Post-op AVR July 12th

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Rob88

Member
Joined
Aug 4, 2017
Messages
19
Location
Canada
Hey Everyone,

I am 28 years old and had my aortic valve and ascending aorta replaced just over 5 weeks ago now. I found out I had a bicuspid valve when I was 24 and my doctor had considered doing the surgery then, but ultimately decided that it could wait. A few years later, after an MRI and an echo my surgeon decided it was time to replace the valve.

The surgery went well, and I was out of the hospital in the morning of day 4 with the information that they had noticed some fluid around my heart on a post-op echo. The doctor ordered a follow up echo in a few days to see if there were any changes to the amount of fluid. Unfortunately after my echo was finished the tech brought in one of the doctors and he informed me that the fluid had increased since the previous echo. My surgeon was informed of the increase, and he decided to re-admit me to the hospital so he could do another surgery to drain out the fluid.

I was back in the hospital for 3 days, mainly because the surgery was delayed due to more urgent cases. They didn't have to open me up again, although they did increase the length of the scar from the valve replacement. Again, the surgery went well and I was told they drained 1200cc of fluid! Prior to the fluid being drained I didn't realize how poorly I felt but I definitely noticed a difference once it was gone.

Since I was discharged the second time things have been going well and I am feeling pretty good. I chose a mechanical valve, so we are working on figuring out my proper warfarin dose still. I am hoping we've got it now as I've had to get my INR checked every 3 days up to this point so my veins have been poked a lot over the last few weeks. I definitely want to start home testing at some point and have already looked into where I can buy the Coaguchek. I have an info session tomorrow for cardiac rehab which I am looking forward to as I'd love to be able to increase my exercise.

This forum has been very helpful to read pre and post surgery so I just wanted to say thank you to everyone for posting your experiences and helping out here!

Rob
 

honeybunny

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 20, 2015
Messages
1,043
Location
Outside Houston, Texas.
Welcome to the other side! I had fluid drained from my pleural cavity twice but as an inpatient and then in the doctor's office. Glad everything went well and you're feeling better.
 

dick0236

Eat the elephant one bite at a time
VR.org Supporter
Joined
Feb 10, 2007
Messages
2,990
Location
louisville, KY USA
Hi Rob. Welcome. Hope you stick around to help yourself......and a bunch of other people that have to face this kind of health situation, especially younger people. Your decision to self test is the single best thing you can do to properly manage your INR. If you are like most, you will get a handle on INR management pretty quickly. After 50 years on warfarin my advice to you is real simple......"take the pill as prescribed and test routinely". Everything else is simply common sense. Some docs are reluctant to allow self testing but if you show them you have "sense enough to come in out of the rain", most modern docs are open to a self testing protocol. I had my annual cardio check-up this AM and we talked a little about my INR (which is almost always within my range). He commented that there are two types of patients on warfarin, "A" patients who understand the importance of managing INR and "D" patients who seem to want to stay clueless and play "russian roulette" with the drug. I am in the "A" patient group now.
 

Rob88

Member
Joined
Aug 4, 2017
Messages
19
Location
Canada
pellicle;n878393 said:
Welcome to this side mate.

Hope your road to recovery has only small bumps

Best Wishes
Thank you, it's been very nice to be able to read your blog posts. They made INR management feel less overwhelming and the one about valve choice helped a lot. It was difficult to see what my wife and family went through on my surgery date. I'm happy with my valve choice and giving myself a better chance at not having another surgery.

honeybunny;n878403 said:
Welcome to the other side! I had fluid drained from my pleural cavity twice but as an inpatient and then in the doctor's office. Glad everything went well and you're feeling better.
Wow! It's definitely no fun hearing you have to be admitted again, let alone a third time. Hope you are doing well now.

dick0236;n878405 said:
Hi Rob. Welcome. Hope you stick around to help yourself......and a bunch of other people that have to face this kind of health situation, especially younger people. Your decision to self test is the single best thing you can do to properly manage your INR. If you are like most, you will get a handle on INR management pretty quickly. After 50 years on warfarin my advice to you is real simple......"take the pill as prescribed and test routinely". Everything else is simply common sense. Some docs are reluctant to allow self testing but if you show them you have "sense enough to come in out of the rain", most modern docs are open to a self testing protocol. I had my annual cardio check-up this AM and we talked a little about my INR (which is almost always within my range). He commented that there are two types of patients on warfarin, "A" patients who understand the importance of managing INR and "D" patients who seem to want to stay clueless and play "russian roulette" with the drug. I am in the "A" patient group now.
Your story gives me a lot of hope for the rest of my life since we are fairly close in age when the AVR was done. It's great to see that your valve has lasted and you've been able to consistently keep your INR in range. I am taking my INR management very seriously, right now I'm working with my family doctor to get me on the proper dose. When I mentioned self testing she didn't know it was an option but thought it was a good idea. Once I'm able to get myself going with self testing I'm sure I will have some questions for all the experienced people here. I intend to stick around and hopefully be able to help some others in a similar situation.
 

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