My Aortic Valve Replacement Done *tick*

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DJ-Rae09

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 26, 2022
Messages
63
Hi All,

First of all, if anyone is from Sydney, Australia on this forum I highly recommend North Shore Private Hospital (next to the public) for any Cardiac work. It is a first class hospital.

I'm into my 6th week post surgery now. It was Friday morning the 29th of July I had the ATS/Medtronic mechanical valve (29mm) and graft installed to replace my BAV and aortic aneurysm (Bentall procedure). I had the full OHS experience. I remember being quite calm before the actual surgery and was just looking forward to getting it done, maybe it was the valium they gave me lol.

The operation itself took 7 hours. I was on the heart lung machine for about 4 hours. I was transferred to ICU late Friday afternoon.

ICU
To be honest, I don't remember much of my time in ICU. I don't remember or feeling the breathing tube in or being taken out. The first thing I recall in ICU was swirling ice around my mouth and was loving it, and then drinking water. I was told by the nurse to slow down my water intake. I didn't feel much pain or being uncomfortable either.

I had visitors on the Saturday morning which I remember and was in the chair next to the bed chilling out from memory. It was a task moving with the drainage tubes and bits hanging out. I was taking photo's on my phone Saturday night and updating my whatsapp groups lol. And was watching the tour de france on TV (don't remember much).

The worst part of ICU was having the drainage tubes and catheter removed on Sunday, it wasn't nice but it was over quickly. I was in ICU till Sunday lunch and then got transferred to the cardiac ward. They had me walk assisted in ICU before I was allowed out. My vitals were fine too (BP and HR). No sign's of Afib.

Cardiac Ward
Arrived here after Sunday lunch. I was very exhausted, drowsy and tired coming out of ICU. Also a bit disorientated. I was down on blood and ended up anemic. So I looked very pale, washed out and just wanted to sleep. Tried to eat Sunday dinner but couldn't stomach anything at all, YUK! My concentration was crap too. I couldn't focus on my phone or watch TV, but this improved as the days went by.

By Monday morning, I could walk myself out in the corridors and started to get my appetite back as I smashed my scrambled eggs and juice. My chest felt a bit uncomfortable and was still pretty tired. Every day I had bloods taken, heparin shots, weighed and xrays (not everyday). I started on Wafarin day after surgery and it took a good week to get above INR of 2.0 which was the threshold to be discharged from hospital. I was also started on Metoprolol to control HR and BP.

What helped me, I made sure I had a routine which gave me structure throughout the days in hospital especially in the Cardiac ward. I planned my walks and naps around my meals. I walked 3 times a day and nap about 2 times. This really helped me get through the hospital stay, ROUTINE! Highly recommend this. By about Monday or Tuesday I started to clear my bowels, I was given meds to help things move along. Walking also helps getting the bowels going again, sometimes during my walk I had to rush back to my room lol. I stopped these meds by about Tuesday or Wednesday.

I made sure I was up similar time every morning too and out on my walk!

Best part of the Cardiac ward, SHOWER!!!! It was the best part of the day for me. My partner was helping me with showering and getting dry/changed into new gowns. Sleeping was hard in general but I think I managed 4-5 hours per night, maybe less. Sleeping only on the back sucks but got used to it.

Discharge
I was discharged the following Saturday, a good 8 days in hospital. I did the 'up the stair walk test' a day earlier and passed. My INR finally got to 2.3 on the Saturday which was my ticket home! I had an echo done the day before discharge and my left ventricle had already returned within normal range, so quick to remodel (no more leaky BAV).

Also what helped, if any members here directly offer you support, take it! It helped me a lot whilst in hospital chatting to them (and I still chat to them daily). A member is also helping me with my INR management and also giving me FREE training on how to self manage :) WIN WIN :D

Finally, yes the valve does tick/click but hasn't bothered me. Only hear it in a bathroom or quiet room anyways. Like others, I also have a stronger heart beat post surgery. But it's all good :) And sometimes get extra beats but told this will improve as my heart recovers.

I've had my first BEER :) I had it 4 weeks post surgery (small celebration). I've started work this week, into my third cardiac rehab session and started driving again. So things are getting back to normalish. I still walk a lot during the days too.

If anyone that is about to go through AVR, feel free to DM me directly and see if I can help out or provide support like others have done to me.

Cheers,
Tim.
 
Last edited:

pellicle

Professional Dingbat
Joined
Nov 4, 2012
Messages
10,434
Location
Queensland, OzTrayLeeYa
After two days, HUGE change
like this?
1663395331139.png

;-)

I nearly bought some KimChi today ... but I'm afraid it'll be sub-standard compared to what I'm used to...
 
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