Hello! Just had Mitral Valve Repair

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jmb1997

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Hi everyone. I'm so glad I found this forum. I am a 47 year old male in the US who just had a minimally invasive right thoracic mitral valve repair at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, MA, USA a few weeks ago. I was in the hospital for four nights and discharged. I am currently on a baby aspirin and 25mg of Metoprolol each day. Before the surgery I was on no medications and was basically asymptomatic but my left atrium was starting to dilate and I was diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension after do a treadmill run for 12 minutes. When given more than a 95% chance of repair I went for it.

I am walking around fine, my breathing has been nice and my vitals look good. Phew...

My only concern so far has been seeing some white or clear floaters now and then. I told my nurse about it in the hospital and got an odd look and was told to talk to my PCP about it. I then started looking online and found people all over the world talking about "pump head", and most not having a surgeon or doctor who has much to say, or will even admit that the floaters are related to surgery! So far I am fine cognitively.

I would be interested in hearing other's experience and advice on this. The first few times I saw them it gave me a ton of anxiety and I was scared it was a TIA or something. At the time one happened I did take my blood pressure, blood oxygen and pulse and all were normal and my nurse and people associated with the surgery team haven't seemed concerned.

I am to see both my PCP and cardiologist in a couple of days and will see what both say.

Thanks!!
 
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Geofd

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Framingham Massachusetts
Hi everyone. I'm so glad I found this forum. I am a 47 year old male in the US who just had a minimally invasive right thoracic mitral valve repair at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, MA, USA a few weeks ago. I was in the hospital for four nights and discharged. I am currently on a baby aspirin and 25mg of Metoprolol each day. Before the surgery I was on no medications and was basically asymptomatic but my left atrium was starting to dilate and I was diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension after do a treadmill run for 12 minutes. When given more than a 95% chance of repair I went for it.

I am walking around fine, my breathing has been nice and my vitals look good. Phew...

My only concern so far has been seeing some white or clear floaters now and then. I told my nurse about it in the hospital and got an odd look and was told to talk to my PCP about it. I then started looking online and found people all over the world talking about "pump head", and most not having a surgeon or doctor who has much to say, or will even admit that the floaters are related to surgery! So far I am fine cognitively.

I would be interested in hearing other's experience and advice on this. The first few times I saw them it gave me a ton of anxiety and I was scared it was a TIA or something. At the time one happened I did take my blood pressure, blood oxygen and pulse and all were normal and my nurse and people associated with the surgery team haven't seemed concerned.

I am to see both my PCP and cardiologist in a couple of days and will see what both say.

Thanks!!
Hello I had my mital valve repaired at mass general in September they called it ring surgery, they did everything thru my ribs on my right side it was a great experience
 

jmb1997

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Boston, MA, USA
Sounds like we had similar surgeries. My PCP and cardiologist are both affiliated with Beth Israel and sent me there first. The surgeons there I met only do sternotomy and tried to convince me it had a faster recovery, less time in the hospital, etc. What??? When I asked about minimally invasive they told me it was a sham and the only reason it exists is due to good "marketing". Ummm....

I went back to my cardiologist and asked to be sent to Brigham and Women's or MGH. She initially said no. She actually said, "Minimally invasive is the future, but we are not there yet." Wow. Minimally invasive has been done in Boston for like 25 years already. Maybe longer. She wouldn't send me elsewhere and I considered switching my cardiologist just to be able to go to another hospital, though I'd been with her for a decade. Everything got delayed by COVID and then suddenly for whatever reason when I asked again a few months later she was okay with sending me to Brigham and Women's.

Did you have any vision changes after surgery? Other than that I seem to be on track.
 
