I'm researching on how living with an On-X mechanical valve will be different, and this forum has been great for that. They may even replace my mitral valve as well, if repairing it isn't the best option. I don't want to go for #4.
Not looking forward to the surgery or rehab, but am ready to get this over with. I've lived nearly my entire life with this, so it's not the shock or adjustment that it can be for others. However this time I'm happily married with 2 kids, so it's not just me (and my parents) facing and overcoming this obstacle.
Just wanted to put my story out there, help others the best way I can, and say thank you to all of those who have participated in this forum!
Welcome to the forum Matt!

Sorry to hear that you need to get #3, but it sounds like your making a sound choice, choosing a mechanical valve at your young age. You're also getting your procedure done at an excellent clinic with a very well respected surgeon in Dr. Roselli.

I had a St. Jude mechanical valve installed 2 years ago at age 53. Life has not really changed much since then. I was very physically active before surgery and am still very physically active. Life on warfarin is not a big deal and I find it easy to manage. I would suggest that you look into self testing and self managing, as it is really the way to go. There are several threads about that here. You'll find many threads also about life in general on warfain. If you've heard any things about how life will be different on warfarin, please feel free to ask about it here. There are a lot of myths out there along the lines that you will not be able to be physically active or that you need to restrict your diet.

Best of luck with your procedure and please keep us posted.
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facing a 3rd surgery in two weeks to replace that valve (it had a good run!) at the Cleveland Clinic with Dr. Roselli.
My wife had her 2nd and 3rd surgery at CC. Your are going to one of the best places in the world for heart care and surgery.

They may even replace my mitral valve as well, if repairing it isn't the best option.
If they are going to replace your AV with mechanical, I would seriously question why the surgeon would consider a repair over a mechanical for the MV. CC claims good success with MV repairs but what is the likelihood of the repair lasting your lifetime and/or out-lasting a mechanical valve? If you are going to be on anti-coagulation anyway for your new mechanical AV, wouldn't it make sense just to get a mechanical MV also? There are people on this forum (including my wife) where a repair was not successful and/or failed and needed to be replaced.
Welcome Matt. You have "stumbled upon" the best forum for those living with or considering heart valve surgery. My problem started when I was born (bicuspid valve?) or when I was 6 years old (rheumatic/scarlet fever ) ......some doctors now think I may have had both. Open heart valve surgery was not done in the 1930s-1950s and I was fortunate to make it until my early thirties when I underwent my only heart surgery in 1967. Now, 56 years later and with the original valve, I am still "looking down at the grass".......golfers joke. Glad you found us.
Another CC alum.here. And it was not 2 hours away for me. I think that Roselli is probably one of the best in the world.

Best wishes for a successful surgery and a complete recovery.
Welcome! Sorry to hear you have to go through another operation but it sounds like you will be in good hands. We are close in age and I am in a similar boat looking at a second operation in a few months. Also similar to you, dynamics have changed since my first operation both in terms of family and career, so this time will be a little more challenging in that regard. I have a great support system with my wife and family which is very important, but I have found this site to be helpful in that everyone here has walked the walk so to speak. I can't add anything regarding life on warfarin just yet, but by all accounts on this forum it really doesn't sound too bad. Best of luck on the surgery and recovery and be sure to keep us posted on your progress.
Wow! You must be doing good. Posting less than a week after OHS. When I got home from the hospital 9 days after surgery my head was so fogged up I was just able to watch TV. It wasn’t on, I just sat and “watched” it. I forgot how to turn it on.
Something like a computer or cellphone was way beyond me.
It’s a slog, but keep up the great progress. Thanks for the update.
Welcome to the other side, Matt! Fantastic to hear the surgery was successful.
Hoping the minor complications settle soon.
Sending good recovery thoughts your way.
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Matt - what can I say that hasn't already been said by well respected members. WELCOME!! Having been infected by my dentist with Infective Endo, I ALSO had both valves replaced about 5 years ago - and I was far from being young and healthy. The prognosis is that my Cardio says I pump like a bull, so hopefully the same will come your way after a short recovery. All I can add is that despite my youth (61 yesterday - frightening to write it down!), I also have 3 young kids, and believe me - more motivation for success doesn't exist! Keep us posted and be healthy!
I’m sorry you’re having minor complications but I’m glad you are well enough to post and you got mitral replacement instead of repair. I’m one of those whose repair only lasted 8 yrs or so. Just walk a lot if you can and stay positive. Nurses like positive patients who want to get better!!
Wanted to share an update, I did have successful avr and mvr mechanical replacement last Tues at the clinic. It's been an adventure post op as I'm still here battling minor complications. But, I'm here battling every hour!
Wow….double valve replacement and being the 3rd is no joke!! My son was still in the ICU a week after his double (it was his 4th OHS tho). Sending you the very best wishes for a nice, steady recovery❤️
Hi Matt,

Great to hear you are on the other side now and well enough to post.

sorry about your minor complications. These can happen with any OHS, but clearly risk is higher if it is the third. Sometimes these things sort themselves out over time. We just need to be patient. The hardest bit is behind you. Now on to the recovery.

Best of luck with the rest of your recovery.

Hi Matt,

Glad to hear you're over your surgery! Recovery for me was a little challenging too.

Stay positive and be gently on yourself. You got this! Sending wishes for your recovery!