Homograph Aortic Valve Surgery

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masonbm

New member
Joined
Jun 7, 2022
Messages
4
Hi all!
Its amazing that I have not come across this website in the last 23 years after having my aortic valve replaced.
I was 36 years old in 1996 and was feeling fatigue beyond belief. I felt like i was 90 years old at 36.
I had rheumatic fever in the first grade which I am told resulted in the deteriorated valve which in turn was replaced
I was fortunate enough to have the valve replaced at the world renowned Cleveland Clinic which I believe is the best of the best!
They performed what they call keyhole surgery and decided that a Homograph Valve (which was harvested from a cadaver) would be the best way to go about it since I was so young and also I wouldn't have to take Coumadin or anything other than Plavix and a small aspirin which I have been taking up until 2021, for some reason my Cardiologist told me I did not have to take it anymore.
As far as I know I am the exception to the rule for having this valve in my body for such a long period of time. It was a very new procedure at the time and they told me they really didn't know the life of the valve but I will say that they called me every month religiously and asked me questions related the valve replacement and feel that's why they are one of the best in the world.
The reason for me joining this site is because I have been having some slight issues the last 2 years. I seem to get fatigued more than usual, I sometimes have shortness of breath and the worst case of the symptoms I feel are vision related and I am not sure if it has to do with the valve replacement, but it all started when it was replaced.
it started with double vision and slight dizziness ,then it went to having one eye seem to go blind but not totally, If you closed the eye that wasn't effected, the affected eye would feel like it was cut in half, meaning that the top part was black and the bottom I could see out of, it would last from seconds to a few minutes. It started out as 2 or 3 times a month. Sometimes it was double vision , sometimes it was the opposite eye. This was in 1999 to present with symptoms ranging from 2 to 6 times per month with longer or shorter periods of time. I have had nucellar dye tests performed, vision testing with detached retina exams . stress tests, cat scans, corroded artery scans and the list goes on and on.
I have lived with it for all of these years and I still get excited when it happens because most Dr.'s I went to told me I am explaining to them a stroke situation .The main problem other than the obvious is I drive 222 miles each day 5 days a week to work as I am in charge of 3 high profile businesses which are very stressful but at the same time it has been my career for the last 25 years .
I went to a new Cardiologist in December 2021 and they did a Echo which in turn found that the valve is deteriorated and is leaking. He told me that I didn't need to keep taking Plavix, so I stopped and have been on a mini aspirin a day along with Coreg for high blood pressure. It seemed like I was getting more vison issuers after December than before.. I went back to the CC 2 weeks ago and had another echo and the Dr said he liked the results and made another appointment in 6 months.
The reason I joined today is because I have had the vision issue going on about 5 times daily for about 2 weeks and was wondering if anyone had a similar issue regarding Aortic Valve Replacement and the vision problems at hand.
Also I was wondering if anyone has had the Tavr procedure done after a Homograph.
Sorry for the long post i hope anyone who has had Heart and or Valve disease would please become a organ donor and save a life. I am grateful everyday for someone who scarified theirs for me and others. I have had 4 Grandchildren since then and it is such a gift that words can not define.
Thank you!
 

Sassy20

VR.org Supporter
Joined
Apr 30, 2022
Messages
16
Hi all!
Its amazing that I have not come across this website in the last 23 years after having my aortic valve replaced.
I was 36 years old in 1996 and was feeling fatigue beyond belief. I felt like i was 90 years old at 36.
I've been reading these pots for a while and now my time is here. 73 and scheduled for aortic root and valve replacement, plus a bypass, at the end of next month. My symptoms of fatigue/weakness, rapid pulse, chest discomfort, etc. are more frequent and severe. I've been to the ER several times over the past couple years with what turn out to be false alarms ... now that a date is set, I worry that I won't last long enough.

