Greetings from Virginia - aortic valve replacement in my future

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Midlo_dave

VR.org Supporter
Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 12, 2022
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3
Location
Virginia
Hello -
Grateful for all information and support within these forums. I am facing my third aortic valve surgery. I had 2 valve repairs when I was a kid (3 and 13 yrs old). While I am all orginial parts, I was always told I would need a valve replacement at some point. Very thankful to make it 37 years since my last repair. Now my cardiologist and consulting surgeon are pushing me to get it done.... not an emergency but something that should be addressed before it is an emergency. I feel pretty good but the pressure gradient across my aortic valve has been high.

Since I am 50 years old and fully expect to live another 50, I am 97% sure I will go with a mechanical valve. I definitely don't want a 4th OHS! Surgeon recommends ON-X. Warfin and the ticking noise scare the hell out of me....but surgery scares me more.

I certainly plan to soak up the knowledge and experience from everyone in this group.

Cheers!
 

Timmay

Grandfather Clock
Supporting Member
Joined
Apr 22, 2022
Messages
136
Location
Frederick, MD
Greetings Dave from Virginia! I'm Tim from Maryland, lol.

I just made the following post in another thread and it seems relevant to your post so I am just going to copy/paste ...

"Had an On-X stitched in about 6 months ago. Managing my own INR (here in the states). I was worried and concerned that my life might change dramatically with Warfarin. It hasn't changed much at all 🥳. I still lift weights, run, drink, work on my vehicles, do housework up on ladders, go shooting, walk my dogs a lot, etc."

As pellicle pointed out, there are a ton of questions and discussions on ticking and warfarin. Key takeaways as I see it are ...

1) If you self-manage your INR (fingerpick test once a week), you'll probably be in range 95+% of the time as compared to the ~70% that the clinics get you to. Staying in range doesn't prove to be difficult for those here that self-manage. Our lives haven't changed much due to being on Warfarin.

2) Most people adapt to the clicking. It's kind of comforting at this stage for me (6 months). That said let me be completely clear: I HARDLY ever hear it. I only hear the clicking in a quiet room (and it can be loud in a quiet room!). But, because of the white noise that almost always surrounds me, I almost never hear it. My wife and I appreciate white noise so sleeping is no issue at all with the air cleaner running.
 

Midlo_dave

VR.org Supporter
Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 12, 2022
Messages
3
Location
Virginia
Thanks for the welcome!
Its great to hear the positive stories of the members here!
I have a lot to learn...especially about Warfarin and INR management. Pellicle, as a numbers guy, I look forward to getting into your writings.
Timmay - my first house was in Point of Rocks, MD - Frederick County. Frederick is a great city...growing fast. Thanks for the take aways and sharing your experience!
 

Superman

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 2, 2009
Messages
1,704
Location
Grand Rapids, MI, USA
Welcome to the forum! Thirds a charm? I’m sure you don’t remember your first but I’m guessing at 13 the experience is still with you.

Only question I would have in your shoes is how does your aorta look? Given the more apparent connection with our condition (assuming BAV is the driver) and ascending aortic aneurysm, that would be the most likely culprit of a fourth surgery if you went mechanical.

If you’re already above normal but not officially 5cm, it’s a conversation to have with your medical team.

Other than that, wishing you well and feel free to ask any questions you may have!
 

tom in MO

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 17, 2012
Messages
1,963
Location
MO USA
I am a big person, 240-6". I heard my valve in the beginning but as time went by I don't hear it any more. It could be my hearing which wasn't what it used to be, but the ticking has never been a problem.

Warfarin will only be a problem if you are the kind of person who cannot take a pill once a day and test every 1-3 weeks. Most people have no problem. One thing with warfarin is you cannot take NSAIDs (e.g. ibuprofen) for arthritis, joint pains, bad backs, etc. for more than a few months.
 

Midlo_dave

VR.org Supporter
Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 12, 2022
Messages
3
Location
Virginia
Welcome to the forum! Thirds a charm? I’m sure you don’t remember your first but I’m guessing at 13 the experience is still with you.

Only question I would have in your shoes is how does your aorta look? Given the more apparent connection with our condition (assuming BAV is the driver) and ascending aortic aneurysm, that would be the most likely culprit of a fourth surgery if you went mechanical.

If you’re already above normal but not officially 5cm, it’s a conversation to have with your medical team.

Other than that, wishing you well and feel free to ask any questions you may have!
Thanks Superman and Go Green! I am a MSU Alum...class of '94. Looking forward to a good basketball game tonight.

I definitely remember parts of my last surgery. Having your chest cracked open is not fun. I am worried about scar tissue and communicated it to my surgeon, as it was an issue last time.

Along with an ON-X valve, my surgeon is planning on replacing some of the ascending aortic arch with dacryon. I do have a mild aneurysm 4.5-4.6cm. Its not the driving factor for surgery but he recommends fixing that while he is in there.
 

DJ-Rae09

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 26, 2022
Messages
90
Warfin and the ticking noise scare the hell out of me....but surgery scares me more.

Hi Mate,

I had AVR with a mechanical valve (Medtronic) July this year. I like you was scared about Wafarin and the noise of the valve. Then I found this forum and it put a lot of my fears at rest.

Now coming up to four months post Op, Wafarin is piss easy (aussie term for easy lol)....I test once a week at home and it takes less than 5 minutes each test. I have a dose adjustment every now and then. I eat and drink what I want, nothing has changed in this regard.

Re the noise of the valve, I only hear it in a quiet bathroom or at night sleeping. But to be honest, it has never bothered me and I actually find it calming knowing the valve is working :) AND the valve is preventing serious complications and maybe sudden death if my BAV wasn't discovered 12 years ago, I take comfort from this too.

Cheers
 
Last edited:

pellicle

Professional Dingbat, Guru and Merkintologist
Joined
Nov 4, 2012
Messages
10,739
Location
Queensland, OzTrayLeeYa
Hey

Pellicle, as a numbers guy, I look forward to getting into your writings.
Blogger makes the "order" of these a bit non-sensical but if you can tolerate it being presented in most recent first (and I recommend reading them the other way round: then this link is everything I've written on my blog about INR related topics (and will be updated as I add more).

Remember, its not a race to learn the ropes because you've got your whole life ahead of you do to that, and you're welcome to reach out as well

Best Wishes
 

Chuck C

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 5, 2020
Messages
1,793
Welcome to the forum!

not an emergency but something that should be addressed before it is an emergency.

That is an excellent plan. It is amazing to me how many kick the can down the road and put it off until it becomes an emergency. The outcomes are far better, and in fact very favorable, if one gets it taken care of before it becomes an emergency.
 

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