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Geofd

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Framingham Massachusetts
So , my primary care Dr is at Newton Wellesley, she noticed a difference in noise I did really have any symptoms maybe a little shortness of breath,when they say minaly invasive surgery, that means, you wake up with tubes(2)coming from your ribs draining to a receptacle, for a few days, but really after they are removed it's ok don't stress your in good hands, never go ad issues except for. Metropalo I got dizzy they just cut 8t down
 

ValveAdmin

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Welcome and enjoy the forum. Hope everything will be okay. Are you probably just one of few others who had that minimally invasive surgery?
 

jmb1997

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Boston, MA, USA
Thank you! Yes, from searching the forums it doesn't seem like there are too many of us who had a minimally invasive surgery for a mitral valve around here.

I had mine done at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, where they have completed over 2,600 minimally invasive mitral valve surgeries since 1996. It's a large enough number for me to have felt comfortable scheduling my operation there, though it seems to be a small number overall.
 

Geofd

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Framingham Massachusetts
Thank you! Yes, from searching the forums it doesn't seem like there are too many of us who had a minimally invasive surgery for a mitral valve around here.

I had mine done at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, where they have completed over 2,600 minimally invasive mitral valve surgeries since 1996. It's a large enough number for me to have felt comfortable scheduling my operation there, though it seems to be a small number overall.
Yeh I was nervous, myself about the surgery read to much to much, I flooded myself with info, thru this web site and reading along with the Dr, I felt good about my choice only after affect really is on and off numbing on my right side near the incision
 

Zoltania

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I had a similar surgery. No new floaters, but my frequency of optical migraines increased from 1-2/year to 1-2/month.

As for numbness, I first noticed a numb patch on my left thigh (near where the cannula went in for the bypass machine) several months later, and I also have partial numbness on the right side of my chest just above the scar. I don't know when either of those began, probably because I was distracted early on by the healing of the incision and of the holes where the chest tube and drain were, and just by all the sensations and experiences of recovery in general.

Before my surgery, nearly seven years ago now, I did some research and learned that the minimally invasive method was becoming standard even back then. My surgeon at Kaiser in the SF Bay Area (so at a major medical organization but not a famed center of excellence like Cleveland or Stanford) told me before the operation that he specialized in minimally invasive surgery and was a perfectionist. I was very glad to hear both of those statements.
 

Mister_James

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Wait minimally invasive repair and you stayed 4 nights in the hospital. I had my chest cranked open and I stayed 4/5 nights in the hospital before discharge.
Yes I had a couple of months of no lifting more than 10lbs but ...
 

jmb1997

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Boston, MA, USA
I had a similar surgery. No new floaters, but my frequency of optical migraines increased from 1-2/year to 1-2/month.

As for numbness, I first noticed a numb patch on my left thigh (near where the cannula went in for the bypass machine) several months later, and I also have partial numbness on the right side of my chest just above the scar. I don't know when either of those began, probably because I was distracted early on by the healing of the incision and of the holes where the chest tube and drain were, and just by all the sensations and experiences of recovery in general.

Before my surgery, nearly seven years ago now, I did some research and learned that the minimally invasive method was becoming standard even back then. My surgeon at Kaiser in the SF Bay Area (so at a major medical organization but not a famed center of excellence like Cleveland or Stanford) told me before the operation that he specialized in minimally invasive surgery and was a perfectionist. I was very glad to hear both of those statements.
Thanks very much for your response. A friend of mine is a neuroscientist at Brigham and Women's Hospital and she said to me, "Pick a surgeon who isn't too young and lacking experience but also isn't older and tied to older technology, methods and theories. Go for someone who is around 40-45." That is exactly what I did and after meeting him I felt confident in his abilities.

I first noticed the numbness 20 days after my surgery (yesterday) but I suspect it may have been numb in the area immediately around my incision much earlier, but that I didn't sense it as I was being very mindful not to touch there and only gently dabbed when showering. However, while in the hospital I do remember them ripping off a bandage around there and I certainly felt that. I'd guess that the numbness began one to two weeks after surgery.

