I talked to a few surgeons, so far they proposed 3 different methods of surgery:
a) sternotomy (open breast bone 2 inch , one of them said 3 inch)
b) minimally invasive robotics (5 holes on the right side of the chest)
c) minimal lateral thoracotomy (3 inch cut under right nipple and a hole in groin)
Some of the doctors promised 99% chance of repair one of them said 95% .
Most of them said they have 99.5 % odds of not killing me during surgery
1) Is there a way to validate their stats?
On Sts database the stats are per hospital not per doctor
2) it seems like option a has 3 months healing time , b and c have 4-6 weeks, leaning toward b, anyone has experience with b or c?
3) Any good Robotics surgeon in NorthEast?
Other thing i am curious :
They all say I will be very tired during recovery so I cant spend 8 hrs before completing recovery time
4) I work on computers , no physical activity needed, anyone was able to work 8 hrs earlier than the expected recovery time?
I did minimally invasive right thoracic repair at Brigham & Women's Hospital in Boston. I spoke to my surgeon about robotic surgery and he said if I wanted to do it then he'd refer me to his friend who does them at Yale, because it's the only place in New England that does it that way currently. I opted for right thoracic as the outcome seemed about the same and the possibly slightly shorter recovery with robotics didn't seem worth the two way travel and hotel time for me and my wife and our family.
Try and look up your surgeon online and read reviews, figure out their experience, ask lots of questions, etc. Read about the hospital, too. If they're trained to do minimally invasive surgery, they should be good at it! But if you research this topic a lot then you will know a line of BS. I met with one surgeon who does sternotomy and he told me recovery was significantly faster than minimally invasive and that people only get the latter after being suckered in by marketing. I also met one minimally invasive surgeon who worried me because he was talking about having a way longer recovery time that was twice as long as the literature said, so I wondered how good he was and didn't go with him either.
Your recovery will be highly dependent on what shape you are in going into surgery. My leaky mitral valve was genetic (I saw two geneticists who declared I have no named condition but just got a mix of genes that caused this). I am in my late 40s and am in good shape otherwise. I have a great BMI, all good cholesterol numbers, I exercise a lot, my average BP was 110/70 before surgery, etc. Four days before my surgery they took a slew of blood from me and tested me for 42 things and all came back in range. Once the drainage tubes came out less than 72 hours after surgery I was "normal" for every day activities for about 75% of the day, and a bit sluggish the rest of the time. But do not push yourself or you can very likely derail your recovery. I relaxed and listened to podcasts, watched some movies, took progressively faster paced walks, etc. Get yourself into the best shape you can get into before surgery and it should help your recovery.
Don't baby yourself either in recovery and relax too much, as you don't want to hamper your recovery. You should know what feels right. Also, know that even if you have a day where you feel great, the very next day you just might be a little off so expect some downs with the ups.
I have generous leave time at my work, so I took six weeks off (I was offered way more), though I could have returned earlier. I wouldn't push that either. One thing I noticed is that my eyes were more sensitive to strain after looking at a monitor or TV, so that was another reason I didn't want to rush back to work (I'm a remote working white collar employee and spend a good amount of each day on my computer).
Having eyes that were more sensitive to eye strain lasted about four weeks and then I felt okay. I took another two weeks of leave though, because why not?