Post Surgery long-term followup with cardiologist

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djman

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Mar 6, 2022
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In March I had my aortic valve replaced with a mechanical. I also had part of my aorta replaced with a synthetic graft. (49 yrs old, had bicuspid valve with stenosis + aneurysm).

What should I expect in long-term cardiologist followup? Do people normally get regular imaging? What type of imaging and how often?
 

JLmatus

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May 25, 2017
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Wilkes Barre, PA
I have a mechanical heart valve as well as a synthetic aortic graft. I usually see my Cardiologist every 6 months for routine checkups. I get an echocardiogram every year and a chest x-ray every 2 years or so.
 

Chuck C

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I had my aortic valve replaced with a mechanical valve 14 months ago. Right now I am on schedule to get an echo and cardiologist visit every 6 months. Others have shared that once things appear stable for a period of time that the frequency of visits become less frequent.
 

tom in MO

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I have a mechanical AV. I see a cardio yearly and get a EKG. I get an echo about every 5-10 years. Per my cardio it used to be done more frequently but studies have shown it wasn't needed unless something else indicates a potential problem. Some people see their general physician not their cardio every year.
 

KLS39

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In March I had my aortic valve replaced with a mechanical. I also had part of my aorta replaced with a synthetic graft. (49 yrs old, had bicuspid valve with stenosis + aneurysm).

What should I expect in long-term cardiologist followup? Do people normally get regular imaging? What type of imaging and how often?
I had the same surgery 14 months ago. I see the cardiologist every six months. They do an EKG at both appointments. I have an echo done once a year. I did have a holter monitor this year because I had a few episodes of heart palpitations.
 

Keithl

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Apr 20, 2019
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In March I had my aortic valve replaced with a mechanical. I also had part of my aorta replaced with a synthetic graft. (49 yrs old, had bicuspid valve with stenosis + aneurysm).

What should I expect in long-term cardiologist followup? Do people normally get regular imaging? What type of imaging and how often?

I had same 3 years ago. Surgeon wanted a CT at the 3-4 month mark after that cardio doc does annual echo. So far all clean.
 

Superman

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Immediately after surgery I had a couple CT scans. After those, I didn’t see the surgeon anymore. Then it was annual echos with the cardiologist. This last check up they said I can wait a couple years. Last surgery was 2009.
 

Keithl

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I had a daily xray in hospital, maybe a CT as well, all a blur to me know. It was annoying with 4 IVs and such being wheeled to xray then having to position in all the angles for x-rays with everything dangling from me. I have copies of everything, xrays, MRIs, CTs going back years.
 

LondonAndy

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I had a mechanical aortic valve inserted in 2014. After initial, more frequent checks, it soon settled into an annual pattern of echo, ECG and chat with cardiologist. All good so far.
 

pellicle

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Hi

What should I expect in long-term cardiologist followup? Do people normally get regular imaging? What type of imaging and how often?

well firstly I don't call 1 year "long term" to me that's short term and the first step in the long term follow up journey. I hope you are not thinking one day to the next but are now planning what you do for better health on a 10 year horizon.

Here its usually an echo study, a CT with contrast, some ECG and an X-Ray or two. Then they discuss how you've felt and what's happened and how your AC Therapy is going. I took in (and continue to have available if desired) my comprehensive INR data (weekly testing data and charts) to give the Cardio some better idea about how well I'm handling it. This is not trivial because this is the single biggest predictor of post surgical success. He gets better data from me than the labs ever give him.

To my thinking 1 year is the beginning of the follow-up journey (having had a 20 year follow up on my 2nd operation and will be going to my 10 year in a couple of months). As you have a mechanical you'll probably find that after 2 year they bump it out to every 2 years (as they did for me) as SVD is not on the table for examination. With a mech valve unless there is some other underlying (say electro cardio) issue then its in for the long haul and your ACT is the thing of interest.

Naturally they will be keen to observe the end of the graft too, and after a while will be comfortable that no aneurysm is extending past that.

Best Wishes for a routine and uneventful follow up
 
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RAS

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Omaha, NE
What should I expect in long-term cardiologist followup? Do people normally get regular imaging? What type of imaging and how often?

I've had a mechanical valve for 16 years. Saw my cardiologist twice the first year and then annual after that. Echo was annual for about 5 years, then about every 2-3 years unless there was a specific reason to justify more often (that's been rare fortunately).
 

carolinemc

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kansas city, mo
In March I had my aortic valve replaced with a mechanical. I also had part of my aorta replaced with a synthetic graft. (49 yrs old, had bicuspid valve with stenosis + aneurysm).

