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erricojj

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Supporting Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2022
Messages
32
Location
CT and FL
I've been reading so many great stories and responses by this community, I figure it's time to contribute.

I am 70 and learned about 2 years ago that I have a bicuspid aortic valve from birth. My cardiologist was ordering annual echocardiograms and my last one on May 25 showed I had moved into the severe stage. As I recall, the area is down to 0.9 cm2, velocity 4.1 m/sec, and gradient 39 mmHg. I am mainly asymptomatic but starting to notice symptoms creeping in. It's easy to chalk them up to "I'm just getting old", and I can see that many folks might ignore them.

I've had a cardiac catheterization on 7/11 which showed that all arteries are non-obstructed with the exception of one part of the LAD with 10-20% obstruction. No CABG needed.

I have a somewhat dilated aorta at 4.3 cm by echo and they had me get a CT scan which showed 4.5 cm. My understanding is that the surgeon will do the aorta repair as well.

My surgeon recommends a tissue valve and that's fine by me. The valve is likely to be the Inspiris Resilia. I found a paper describing an in-vitro durability study of this valve using 1 billion cycles. I did the math and at a HR of 60, that would be about 31 years. The study doesn't replicate the hemo and calcification effects in-vivo, but it's good to know that mechanical durability is unlikely to be a problem.

I've been told my life expectancy is ~2 years if I don't do this. I love my life and my family, so it's a no brainer.

The surgery will be 7/26, so I'm closing in on 48 hours to go. I've been reviewing lots of YouTube logs of what people experience in recovery, and that's the scary part. Been pretty fit all my life and am a regular at the gym. I think I'm physically ready and trying to get my mind right...here at 4 AM. Fortunately, I have an incredible wife and she's a great deal of my incentive.

We donate to Wounded Warriors and T2T organizations. I realize that what I'm about to go through is "minor" in comparison to what many who serve our country have gone through...so I'm trying to be humble about my little problem. Nonetheless, I'm beginning to refer to my surgery date as my Alive Day.

Thanks for reading.
 

Denjun

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Mar 30, 2021
Messages
12
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Southern California
Erricojj, Most all of us who have been through the “unknown“ experience what your feeling. Physically, it sounds like you’re ready and mentally you are in the right place. You have reached out to learn all about something that you probably never expected a few years ago. You are now at the time it all becomes real. It’s your time to jump in the pool with the rest of us. I’m sure you will be OK. We are all here to help you swim, if you need us. We are all cheering you on. Here’s to a smooth and speedy recovery.
 

Timmay

Grandfather Clock
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Joined
Apr 22, 2022
Messages
100
Location
Frederick, MD
With your age, my opinion is the one piece Inspiris Resilia WITH the Dacron Aorta root replacement is potentially called for. The literature advises aortic root replacement in us bicuspid aorta patients if the root is 4.5 or bigger. Why? Data shows that if it is not replaced then an aortic aneurysm may happen.

This procedure is called the Bentall procedure.

 

erricojj

VR.org Supporter
Supporting Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2022
Messages
32
Location
CT and FL
With your age, my opinion is the one piece Inspiris Resilia WITH the Dacron Aorta root replacement is potentially called for. The literature advises aortic root replacement in us bicuspid aorta patients if the root is 4.5 or bigger. Why? Data shows that if it is not replaced then an aortic aneurysm may happen.

This procedure is called the Bentall procedure.

Timmay, thanks...I was unaware of this option. I will ask my surgeon. I looked back at the CT scan results and dilation is in the Mid ascending thoracic aorta: 4.5 x 4.3 cm. The aortic root is reported at 3.0 cm.
 

erricojj

VR.org Supporter
Supporting Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2022
Messages
32
Location
CT and FL
Erricojj, Most all of us who have been through the “unknown“ experience what your feeling. Physically, it sounds like you’re ready and mentally you are in the right place. You have reached out to learn all about something that you probably never expected a few years ago. You are now at the time it all becomes real. It’s your time to jump in the pool with the rest of us. I’m sure you will be OK. We are all here to help you swim, if you need us. We are all cheering you on. Here’s to a smooth and speedy recovery.
Thank you, Denjun, for your kind words.
 

