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Improvements resulting from your valve replacement

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Joined
Feb 18, 2020
Messages
5
I'm interested to know how much improvement to expect by having my aortic valve replaced.
My surgery scheduled "within the next 6 months". My condition was noticed because of an echocardiogram which led to more tests but Im not experiencing the classic symptoms -chest pain/pressure, etc.
I have had a heart murmur all my life and just accepted that fact without ever understanding what it meant. Now it means is at 75 my valve is becoming stenotic and works even less efficiently. I'm imagining that my most prominent symptom is a loss of energy and inner strength and since it's ebbed over time so slowly I dont know how to gauge how much I've lost. For instance, I look at someone running for office that is 5 or more years older than I and I can't even imagine how they can find the energy to keep functioning on such a high level. No Im not hoping to run for public office but I would love to have more energy for my marriage and my life. Id like to hear experiences from those that were in similar circumstances. Thanks!
 

Superman

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Oct 3, 2009
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959
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Grand Rapids, MI, USA
I didn’t die, so there’s that.

But seriously, it’s not like the Bionic Man or Woman. It allows you to live and any improvement that I’ve noticed as come from having activity restrictions lifted and taking up running and other physical activity I was told not to do prior. Certainly didn’t come away from the hospital feeling great and thinking what a difference that made!

Probably not helping, but I’m sure others have different experiences that they will share. Get it done. Live to tell about it. Then focus on getting active and healthy because you can (assuming no other issues).
 

Protimenow

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I don't think that those 'classic symptoms' that you indicated are actually the symptoms of those who need a valve replacement. What I noticed was a decline in energy - my heart couldn't effectively pump blood when I did much physical activity. If I pressed on the center of my fingernail, it took a long time for it to pink up (my cardiologist at the time used this to test me).

It's been 28 years since I had my OHS, and what I recall is that much of my energy came back. I was able to do activities that either I couldn't do, or that tired me out more quickly.

I'm not sure that you'll notice a dramatic change post surgery that you may be expecting - but you will see that you're able to do things that used to tire you out. You'll have more energy.

And, most importantly, you'll join the large group of others on this forum who've already done this before.
 

dick0236

Eat the elephant one bite at a time
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I agree with the above posts. At 75 I doubt that you will have a "fountain of youth" experience......but you should have more energy for normal activities. I know several men who have had this surgery in their 70's and they seem as active as others who have not had this kind of surgery. Personally I'm quite sure I would not be here typing this had I not had valve replacedment........and that is a very good thing:)
 

d333gs

Active member
Joined
Feb 20, 2018
Messages
35
Location
France
I'm interested to know how much improvement to expect by having my aortic valve replaced.
My surgery scheduled "within the next 6 months". My condition was noticed because of an echocardiogram which led to more tests but Im not experiencing the classic symptoms -chest pain/pressure, etc.
I have had a heart murmur all my life and just accepted that fact without ever understanding what it meant. Now it means is at 75 my valve is becoming stenotic and works even less efficiently. I'm imagining that my most prominent symptom is a loss of energy and inner strength and since it's ebbed over time so slowly I dont know how to gauge how much I've lost. For instance, I look at someone running for office that is 5 or more years older than I and I can't even imagine how they can find the energy to keep functioning on such a high level. No Im not hoping to run for public office but I would love to have more energy for my marriage and my life. Id like to hear experiences from those that were in similar circumstances. Thanks!
 

d333gs

Active member
Joined
Feb 20, 2018
Messages
35
Location
France
Lol!, MINI : one of my typical typo's...... Friday past I learn't that I "probably" was born with a BAV and while I have learnt to live with it, numbers say it is time to replace it. I am on a 6 month checkup schedule but I have decided to ask to get it done in the fall ...... A MINI sounds good
 

pellicle

Professional Dingbat
Joined
Nov 4, 2012
Messages
7,343
Location
Queensland, OzTrayLeeYa
I'm interested to know how much improvement to expect by having my aortic valve replaced.
well, which time?
  1. when I was 12 I was already going down hill, and after the valvotomy (not strictly a replacement, but a full OHS) I got to recover and become a "normal teenager". I went from not being able to do exersize to being able to do fencing, hiking, MX riding .. the usual
  2. when I was 28 my health was declining (again) and I had a replacement. I went from not being able to walk up my hill carrying my groceries to after sugery being able to do that ... then I started training and was able to ride 30km 3 evenings per week and 12km to and from work the other eveneings
  3. on my third the main driver was aneurysm, so I didn't die and then also got fitter again
so heaps of improvement ... 3 times
however at 75 ... its a different equation.
 

Rapidman

Member
Joined
Oct 13, 2019
Messages
19
I had moderate stenosis and an aneurysm repaired. I’m not sure I noticed a big improvement afterward due directly to the surgery. Doing the surgery relaxed my activity restrictions. I was much more cognizant of my health regarding eating better exercising more and wanting to get over the recovery period. As a result I have kept up those habits and do have more energy.
 

MrsBray

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Joined
Nov 2, 2013
Messages
287
Location
Clearwater/Tampa FL area
I was 42 at my replacement. My pre-op symptoms were fatigue (needed 12+ hours of sleep/day), always being cold, and pale skin.
I remember my husband saying how much color I had back in my face when I woke up from surgery.
Any fatigue I have now is because I'm fat.
I have no more issues regulating my body temperature (that took about 6 months to get straight after surgery).

BUT, everyone is different. My 70 yr old friend said he felt 50 again.