What should I expect in long-term cardiologist followup? Do people normally get regular imaging? What type of imaging and how often?
Welcome to the club and you will have yearly exams and checkups. You get a yearly echo done. Unless they detect something, they will have you go in once a year.
 

carolinemc

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I had the same surgery 14 months ago. I see the cardiologist every six months. They do an EKG at both appointments. I have an echo done once a year. I did have a holter monitor this year because I had a few episodes of heart palpitations.
They said to me they detected an irregular heartbeat on me this year, had halter, going back Tuesday to find out what they learned from the halter.
 

Dodgy Ticker

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As you have a mechanical you'll probably find that after 2 year they bump it out to every 2 years (as they did for me) as SVD is not on the table for examination. With a mech valve unless there is some other underlying (say electro cardio) issue then its in for the long haul and your ACT is the thing of interest.

Although Pellicle doesn't need seconding, I will second what he says. Just had my 3rd annual post-op check, and cardio doesn't want to see me for 2 years, unless there is an issue. They (including your own doctor) will listen to whether there are leaks, and the pump is working properly, but all of that is through usual echos and the good old stethoscope.

If you're pregnant, then this could well be a 2-for-1 session!!
 

Carnelian

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Jul 29, 2017
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midwest US
I had a mitral valve tissue replacement and double bipass in 2017, and saw my cardiologist every 6 months, except I skipped the last one. How long must I continue?
He orders tests that I may or may not need, and checks my heart. The thing is the office staff are annoying, rude on the phone. They will hang up on me --they are so busy. I am only a number to them (they ask my birthdate, repetitively, not my name.) I know birthdates are necessary now for medical offices, it seems. I told them to stop--no difference. To me, this office does not help lower high blood pressure. It raises high blood pressure. Honestly, I can get better service from large corporations like Amazon.
So I may be looking for another doctor soon. I have had 5 in the last 7 years.
 

slipkid

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Schwenksville, PA, USA
I had a mitral valve tissue replacement and double bipass in 2017, and saw my cardiologist every 6 months, except I skipped the last one. How long must I continue?
He orders tests that I may or may not need, and checks my heart. The thing is the office staff are annoying, rude on the phone. They will hang up on me --they are so busy. I am only a number to them (they ask my birthdate, repetitively, not my name.) I know birthdates are necessary now for medical offices, it seems. I told them to stop--no difference. To me, this office does not help lower high blood pressure. It raises high blood pressure. Honestly, I can get better service from large corporations like Amazon.
So I may be looking for another doctor soon. I have had 5 in the last 7 years.

I hear you. I am so fedup with Drs. I do not even have a cardiologist now, not for a year or so. The last one was a total stooge (long story) and I believe he has retired (without even contacting me). And that office sees so many patients an hour or whatever they do not even know who is who, what is what, why this or that patient is there, have no idea if you had test results to discuss or anything. I had been letting my primary manage things but now he is retiring too. Even though I liked him he quite frankly had no idea what he was talking about half the time and hardly ever followed up on anything he was supposed to do. Healthcare in the USA is governed by money making penny pinching bean counters instead of Drs being allowed to have enough time to actually really get to know/diagnose/treat patients the way they need. Rant over....have an appt with a new Dr (actually a nurse practitioner) in a few weeks (was supposed to go next week but they effing canceled my appt for an unknown reason, which is a huge hardship for me with my horrible work schedule now trying to get this other appt etc for my waking hours)....crap I already said rant over but now I mean it, need to get some sleep....
 

pellicle

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And that office sees so many patients an hour or whatever they do not even know who is who, what is what,
I've been watching a TV series called House lately and what strikes me as the biggest fiction in there is just how much time and effort a whole team of doctors put in to a patient. Dr Houses attitude to the patients however seems about spot on for most top tier specialists.
 

Paleowoman

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I've been watching a TV series called House lately and what strikes me as the biggest fiction in there is just how much time and effort a whole team of doctors put in to a patient. Dr Houses attitude to the patients however seems about spot on for most top tier specialists.
We haven't got a TV but some years ago a friend alerted me to how good the TV series 'House' was. I bought the DVD set of the first season and was hooked - I've watched all eight seasons of it ! The later ones got rather off track away from Dr House's diagnostic detective work but still they were pretty good...maybe they ran out of illnesses lol. It was Dr House's detective work that was fascinating though I doubt that any specialist's team go into patients' houses to search for clues as to their illness...but the stories are fascinating nonetheless and all based on real illnesses.

I am under a top specialist (not my cardiologist) who seems to have amazing knowledge and is an extremely good generalist as well as specialist, thankfully he does not have the same attitude towards patients as Dr House !
 

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