Most posts I've read seem to be from people much younger than I am ... any advice from other senior citizens that have been down this road?
I had rheumatic fever in the first grade which I am told resulted in the deteriorated valve which in turn was replaced
I was fortunate enough to have the valve replaced at the world renowned Cleveland Clinic which I believe is the best of the best!
They performed what they call keyhole surgery and decided that a Homograph Valve (which was harvested from a cadaver) would be the best way to go about it since I was so young and also I wouldn't have to take Coumadin or anything other than Plavix and a small aspirin which I have been taking up until 2021, for some reason my Cardiologist told me I did not have to take it anymore.
As far as I know I am the exception to the rule for having this valve in my body for such a long period of time. It was a very new procedure at the time and they told me they really didn't know the life of the valve but I will say that they called me every month religiously and asked me questions related the valve replacement and feel that's why they are one of the best in the world.
The reason for me joining this site is because I have been having some slight issues the last 2 years. I seem to get fatigued more than usual, I sometimes have shortness of breath and the worst case of the symptoms I feel are vision related and I am not sure if it has to do with the valve replacement, but it all started when it was replaced.
it started with double vision and slight dizziness ,then it went to having one eye seem to go blind but not totally, If you closed the eye that wasn't effected, the affected eye would feel like it was cut in half, meaning that the top part was black and the bottom I could see out of, it would last from seconds to a few minutes. It started out as 2 or 3 times a month. Sometimes it was double vision , sometimes it was the opposite eye. This was in 1999 to present with symptoms ranging from 2 to 6 times per month with longer or shorter periods of time. I have had nucellar dye tests performed, vision testing with detached retina exams . stress tests, cat scans, corroded artery scans and the list goes on and on.
I have lived with it for all of these years and I still get excited when it happens because most Dr.'s I went to told me I am explaining to them a stroke situation .The main problem other than the obvious is I drive 222 miles each day 5 days a week to work as I am in charge of 3 high profile businesses which are very stressful but at the same time it has been my career for the last 25 years .
I went to a new Cardiologist in December 2021 and they did a Echo which in turn found that the valve is deteriorated and is leaking. He told me that I didn't need to keep taking Plavix, so I stopped and have been on a mini aspirin a day along with Coreg for high blood pressure. It seemed like I was getting more vison issuers after December than before.. I went back to the CC 2 weeks ago and had another echo and the Dr said he liked the results and made another appointment in 6 months.
The reason I joined today is because I have had the vision issue going on about 5 times daily for about 2 weeks and was wondering if anyone had a similar issue regarding Aortic Valve Replacement and the vision problems at hand.
Also I was wondering if anyone has had the Tavr procedure done after a Homograph.
Sorry for the long post i hope anyone who has had Heart and or Valve disease would please become a organ donor and save a life. I am grateful everyday for someone who scarified theirs for me and others. I have had 4 Grandchildren since then and it is such a gift that words can not define.
Thank you!


Can I ask, are you taking statins for cholesterol ?
 

masonbm

New member
Joined
Jun 7, 2022
Messages
4
Hello Sassy!

I was taking Lipitor for the cholesterol but it upset my stomach , so I haven't taken it for over a year.
I am the worst for keeping up on my medications as I seldom get sick and the only time I go to a Dr is for the yearly check up and also try to have a Echo once a year.
When I first had my valve replaced they told me I had to go to a Dentist 3 times a year, no salt, low fat diet, ect.
I followed their advise for the first 2 years, then I slowly declined.
I eat what I want when I want. I use salt daily and I have ever since the valve was replaced. I haven't been to the dentist in 5 years until last month and only had a few cavities which were filled. I drink 3 beers daily for 20 + years .
I am probably the exception to the rule and should have taken better care of myself, but life is also for living!
I am sorry to hear about your procedure you are going to be having, I am sure you have concerns but I went in and tried to not worry about anything because after all , Its in the surgeons hands and try to keep a good outlook on it and try not to worry. The things they can do are amazing and trust you will come out better than before.
Please feel free to ask me any questions that you may have.
Wishing you nothing but the best of luck!
 

pellicle

Professional Dingbat
Joined
Nov 4, 2012
Messages
10,088
Location
Queensland, OzTrayLeeYa
Thank You!!!!!
you're welcome ... I wish I could do more to inform you, but sometimes we are just outliers (I know this because I am too). However we can often get by by just doing the best we can at coping with the complexity which confronts us. One step at a time.

1654910951903.png


Best Wishes
 

Sassy20

VR.org Supporter
Joined
Apr 30, 2022
Messages
16
Hello Sassy!

I was taking Lipitor for the cholesterol but it upset my stomach , so I haven't taken it for over a year.
I am the worst for keeping up on my medications as I seldom get sick and the only time I go to a Dr is for the yearly check up and also try to have a Echo once a year.
When I first had my valve replaced they told me I had to go to a Dentist 3 times a year, no salt, low fat diet, ect.
I followed their advise for the first 2 years, then I slowly declined.
I eat what I want when I want. I use salt daily and I have ever since the valve was replaced. I haven't been to the dentist in 5 years until last month and only had a few cavities which were filled. I drink 3 beers daily for 20 + years .
I am probably the exception to the rule and should have taken better care of myself, but life is also for living!
I am sorry to hear about your procedure you are going to be having, I am sure you have concerns but I went in and tried to not worry about anything because after all , Its in the surgeons hands and try to keep a good outlook on it and try not to worry. The things they can do are amazing and trust you will come out better than before.
Please feel free to ask me any questions that you may have.
Wishing you nothing but the best of luck!
Hello Sassy!

