post surgical complications and feelings (some may find images disturbing)

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you are welcome, and indeed it has been a real life roller coaster with more ups and downs than I care to mention.

without any knowledge of your age / other significant medical issues my vote would be ditch the repair, get a bileaflet pyrolyticcarbon mechanical and it will more or less be just a thing of memory. Depending on the existence of other factors (co-morbidities as they call them) a tissue valve would be my next suggestion. But without knowing much more I can't say more.

Best wishes and I hope you remain in the waiting room, while it may seem an anxious place, I can assure you that compared to where I sit its relative tranquility.

Pellicle, Nupur problem is with his mitral valve. A good repair is allways better than a replacement for mitral valves. My assumption is that you were thinking about aortic valve...
quite right, guilty as charged. Pardon my aortic stereotyping. I know next to nothing about Mitral valve surgery

I think aortic valve repair is much less common. For mitral repair is the first choice. In my case, it will be a difficult repair, but I am willing to go Cleveland for it. If it can't be done, I honestly don't know what valve I will choose. I guess for a late 40s (or early 50s depending on when it is) female patient, the choice would be mechanical to avoid multiple surgeries. But I see more and more people opting for tissue with the hope that the second will be some kind of trans catheter procedure.
Maybe I'm a huge pessimist (but not that huge, given that I did opt for an aortic valve repair) but I'd be afraid of what happens when the TAVR fails. Then you're much older and potentially need to have OHS again. I know I'm in the minority with that line of thought.
Pellicle, All this advice you've been giving me about the Coumadin management, I had NO idea you were still going through wound issues post OHS! You are such a wonderful resource on this forum, My heart goes out to you that you're helping so many here and still dealing with issues yourself. I for one am VERY glad your posted this thread back up with the recent update!!!

I've had a small area that's concerning me just below my sternal bump (I'm 9 weeks post op; the one having the trouble with the POC machines not reading my INR right,...). Anyway, there's a small, 1/4" long and 1/16" wide, area that started out looking like a small pimple (whitehead acne) just next to or on my scar. The pimple disappeared a couple days later but the red area still looks raw and is staying reddened. It definitely is ON the scar. It's now been there two weeks. . No change in size, no worsening nor healing. It's hard to tell because area is so small, but maybe new white pus there too as of looking just now. Not being paranoid, but your updating this posting, has been VERY timely. I have another Followup with my cardio this Wed. I was planning on him looking at this red area but was sort of embarrassed to because it's quite small and was thinking I'd be looking paranoid to mention it to him. Now, I won't be shy to say something. It may be nothing, but seeing your post gives me encouragement to not treat it as nothing. You encourage me to Keep an eye on it and know what to ask if it could be that bug you had/have (and how to have it cultured). I won't ask unless I see other signs that it's worsening or there's something to culture. Certainly if any big bumps suddenly appear like yours did.

I have a couple thoughts about all the longterm antibiotic use. How's this affecting your digestive tract and stomach? Are you eating yogurt or anything to keep up the good bacteria in your intestines? Are you on anything to help your stomach not be irritated by all the harshness of the antibiotic? I'd be concerned about stomach bleeding given the two drugs you're now permanently (or semi- perm) on. Amoxicillin is one of the few drugs that gives me a stomachache. Of course taking 8 of them at one time before dental appointments is a bit much to ask of any stomach, but .... At least it's better than the ton of penicillin I used to have to take as a kid. Amox doesn't taste quite as bad on its way back up. :p

Thanks again for posting this thread in the first place and for updating it and bringing it back into the light.

So you said you'd moved to (or were in) Finland, but you have Queensland for profile. Did you move back to Australia at some point? In our PM about my foot bruises, it sounded like you were in Australia getting that ground coffee. :cool:

Wherever you are, THANKS for ALL!!!! your postings and best wishes for continuing recovery!

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Updating on my wound fun. So far not nearly as scary as yours, Pellicle. Again, I am so glad you posted this!!! I asked cardiologist about my spot in early August and he said it was stitches coming to surface. Sure enough about a week later the two "pimples" were joined by a white stitch which dissolved in a day. The area stayed raw for a few days and then healed over and was looking good. Another week goes by and a third pimple showed up just under the first two. I thought, oh another stitch... None ever came up. But about 12 days ago a blood blister like thing formed on the supposed dissolved and healed stitch. I made a Dr. appt but they couldn't get me in until late the next day. By that point the blister popped and a small bit of blood and puss came out. Unfortunately by the time of the appt. it had scabbed over and dried up. The RNP put me on Keflex for 10 days thinking this may be a staph infection inside the stitches. I just finished that round of Keflex on Sat. Today, there was a large pus filled sack 1/4" off the scar and above the older stitch one. I went to the ER instead and after a 4 hour wait, got it cultured. The ER Dr. thinks it might be MRSA (shudder) and has ordered another round of now Sulpha based antibiotic but not to start it until we get the culture back. Today's Dr kept saying how late it is postop and that this probably isn't dehiscence but given your story I'm skeptical. I'm not panicky but am certainly keeping you in mind and keeping a close eye on things. I do wish I'd written down the name of the acne bacteria because I should've had them culture for that as well, assuming they would and could. This is different than yours, but again I am SO VERY GRATEFUL you posted your story. I hope things are going better and that wound is behaving itself!!! Linda
Not sure anyone is still reading this thread or just having trouble posting. But I'll update anyway just in case. .... Pustule was NOT MRSA thank God. All that showed up was a small amount of staph which could be normal. Was given an appointment with Dermatologist but of course all were fairly healed by the time I got in with him. He said pustule is probably just my immune system doing it's job. Fine, but what's there that's making it activate so much??? I'm getting more suspicious it's the little buggy Pellicle has been dealing with but mine is staying surface level and just taking advantage of breaks in the skin. Dermo Doc said stitches can keep coop mint to surface for about 6 months postop (sure enough I have another working it's way out.) he told me not to do the antibiotic round since we don't want my flora developing resistance to things. He did suggest taking what he calls Bleach Baths; put 1/2 cup bleach in a full tub and submerse fully (including head), need only stay in for 5 min or so, do this 2-3X per week. I haven't done this yet, hate baths and my sunken tub is too big to just fill for a quick immersion. So far, no more pustules have shown back up. If I see anymore I'll do the bleach sponge down or bath. I'll also go back for another culture and tell them to do an anaerobic culture for the acne bug (I know that first culture was standard run cultures which don't include anaerobic since they suspected just staph.) At least I'm pretty sure mine is still just surface and the scar is staying well healed and closed. Hope all is going well, Pellicle. Linda