Sorry to hear about the increased frequency of migraines. It seems to be fairly common. As I have perused so many different hospital websites it seems the majority dismiss any side effects like this as being related to surgery (as have the two people I have this far spoken to at my hospital). All my hospital has in their literature is that, "You may notice that you are more emotional for up to 12 months after surgery - but then everything returns to normal by then." Hmmm....
 

jmb1997

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Boston, MA, USA
Wait minimally invasive repair and you stayed 4 nights in the hospital. I had my chest cranked open and I stayed 4/5 nights in the hospital before discharge.
Yes I had a couple of months of no lifting more than 10lbs but ...
Either I stayed in too long or you stayed in too short!

I did go for a mile long walk the first week I was home, if that counts for anything for going with minimally invasive???

After I checked out of the hospital I read that my surgeon is part of a clinical trial for TMVr mitral valve repair where you spend one night in the hospital and are never on the pump. I guess I may not have qualified for the study anyway, but I wish I knew about it earlier to have at least inquired.
 

Zoltania

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Wait minimally invasive repair and you stayed 4 nights in the hospital. I had my chest cranked open and I stayed 4/5 nights in the hospital before discharge.
I stayed in the hospital for four nights after surgery too. Having your heart surgically remodeled and being on the bypass machine for hours are big deals and take a toll on the body even if your sternum is intact.

Fortunately, optical migraines are painless. I'm grateful for that! There are several threads about them in the forum archives.
 

KLS39

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Dec 21, 2021
Messages
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My only concern so far has been seeing some white or clear floaters now and then. I told my nurse about it in the hospital and got an odd look and was told to talk to my PCP about it. I then started looking online and found people all over the world talking about "pump head", and most not having a surgeon or doctor who has much to say, or will even admit that the floaters are related to surgery! So far I am fine cognitively.

I would be interested in hearing other's experience and advice on this. The first few times I saw them it gave me a ton of anxiety and I was scared it was a TIA or something. At the time one happened I did take my blood pressure, blood oxygen and pulse and all were normal and my nurse and people associated with the surgery team haven't seemed concerned.
Welcome to the forum. I've had floaters for many years but it had gotten to the point where I rarely saw them. After my cardiac cath I started seeing them quite often and even more so after my OHS. I had blurry vision after my cath as well which resulted in a neuro consult. I ended up being fine. I also saw halos for the first time after my OHS. That was unsettling. I often saw the halos when I was in the middle of a good workout. I mentioned to the eye dr. who pretty much ignored the subject. I'll see what the new eye dr. says at this years appointment. I'm over a year post op and I don't see them as often as I was.
Best wishes.
 

jmb1997

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Boston, MA, USA
Welcome to the forum. I've had floaters for many years but it had gotten to the point where I rarely saw them. After my cardiac cath I started seeing them quite often and even more so after my OHS. I had blurry vision after my cath as well which resulted in a neuro consult. I ended up being fine. I also saw halos for the first time after my OHS. That was unsettling. I often saw the halos when I was in the middle of a good workout. I mentioned to the eye dr. who pretty much ignored the subject. I'll see what the new eye dr. says at this years appointment. I'm over a year post op and I don't see them as often as I was.
Best wishes.
I had my post-surgery follow-up with my PCP today. After I mentioned my floaters he gave a cursory check of my eyes, asked a few questions and seemed unconcerned, but did give me a referral to an ophthalmologist. He told me it was no rush and to make an appointment for a month out or so. I called the ophthalmologist's office and due to a cancellation I'm scheduled for an exam tomorrow. Naturally I'm a little anxious over it, but it is reassuring to a degree to see so many people say they've experienced something similar. It's also frustrating to see how many medical personnel are really dismissive when something like this is brought up, probably as they have no good explanation. I'm kind of not expecting much more than a shrug tomorrow for the eye doctor.

For what it's worth, I have noticed that each time I "see" something since my surgery (I think it's happened 5-6 times) it has been immediately preceded by my hearing something stressful (basically revolving about a situation a family member is in), except for one time when I was just walking outside. So stress might be a contributing catalyst in my case.
 

