How did your heart surgery compare to other major operations?

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NattyD

New member
Joined
May 21, 2021
Messages
4
Hi - I’m new to this forum and really appreciate all of the information available . I’m looking at bicuspid aortic valve replacement in the near future and I’m trying to gauge recovery time . I am not a TAVR candidate and don’t know if I’m going with mechanical or biological valve . I’m 53 years old in reasonably good health. I had a total right knee replacement two years ago and had support post surgery for about three days . I had someone drive me to PT for the first two weeks . But by and large I did recovery on my own . I’m a single parent with two teenagers at home , two on their own , and my 84 year old mom. No other family in the area . For my knee surgery, I was home in two days and had no visitors in the hospital . Has anyone else had knee surgery and how did the open heart surgery compare? I want to be prepared if my boys will need to help and schedule around their school/college requirements. I understand the surgery but really have very little sense of what it required once released . I helped my dad after his surgery (bicuspid, aortic stenosis like me) but that was almost twenty years ago ...
 

NattyD

New member
Joined
May 21, 2021
Messages
4
Hi - thanks for all of the replies which are really helpful . I want to make sure I don’t minimize this in any way - but I’ve had the knee surgery, three C-sections and recovered faster than typical. I consider myself to be pretty tough - but I’ve never be in the hospital more than two days . I’m also become pretty independent, probably to a fault. I meet with the surgeon Thursday and should have a surgery date pretty soon . I’m pretty excited about the surgery and the chance to beat this fatigue, shortness of breath, etc .
 

Chuck C

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Joined
Dec 5, 2020
Messages
611
I’ve had the knee surgery, three C-sections and recovered faster than typical.
If you recovered quicker than typical from your past surgeries it is entirely possible that you may recover quicker than typical for your valve surgery also. As I noted earlier, I had major orbital surgery with a titanium plate put in my head in 2018 and was told that I recovered quickly. I was told the same thing for my valve recovery, so there could be a connection with some folks recovering quicker than others.

I believe your C-Sections likely prepared you well for what to experience in terms of recovery. My wife has had 3 C-Sections. I was by her side helping with the recovery during her C-Sections and she was by my side for my valve surgery recovery. In order to give you better feedback I just had a discussion with my wife about her recoveries. We were in agreement that recovery times were similar for each of us. Although she made a good point that she had babies to care for as she recovered from the C-sections, so that may have actually been more of a challenge for her than my valve surgery recovery was for me in some ways. Everyone has a different experience, but I doubt that your recovery pain will be more for the AVR than it was for your C-sections.
 

Dodger Fan

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Joined
May 6, 2015
Messages
116
Location
Temecula, CA , USA
I went in for surgery January 11th. I went home January 17th. I had a TIA on January 21st, so my parole was revoked and I went back to the hospital. I finally went home again on January 31st. I think my long hospital stay, my unanticipated need for a pacemaker, and the drama around my TIA really hindered my recovery. You really can't rest and recover at the hospital. I've had other surgeries. They were all easier than this one.
 

mecretired

Well-known member
VR.org Supporter
Joined
Apr 28, 2010
Messages
246
Location
Southeast Missouri, USA
I had my ascending aorta, aortic valve and aortic root replaced in 2010. It was a piece of cake compared to my lung surgery in 2013. I had the upper lobe of my right lung removed due to a malignant tumor. They removed it through a 6 inch incision between my ribs in my back. That was extremely painful for weeks—couldn’t get comfortable to sleep or just rest for over a month.
 
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