I was taking Lipitor for the cholesterol but it upset my stomach , so I haven't taken it for over a year.
I am the worst for keeping up on my medications as I seldom get sick and the only time I go to a Dr is for the yearly check up and also try to have a Echo once a year.
When I first had my valve replaced they told me I had to go to a Dentist 3 times a year, no salt, low fat diet, ect.
I followed their advise for the first 2 years, then I slowly declined.
I eat what I want when I want. I use salt daily and I have ever since the valve was replaced. I haven't been to the dentist in 5 years until last month and only had a few cavities which were filled. I drink 3 beers daily for 20 + years .
I am probably the exception to the rule and should have taken better care of myself, but life is also for living!
I am sorry to hear about your procedure you are going to be having, I am sure you have concerns but I went in and tried to not worry about anything because after all , Its in the surgeons hands and try to keep a good outlook on it and try not to worry. The things they can do are amazing and trust you will come out better than before.
Please feel free to ask me any questions that you may have.
Wishing you nothing but the best of luck!
 

Sassy20

VR.org Supporter
Joined
Apr 30, 2022
Messages
16
Hi Masonbm
The reason I asked whether you were on statins is because I have been trying to find the reason for my shortness of breath. Have had lung and heart checks which are all ok and a week or so ago I had an angiogram and right heart catheterisation. All clear, so I started looking up side effects of the medication I am taking on the net and an article came up “An unusual case of shortness of breath with statins”. When I read the article there were so many similarities to what I’ve been experiencing that I have decided to stop taking Rosuvastatin to see if it helps me. Although it didn’t mention any symptoms with vision in the article, I have been having problems such as very heavy feeling in eyelids and difficulty focusing on close up items along with the shortness of breath That’s why I asked if you are on statins. Hope you can find out what’s causing your vision problems.
 

masonbm

New member
Joined
Jun 7, 2022
Messages
4
Hi Masonbm
The reason I asked whether you were on statins is because I have been trying to find the reason for my shortness of breath. Have had lung and heart checks which are all ok and a week or so ago I had an angiogram and right heart catheterisation. All clear, so I started looking up side effects of the medication I am taking on the net and an article came up “An unusual case of shortness of breath with statins”. When I read the article there were so many similarities to what I’ve been experiencing that I have decided to stop taking Rosuvastatin to see if it helps me. Although it didn’t mention any symptoms with vision in the article, I have been having problems such as very heavy feeling in eyelids and difficulty focusing on close up items along with the shortness of breath That’s why I asked if you are on statins. Hope you can find out what’s causing your vision problems.
Hey Sassy!
I also have shortness of breath at times but I am also 58 and 198 lbs. @ 6 foot tall
I have symptom's that last for a few months to no symptom's at all.
That was the reason for my initial visit with my new Cardio Dr..
After the visit in 2021 I developed Covid and January and have been wondering if that might have been the case as it might just have been developing.
I think we could go on and on for along time about the symptom's we both have and what may be the cause.
I thank God daily for the gift I have received from the person who donated their valve to me. I have had a full life at 58 years old I feel as God has other plans for me and since I had the replacement, I really and truly believe I have a higher up looking over me and has future plans in store for me ,at least I hope!
I would really like you to keep me updated on your progress.
With the technology they have now that they didn't when I had mine done has to be quite a piece of mind . The operation I had done was relatively new, they only wanted to do the procedure as I was very young. My uncle had 4 pig valves replaced and he survived into his late 80's. That had to be at least 50 years ago that he started to have them replaced.
I can also tell you that I know it sounds easy to hear or to read but I really and truly did not worry about the operation I drank wine up until midnight when I wasn't supposed to eat or drink anything after 12:00. I thought, what the hell...lol
That's was what I did then and when I go in the next round , that's what I am going to do as well.
There is no sense in worrying about something you have no control in. If you trust the hospital that your going to have it done in, then you will be fine. so PLEASE do not worry Sassy, You are in great hands, and the hard part is after they wake you up, but you will be so glad that you did come out of it that the rest is a breeze!!!! Just ask for more Morphine if you get pain. They did what they call a key hole surgery on me, which is where there is about a 4 inch incision across my chest below the neck, they had to cut one of my rib cage bone , The pain was minimal and manageable. The only drawback was the Morphine gave me hellasious nightmares !
I expect to hear back from you after you are up and able Sassy!
I am very confident you are going to be a new person and you still have a ways to go!!! DO NOT WORRY AND LOOK FORWARD TO A NEW AND BETTER YOU!!
bEST OF LUCK MY FRIEND!!!
In my prayers for you!
 

Dano64

VR.org Supporter
Joined
Jan 3, 2022
Messages
35
I received a homograph in 2001 at Duke. I just had OHS 2/7/22 primarily to repair my ascending aortic aneurysm, but they also replaced my homograph since it was staring them in the face and was 21 years old. Without the aneurysm, the homograph would not have needed replacement just yet. Interestingly, I have never had any significant symptoms from any of this. I had a large clump of calcification on my native bicuspid valve that led to my first surgery and then the aneurysm. My blood pressure has slowly climbed over the last few years, but I have not yet been prescribed statins. I am interested to hear if that is the cause for your shortness of breath or any other symptoms as it may be my reality down the road. Best wishes for you!
 

