Mechanical Valvers! Tell me about your travel experiences

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preciosa1974

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Dec 2, 2022
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100
Not the same issue, but I had severe regurgitation with no other heart issues due to bicuspid valve. So congenital. We were able to get the regurgitation to moderate and my surgeon said I could wait if I wanted to, but I was already symptomatic. I couldn’t run anymore or do lots of activity without feeling out of breath and I decided it better to do this surgery with a healthy heart rather than having more complications down the road and we both agreed. I’m recovering and glad it’s done and I already feel different. I just have pain from surgery but I’m looking forward to enjoying activities again soon! I do get a little nervous still about bleeding but I need to read more and understand more and im sure with time that will lessen.
 

Superman

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Joined
Oct 2, 2009
Messages
1,751
Location
Grand Rapids, MI, USA
Hi mech valvers!

Looking increasingly likely that I'm getting a Bentall and one of the things that concerns me is the ability to travel and do slightly adventurous things.

Have you gone on surfing adventures (what if you hit your head or bleed a bit?)
Ski trips? (head?)
Hiking trips or multi day treks in isolated places at high altitudes? T
Scuba trips in developing countries?
Places where you don't speak the language and don't know exactly what's in your food?

I'd love some reassurance that at least some of these things are possible with those handy coagucheck machines. So please, tell me your travel stories and help bring my anxiety down from a 15/10 to a 12/10
BFD70EC6-0ECD-4D93-ADD9-7741E19DA109.jpeg

HDR image I captured on our way down the Grand Canyon along the South Kaibob trail. Went down one day. Stayed over night at the bottom. Hiked out the next.
 

svAdagioME

Active member
Joined
Sep 30, 2022
Messages
31
Location
Maine
Thank you everyone for the messages of encouragement. It really means a lot. I've been advised by a surgeon I trust that I should go for the mechanical, it's just hard to accept as I am asymptomatic now and I feel like the mechanical will feel like a step down from where I am in terms of quality of life. The Ross is so tempting as it provides this illusion that nothing is wrong your heart, although I'm quite aware that you pay for this illusion, with interest, 15 years +/- 5 down the road.




This is exactly what I would be worried about. I'm glad you came out OK but how did you know you (and at what point do you know) when it's appropriate to seek medical care?
I am really glad I did the mechanical and don't have to have another aortic valve surgery. Just go into it with a positive attitude and then go get your skis and scuba stuff and go kick a$$.

I have had an Onx mechanical for only a little less than 3 months so I dont have the experience of some of these other people. But honestly I feel 100%. The concerns and worries I had beforehand were way overblown. Warfarin has been a non event. I take the pills, i get the test, thats it. I am getting a coagucheck machine soon, which is the same thing the nurse does the check with and its idiot proof. It doesnt really need to be checked that often. I am on metoprolol, and i was worried about that but i have no side effects from it at all. The dreaded ticking or clicking is nothing. I hear it when i am sitting quietly but it too is a non-event. I was only in the hospital 3 nights. The first two days were rough but after that i felt pretty good. I have had knee surgeries that were a hell of a lot worse.

As for the aneurism situation, a have a spot in the ascending aorta that they had measured as “moderate” and the surgeon said he would make the call when he got in there and probably fix it, and I was fine with that. When he was in there he decided not to. Which is also fine. I just had an echo and it hasnt changed, so will get it checked and keep an eye on it over the years, but the Dr is the expert, I am not, so I am not going to worry about it at all. As an aside, my aortic valve was actually alot worse than they expected, soI am glad I didnt wait. Early is better than late.

I think if you worry about all these things and strategize in your head too much it can sometimes create extra worry. Get it done, and get back out there.
 
Last edited:

Chuck C

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Joined
Dec 5, 2020
Messages
1,885
my aortic valve was actually alot worse than they expected
Same as mine. Echo said severe AS, but the surgeon said when he got his eyes on the valve, it was critical. He showed me the photos of the very calcified valve and it looked pretty bad. Like you, hearing this information made me very glad that i did not wait.

Early is better than late.
100% agree on that. At evey check up, I would tell my cardiologist that I would rather be 6 months early than 6 months late. Better to err on the side of getting it done a little early.
 

coffeelover

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 14, 2011
Messages
313
Location
CALIFORNIA
Hi mech valvers!

Looking increasingly likely that I'm getting a Bentall and one of the things that concerns me is the ability to travel and do slightly adventurous things.

Have you gone on surfing adventures (what if you hit your head or bleed a bit?)
Ski trips? (head?)
Hiking trips or multi day treks in isolated places at high altitudes? T
Scuba trips in developing countries?
Places where you don't speak the language and don't know exactly what's in your food?

I'd love some reassurance that at least some of these things are possible with those handy coagucheck machines. So please, tell me your travel stories and help bring my anxiety down from a 15/10 to a 12/10
Hi csigaba! I did a 9 day guided Alaska/ Denali wilderness trip in 2016, four yrs. after my AVR with a mechanical. I did let the alpine guides know ahead a couple months ahead of time that i was on warfarin...on the trip i did hike a little more carefully using my Leki hiking poles and I was also more careful about not bumping into stuff. i packed some dried prunes in my backpack to add some Vit. K to backpack foods. I figured as long as a grizzly didn't get a hold of me I would be fine. And last year I returned to downhill skiing.(i missed it after giving it up for 10 yrs. post AVR)..... I love being back on the slopes.! i bought a really good helmet and i stick to blue slopes...good luck!
 

vitdoc

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Supporting Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2017
Messages
322
Location
Southern Ca.
I have been on multiple bike trips all over the world without any issues with warfarin. Photo safaris to Patagonia, Tanzania and Botswana no issues. Have my trusty CoagCheck with me. So basically I don't really think much about it. I wear a dog tag that has my medical history on it so if something happens like a car accident the appropriate authorities should be aware of my medical story.
One brand of medical ID. there are others. THE FIXX ID DOG TAG
 
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