Meredith
Clearwater, FL
 

tom in MO

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Jan 17, 2012
Messages
1,442
Location
MO USA
The biggest improvement is not in the quality of your life but the length of your life. People die from aortic stenosis. Since you have has a murmur since birth, do you have a bicuspid valve (BAV)? People die from BAV deformities, median age is 55.

How much physical improvement you will see depends upon a variety of things:
  • How bad your stenosis was in the first place.
  • How active you are before and after.
  • A successful operation with no complications that effect heart functionality.
  • How damaged your heart was in the first place from the stenosis. The valve replacement fixes the valve, but some people have reversible or irreversible damage before replacement.
  • How well you follow through on cardiac rehabilitation and subsequent exercise on your own.
I had a BAV and thought I was pretty much asymptomatic. However, in my hilly neighborhood, I noticed a difference from before to after the operation after about 3 months. I found I could walk longer and faster. I was 55yo when mine was replaced.
 

d333gs

Active member
Joined
Feb 20, 2018
Messages
35
Location
France
The biggest improvement is not in the quality of your life but the length of your life. People die from aortic stenosis. Since you have has a murmur since birth, do you have a bicuspid valve (BAV)? People die from BAV deformities, median age is 55.

How much physical improvement you will see depends upon a variety of things:
  • How bad your stenosis was in the first place.
  • How active you are before and after.
  • A successful operation with no complications that effect heart functionality.
  • How damaged your heart was in the first place from the stenosis. The valve replacement fixes the valve, but some people have reversible or irreversible damage before replacement.
  • How well you follow through on cardiac rehabilitation and subsequent exercise on your own.
I had a BAV and thought I was pretty much asymptomatic. However, in my hilly neighborhood, I noticed a difference from before to after the operation after about 3 months. I found I could walk longer and faster. I was 55yo when mine was replaced.
Tom , could they tell it was a BAV before surgery ?
 

rich01

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Joined
Aug 23, 2018
Messages
317
Location
Virginia US
I had my valve replaced last fall at age 70. I was led to believe I would have more energy, but I felt exactly the same after that I did before. It did take me about 4 months to get used to the new valve. It acts a little differently than my real valve and at first I thought there was something wrong. The biggest thing I noticed is when my heart rate is up, I either feel or sense the valve closing, kind of with a thump.
 

bizinsider

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Joined
Jun 27, 2016
Messages
80
Location
San Diego, CA
always good to hear from patients who aren't younger when they have this done.

Thanks for adding that
I'm interested to know how much improvement to expect by having my aortic valve replaced.
My surgery scheduled "within the next 6 months". My condition was noticed because of an echocardiogram which led to more tests but Im not experiencing the classic symptoms -chest pain/pressure, etc.
I have had a heart murmur all my life and just accepted that fact without ever understanding what it meant. Now it means is at 75 my valve is becoming stenotic and works even less efficiently. I'm imagining that my most prominent symptom is a loss of energy and inner strength and since it's ebbed over time so slowly I dont know how to gauge how much I've lost. For instance, I look at someone running for office that is 5 or more years older than I and I can't even imagine how they can find the energy to keep functioning on such a high level. No Im not hoping to run for public office but I would love to have more energy for my marriage and my life. Id like to hear experiences from those that were in similar circumstances. Thanks!
I’m 67 and go in tomorrow for BAV replacement and aneurysm repair of my root and ascending aorta. I have viewed myself as asymptotic for all of the years I have been watching this. I have mild to moderate stenosis and severe regurgitation. I consider to be fairly high energy. Still, my surgeon at the Cleveland Clinic, Lars Svensson. Who has done thousands of these over the years, says I should have more energy after the surgery... once I recover. Anybody and everybody I know laughed at that! I think his point was that many of us who think we are asymptomatic are living in bodies of adjusted to the symptoms. Anyway, it will certainly be fun to see if he’s right! I’ll definitely report back at some point down the road on that one.
 

d333gs

Active member
Joined
Feb 20, 2018
Messages
35
Location
France
I’m 67 and go in tomorrow for BAV replacement and aneurysm repair of my root and ascending aorta. I have viewed myself as asymptotic for all of the years I have been watching this. I have mild to moderate stenosis and severe regurgitation. I consider to be fairly high energy. Still, my surgeon at the Cleveland Clinic, Lars Svensson. Who has done thousands of these over the years, says I should have more energy after the surgery... once I recover. Anybody and everybody I know laughed at that! I think his point was that many of us who think we are asymptomatic are living in bodies of adjusted to the symptoms. Anyway, it will certainly be fun to see if he’s right! I’ll definitely report back at some point down the road on that one.
Break a leg , get back to us as soon as you can type!
 

Suckyvalvegurl

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Joined
Jan 26, 2019
Messages
70
Location
Tx
I was lucky. Even though I was 56 and the bicuspid valve was discovered at that time with critical stenosis and surgery done within the month...I had no heart damage.
 

Protimenow

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Joined
Aug 10, 2010
Messages
3,632
Location
California
You'll prove that 'anybody and everybody' who laughed about you feeling better after surgery knew nothing about your surgery or the outcomes. I hoipe that the surgery goes well and that recovery is complete and rapid,

Prove those ignoramuses wrong.
 
Joined
Feb 18, 2020
Messages
5
Quick question to those that mentioned having "activity restrictions" lifted.
Were these doctor or self imposed restrictions?
Thanks!
 

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