Sassy20

VR.org Supporter
Joined
Apr 30, 2022
Messages
16
Hey Sassy!
I also have shortness of breath at times but I am also 58 and 198 lbs. @ 6 foot tall
I have symptom's that last for a few months to no symptom's at all.
That was the reason for my initial visit with my new Cardio Dr..
After the visit in 2021 I developed Covid and January and have been wondering if that might have been the case as it might just have been developing.
I think we could go on and on for along time about the symptom's we both have and what may be the cause.
I thank God daily for the gift I have received from the person who donated their valve to me. I have had a full life at 58 years old I feel as God has other plans for me and since I had the replacement, I really and truly believe I have a higher up looking over me and has future plans in store for me ,at least I hope!
I would really like you to keep me updated on your progress.
With the technology they have now that they didn't when I had mine done has to be quite a piece of mind . The operation I had done was relatively new, they only wanted to do the procedure as I was very young. My uncle had 4 pig valves replaced and he survived into his late 80's. That had to be at least 50 years ago that he started to have them replaced.
I can also tell you that I know it sounds easy to hear or to read but I really and truly did not worry about the operation I drank wine up until midnight when I wasn't supposed to eat or drink anything after 12:00. I thought, what the hell...lol
That's was what I did then and when I go in the next round , that's what I am going to do as well.
There is no sense in worrying about something you have no control in. If you trust the hospital that your going to have it done in, then you will be fine. so PLEASE do not worry Sassy, You are in great hands, and the hard part is after they wake you up, but you will be so glad that you did come out of it that the rest is a breeze!!!! Just ask for more Morphine if you get pain. They did what they call a key hole surgery on me, which is where there is about a 4 inch incision across my chest below the neck, they had to cut one of my rib cage bone , The pain was minimal and manageable. The only drawback was the Morphine gave me hellasious nightmares !
I expect to hear back from you after you are up and able Sassy!
I am very confident you are going to be a new person and you still have a ways to go!!! DO NOT WORRY AND LOOK FORWARD TO A NEW AND BETTER YOU!!
bEST OF LUCK MY FRIEND!!!
In my prayers for you!
Hey Sassy!
I also have shortness of breath at times but I am also 58 and 198 lbs. @ 6 foot tall
I have symptom's that last for a few months to no symptom's at all.
That was the reason for my initial visit with my new Cardio Dr..
After the visit in 2021 I developed Covid and January and have been wondering if that might have been the case as it might just have been developing.
I think we could go on and on for along time about the symptom's we both have and what may be the cause.
I thank God daily for the gift I have received from the person who donated their valve to me. I have had a full life at 58 years old I feel as God has other plans for me and since I had the replacement, I really and truly believe I have a higher up looking over me and has future plans in store for me ,at least I hope!
I would really like you to keep me updated on your progress.
With the technology they have now that they didn't when I had mine done has to be quite a piece of mind . The operation I had done was relatively new, they only wanted to do the procedure as I was very young. My uncle had 4 pig valves replaced and he survived into his late 80's. That had to be at least 50 years ago that he started to have them replaced.
I can also tell you that I know it sounds easy to hear or to read but I really and truly did not worry about the operation I drank wine up until midnight when I wasn't supposed to eat or drink anything after 12:00. I thought, what the hell...lol
That's was what I did then and when I go in the next round , that's what I am going to do as well.
There is no sense in worrying about something you have no control in. If you trust the hospital that your going to have it done in, then you will be fine. so PLEASE do not worry Sassy, You are in great hands, and the hard part is after they wake you up, but you will be so glad that you did come out of it that the rest is a breeze!!!! Just ask for more Morphine if you get pain. They did what they call a key hole surgery on me, which is where there is about a 4 inch incision across my chest below the neck, they had to cut one of my rib cage bone , The pain was minimal and manageable. The only drawback was the Morphine gave me hellasious nightmares !
I expect to hear back from you after you are up and able Sassy!
I am very confident you are going to be a new person and you still have a ways to go!!! DO NOT WORRY AND LOOK FORWARD TO A NEW AND BETTER YOU!!
bEST OF LUCK MY FRIEND!!!
In my prayers for you!
 

Sassy20

VR.org Supporter
Joined
Apr 30, 2022
Messages
16
Hi Masonbm
Thanks for your thoughts but I have been assured that there is nothing wrong with my mechanical aortic valve which I have had for 17 years. I am still experiencing quite severe shortness of breath but have been prescribed Lasix which seems to be helping so will see what my cardiologist thinks when I see him early July.
 

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