Stevebav

Member
Joined
Aug 20, 2019
Messages
20
Hi - you sound to be pretty well prepared mentally and the fitter you are the better for recovery. Your description of explaining away symptoms as 'ageing' will resonate with many on here who, like myself, hadn't had any inkling of their need for valve surgery for most of their lives. Stay positive, follow the instructions of carers/medics (mainly breathe deep and walk as soon as you can) and you sound like one of those who resume their new normal within a few months.
However, don't under rate the physical trauma OHS puts your body through - your body will give you strong messages regarding how quickly or slowly you'll be able to push yourself in recovery - and expect some emotional highs and lows (often apparently unexplained). The vast majority have 'standard' recovery and never post on-line but these forums are fantastic source of knowledge, advice and comfort.
do let us know how it goes for you.
Steve
 

erricojj

VR.org Supporter
Supporting Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2022
Messages
32
Location
CT and FL
Hi - you sound to be pretty well prepared mentally and the fitter you are the better for recovery. Your description of explaining away symptoms as 'ageing' will resonate with many on here who, like myself, hadn't had any inkling of their need for valve surgery for most of their lives. Stay positive, follow the instructions of carers/medics (mainly breathe deep and walk as soon as you can) and you sound like one of those who resume their new normal within a few months.
However, don't under rate the physical trauma OHS puts your body through - your body will give you strong messages regarding how quickly or slowly you'll be able to push yourself in recovery - and expect some emotional highs and lows (often apparently unexplained). The vast majority have 'standard' recovery and never post on-line but these forums are fantastic source of knowledge, advice and comfort.
do let us know how it goes for you.
Steve
Thank you, Steve. I appreciate this.
 

Croooser

VR.org Supporter
Supporting Member
Joined
Apr 21, 2021
Messages
78
Greetings:

You and I have some common ground. See my thread for my experience:


At the one year mark, I have resumed all normal activities and have no heart related ailments. Felt like I was back to normal in about 3 months but felt even "more normal" after 6. Did have to monitor and adjust BP meds, but well controlled. Next echo will be in October.

I think I was in a little bit above average shape for my age (71 at surgery) but it sounds like you may be even better. I am guessing that you will come out the other side quite well after a couple of months.

Best wishes for a successful surgery and a quick and complete recovery.
 

pellicle

Professional Dingbat
Joined
Nov 4, 2012
Messages
10,423
Location
Queensland, OzTrayLeeYa
The surgery will be 7/26, so I'm closing in on 48 hours to go. I've been reviewing lots of YouTube logs of what people experience in recovery, and that's the scary part. Been pretty fit all my life and am a regular at the gym
Hi

if I was you I'd just avoid all the youtube stuff because for every one that you find which seems helpful you'll find 5 that scare you.

None of what happens in recovery is pretty or sexy or desirable, but then you were born screaming into the world too.

Take it one step forward every day, focus on the horizon and keep a little book of how many steps you too, how your lung inflation was getting better and record the milestones.
Don't take a slide back due to over stepping, don't be too keen to push through. In a year you'll wonder why you were worried.

Best Wishes
 

pribanic4

New member
Joined
Jul 24, 2022
Messages
4
I've been reading so many great stories and responses by this community, I figure it's time to contribute.

I am 70 and learned about 2 years ago that I have a bicuspid aortic valve from birth. My cardiologist was ordering annual echocardiograms and my last one on May 25 showed I had moved into the severe stage. As I recall, the area is down to 0.9 cm2, velocity 4.1 m/sec, and gradient 39 mmHg. I am mainly asymptomatic but starting to notice symptoms creeping in. It's easy to chalk them up to "I'm just getting old", and I can see that many folks might ignore them.

I've had a cardiac catheterization on 7/11 which showed that all arteries are non-obstructed with the exception of one part of the LAD with 10-20% obstruction. No CABG needed.

I have a somewhat dilated aorta at 4.3 cm by echo and they had me get a CT scan which showed 4.5 cm. My understanding is that the surgeon will do the aorta repair as well.

My surgeon recommends a tissue valve and that's fine by me. The valve is likely to be the Inspiris Resilia. I found a paper describing an in-vitro durability study of this valve using 1 billion cycles. I did the math and at a HR of 60, that would be about 31 years. The study doesn't replicate the hemo and calcification effects in-vivo, but it's good to know that mechanical durability is unlikely to be a problem.

I've been told my life expectancy is ~2 years if I don't do this. I love my life and my family, so it's a no brainer.

The surgery will be 7/26, so I'm closing in on 48 hours to go. I've been reviewing lots of YouTube logs of what people experience in recovery, and that's the scary part. Been pretty fit all my life and am a regular at the gym. I think I'm physically ready and trying to get my mind right...here at 4 AM. Fortunately, I have an incredible wife and she's a great deal of my incentive.

We donate to Wounded Warriors and T2T organizations. I realize that what I'm about to go through is "minor" in comparison to what many who serve our country have gone through...so I'm trying to be humble about my little problem. Nonetheless, I'm beginning to refer to my surgery date as my Alive Day.

Thanks for reading.
I wish you well , you’ll do fine … then go and LIVE LIFE while enjoying it better ❤️
 

erricojj

VR.org Supporter
Supporting Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2022
Messages
32
Location
CT and FL
Greetings:

You and I have some common ground. See my thread for my experience:


At the one year mark, I have resumed all normal activities and have no heart related ailments. Felt like I was back to normal in about 3 months but felt even "more normal" after 6. Did have to monitor and adjust BP meds, but well controlled. Next echo will be in October.