KLS39

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I had my post-surgery follow-up with my PCP today. After I mentioned my floaters he gave a cursory check of my eyes, asked a few questions and seemed unconcerned, but did give me a referral to an ophthalmologist. He told me it was no rush and to make an appointment for a month out or so. I called the ophthalmologist's office and due to a cancellation I'm scheduled for an exam tomorrow. Naturally I'm a little anxious over it, but it is reassuring to a degree to see so many people say they've experienced something similar. It's also frustrating to see how many medical personnel are really dismissive when something like this is brought up, probably as they have no good explanation. I'm kind of not expecting much more than a shrug tomorrow for the eye doctor.

For what it's worth, I have noticed that each time I "see" something since my surgery (I think it's happened 5-6 times) it has been immediately preceded by my hearing something stressful (basically revolving about a situation a family member is in), except for one time when I was just walking outside. So stress might be a contributing catalyst in my case.
Good luck with your appointment. Mine is in two weeks. I'd be interested in hearing what the dr. says.
 

ValveAdmin

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I'm scheduled for an exam tomorrow. Naturally I'm a little anxious over it, but it is reassuring to a degree to see so many people say they've experienced something similar. It's also frustrating to see how many medical personnel are really dismissive when something like this is brought up, probably as they have no good explanation. I'm kind of not expecting much more than a shrug tomorrow for the eye doctor.
Good luck, hope everything is okay. Oops, is it gonna be today?
 

carolinemc

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kansas city, mo
Welcome to the forum. I've had floaters for many years but it had gotten to the point where I rarely saw them. After my cardiac cath I started seeing them quite often and even more so after my OHS. I had blurry vision after my cath as well which resulted in a neuro consult. I ended up being fine. I also saw halos for the first time after my OHS. That was unsettling. I often saw the halos when I was in the middle of a good workout. I mentioned to the eye dr. who pretty much ignored the subject. I'll see what the new eye dr. says at this years appointment. I'm over a year post op and I don't see them as often as I was.
Best wishes.
Good luck with the eye appointment. I had cataracts after bypass and just got the one removed on the right eye last year. Someday I will be getting the other one done. I had an eye stroke in the left eye in 2017. I love the seeing better in the right eye. Hope sometime soon to get the left eye done. But can get cheap glasses to read out of the right eye. Floaters are around the left eye with the cataracts. Let us know how it goes.
 

tom in MO

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Floaters are un-related to pump head syndrome which is cognitive and floaters are not cognitive.

They are age related, I got my first one at your age, however my eye doctor started getting them in college. My eye doctor said to contact him again if I notice a sudden increase in eye floaters especially if I also see light flashes or lose your peripheral vision. These can be symptoms of an emergency that requires prompt attention. They come and go...
 

jmb1997

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Yesterday morning I saw my cardiologist and when I mentioned floaters she immediately said I should have an MRI of my brain and she went on her computer to start to put in a referral for one. But then she stopped within seconds and said, "Well, let's see what the opthalmologist says later today first".

I then went to the opthalmologist a few hours later and she said my eyes look fine and she'd like me to return in one month to ensure there is no deterioration over that time period. She said floaters can happen as you age or could be a result of a major surgery. At least she acknowledged that surgery seems to make it happen as so many people on forums speak of floaters and aura after OHS. I never had floaters until my surgery. She was encouraged when I said my floaters have become less strong over time, but did tell me to seek medical attention right away if I get bright flashes or if the frequency increases.

I then messaged my cardiologist and asked that since my eyes checked out okay if we should proceed with the MRI. She replied and said I should wait two weeks and let her know what has happened by that time. Huh....

I do have my weekly visiting nurse appointment later today and since she is affiliated with the surgeon's office I want to lay this all on her and see what she says, and push her to contact the surgeon. This is a different visiting nurse than the first one I had who referred me to my PCP after immediately declaring no connection between the surgery and the eye disturbances. I also.think back to when I was in the hospital and a seasoned nurse told me "it's probably the meds you are on".

The one certainty in medical care seems to be that the more people you ask about a situation the more varying responses and diagnoses you will receive.
 

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