I think I was in a little bit above average shape for my age (71 at surgery) but it sounds like you may be even better. I am guessing that you will come out the other side quite well after a couple of months.

Best wishes for a successful surgery and a quick and complete recovery.
Thank you, Croooser !
 

erricojj

VR.org Supporter
Supporting Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2022
Messages
32
Location
CT and FL
Hi

if I was you I'd just avoid all the youtube stuff because for every one that you find which seems helpful you'll find 5 that scare you.

None of what happens in recovery is pretty or sexy or desirable, but then you were born screaming into the world too.

Take it one step forward every day, focus on the horizon and keep a little book of how many steps you too, how your lung inflation was getting better and record the milestones.
Don't take a slide back due to over stepping, don't be too keen to push through. In a year you'll wonder why you were worried.

Best Wishes
Thank you, pellicle !
 

pellicle

Professional Dingbat
Joined
Nov 4, 2012
Messages
10,423
Location
Queensland, OzTrayLeeYa
Thank you, pellicle !
all good

Myself I prefer to use the time for personal reflection, sort of like the idea of every injury is a death and rebirth (as a metaphor for the psychology of it)

The Wisdom of the Serpent​

Book Description:
The tribal initiation of the shaman, the archetype of the serpent, exemplifies the death of the self and a rebirth into transcendent life. This book traces the images of spiritual initiation in religious rituals and myths of resurrection, poems and epics, cycles of nature, and art and dreaming. It dramatizes the metamorphosis from a common experience of death's inevitability into a transcendent freedom beyond individual limitations. "This is a classic work in analytical psychology that offers crucial insights on the meaning of death symbolism (and its inevitably accompanying rebirth and resurrection symbolism) as part of the great theme of initiation, of which [Henderson] is the world's foremost psychological interpreter. This material is really the next step after the hero myth that Joseph Campbell has made so popular, and provides an understanding of how not to use the hero myth in an inflated way as a psychology of mastery, but as an attainment progressively to be died beyond. [Henderson] is helped by the presence of Maud Oakes, who is a trained anthropologist with exquisite taste in her choice of mythic materials and respect for their original contexts."--John Beebe
eISBN: 978-0-691-21617-1
Subjects: Folklore, Religion

... see you on the other side.
 

Wiles Darkwinter

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 24, 2021
Messages
66
I've been reading so many great stories and responses by this community, I figure it's time to contribute.

I am 70 and learned about 2 years ago that I have a bicuspid aortic valve from birth. My cardiologist was ordering annual echocardiograms and my last one on May 25 showed I had moved into the severe stage. As I recall, the area is down to 0.9 cm2, velocity 4.1 m/sec, and gradient 39 mmHg. I am mainly asymptomatic but starting to notice symptoms creeping in. It's easy to chalk them up to "I'm just getting old", and I can see that many folks might ignore them.

I've had a cardiac catheterization on 7/11 which showed that all arteries are non-obstructed with the exception of one part of the LAD with 10-20% obstruction. No CABG needed.

I have a somewhat dilated aorta at 4.3 cm by echo and they had me get a CT scan which showed 4.5 cm. My understanding is that the surgeon will do the aorta repair as well.

My surgeon recommends a tissue valve and that's fine by me. The valve is likely to be the Inspiris Resilia. I found a paper describing an in-vitro durability study of this valve using 1 billion cycles. I did the math and at a HR of 60, that would be about 31 years. The study doesn't replicate the hemo and calcification effects in-vivo, but it's good to know that mechanical durability is unlikely to be a problem.

I've been told my life expectancy is ~2 years if I don't do this. I love my life and my family, so it's a no brainer.

The surgery will be 7/26, so I'm closing in on 48 hours to go. I've been reviewing lots of YouTube logs of what people experience in recovery, and that's the scary part. Been pretty fit all my life and am a regular at the gym. I think I'm physically ready and trying to get my mind right...here at 4 AM. Fortunately, I have an incredible wife and she's a great deal of my incentive.

We donate to Wounded Warriors and T2T organizations. I realize that what I'm about to go through is "minor" in comparison to what many who serve our country have gone through...so I'm trying to be humble about my little problem. Nonetheless, I'm beginning to refer to my surgery date as my Alive Day.

Thanks for reading.

Good on you mate. Good luck!
 

Superman

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 2, 2009
Messages
1,611
Location
Grand Rapids, MI, USA
Welcome and best wishes. Hoping for a speedy recovery for you. Be sure to stop back and let us know how things go! Many of us have been there, so plenty of empathy to be found for any of the weird stuff you weren’t expecting!
 
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