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PAN

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Hi,

After several cancellations surgery was finally completed about 4 weeks ago. Ross procedure plus ascending aorta replacement. In recent times it certainly seems a more controversial decision in these parts, no going back now though :) Having lurked here for many years since 2012, there has possibly been a slight shift in attitude which has been interesting to read as I went through the decision making process in the last 1 to 2 years. For the longest time I was set on mechanical , one and done. Taking the time to understand the Ross in some detail and consider the data from several continents we eventually took the plunge. A personal choice of course and one that has been discussed in varying levels of detail here. Not really the point of this post to discuss again but let's see. Post surgery was "routine" , no major issues at all. At the moment some aches and pains and attempting to increase the frequency and distance of my walks. Right now I'd describe it as frustrating, but one day at a time right.

For years my favorite past-time was to read all the patient stories I possibly could. Take most of it with a pinch of salt but consume and digest what I could and come to my own conclusions. In time I think I'll write a more detailed report of my experience in hospital. I think back to some stories and people actually posting updates here from their hospital bed. Truly impressive. The last thing I could think of doing in week 1 or 2 is to write a coherent sentence in here. Insanity actually :)

For anybody just about to go under the knife, its quite the ride. In 2 to 3 weeks it's already a fading memory. Best of luck to you all.

P.
 

Seaton

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Great to hear you're four weeks into recovery and moving forward, PAN. Brilliant news.
All the best and good health for the days and years ahead. Onwards. ☀️
 
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DJ-Rae09

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Great to see you on the other side!

Yep, take recovery easy...day by day. I found it frustrating at times in the first 2-3 weeks, but by the end of week 3 and into week 4 BIG improvements. I'm now into week 8 and feel normal apart from the scar down the middle of my chest haha.

Keep walking and walking :)
 

PAN

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Welcome to the other side :)
Thank you. Was a long time coming, will start making the most of it soon enough..
Great to hear you're four weeks into recovery and moving forward, PAN. Brilliant news.
All the best and good health for the days and years ahead. Onwards. ☀️
Thank you. Onward indeed, looking forward to it now.
Great to see you on the other side!

Yep, take recovery easy...day by day. I found it frustrating at times in the first 2-3 weeks, but by the end of week 3 and into week 4 BIG improvements. I'm now into week 8 and feel normal apart from the scar down the middle of my chest haha.

Keep walking and walking :)
Cheers,

I have to say week 4 seems like little has changed, hopefully week 5 brings more progress. Trying to push on the walking front, things are getting better. Stairs were quite difficult for a while if taken too quickly, that seems to be getting better also. Can take deep breaths but that does seem to be slightly variable. Sleeping on my side is possible but not for the entire night. Had to start a course of antibiotics as one or 2 places on the wound started to leak a little and look a little red. Also getting better it seems and quite minor compared to some of the stories I've seen online.. Top of the scar has healed much quicker than the rest.

Onward indeed :)

P
 

DJ-Rae09

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hopefully week 5 brings more progress.

It will....and when you get to week 7 and 8 you'll forget you had OHS :) The memory is starting to fade for me. Every now and again I remind myself, man I've been through OHS and on the other side now. It still feels kind of unreal.

Sleeping on my side is possible but not for the entire night.

Yeah this was tough initially sleeping on my back. I started to sleep on the side about week 4ish

Had to start a course of antibiotics as one or 2 places on the wound started to leak a little and look a little red

Similar here, the only eventful thing for me is one of my drainage tube wounds still hasn't healed up, so doctor has prescribed antibiotic cream which I'm using now.

Top of the scar has healed much quicker than the rest.

Same here.
Although the bottom of my incision has now developed keloid/hypertrophic. So I'm using a silicon gel patch each day which apparently will flatten it out and fade the scar. It's called cica care.

Onward yes!
Keep on enjoying the incremental gains/improvement when they appear!

Cheers!
 
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Lucker

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@PAN
I'm immensely grateful to you for your story. Would be nice to know what meds you are or were on, prior and post surgery.
 
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PAN

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Hi @Lucker

Prior , I took BP medication ( Telmisartan ) to reduce the pressure across a stenotic/regurgitant aortic valve. To prolong its existence and help reduce the workload on left ventricle.

Following surgery I'm taking a different BP medication while the autograft settles in. Bisoprolol. Also take an anti inflammatory for a few months.

hope that helps.

P
 

PAN

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Similar here, the only eventful thing for me is one of my drainage tube wounds still hasn't healed up, so doctor has prescribed antibiotic cream which I'm using now.

Same here.
Although the bottom of my incision has now developed keloid/hypertrophic. So I'm using a silicon gel patch each day which apparently will flatten it out and fade the scar. It's called cica care.

Hey, hopefully these heal up. All in good time. Keep the infections away and we'll be set. Some "interesting" stories in here about wound infections and healing difficulties. As if OHS isn't enough :)
 

AZATADINE

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Same here.
Although the bottom of my incision has now developed keloid/hypertrophic. So I'm using a silicon gel patch each day which apparently will flatten it out and fade the scar. It's called cica care.

I'm wondering about the bottom section of my scar now. I'm 11 months post op and almost all of the scar is looking pretty "good"/normal scar bit the bottom inch or inch and a half looks and feels a bit raised or keloid. Must ask my doctor about it. Sometimes it's a bit itchy too.
 

Chuck C

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Congratulations on making it to the other side!

Please keep us posted with your updates during your recovery, if you feel up to it.
 
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Chuck C

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Sleeping on my side is possible but not for the entire night.

Sleeping was one of the most challenging things for me the first few weeks. It is really hard for me to sleep on my back, but mandatory at first. One thing that really helped is that I have a sleep number bed, which is adjustable, like a hospital bed. I found that if I put the mattress setting to a very soft setting and set the incline to about the same as the hospital, that it really made a difference. But, once I was able to sleep on my side again it was a major victory.

Take one day at a time and celebrate every small victory in your recovery!
 

PAN

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I'm wondering about the bottom section of my scar now. I'm 11 months post op and almost all of the scar is looking pretty "good"/normal scar bit the bottom inch or inch and a half looks and feels a bit raised or keloid. Must ask my doctor about it. Sometimes it's a bit itchy too.

Hey, Exactly the same.. Top healed fastest, followed buy the bottom 3 to 4 cm.. A few small red parts in the central region, had been leaking/bleeding very slightly but look like it is sorted now. The bottom section also looks a little raised and different to the rest, maybe breathing + movement promotes a more interesting scar. It's nearly 6 weeks now so just glad things seem to be nearly in the rear view mirror regarding the incision.

Sleeping was one of the most challenging things for me the first few weeks.

Sleeping has definitely been a challenge although I can now spend some time on my right hand side. Over 5 weeks to reach that point. Last few nights some restless leg syndrome, so irritating. hideous. No doubt unrelated to surgery but hope that vanishes very soon.I may be evicted :)

You are absolutely correct @Chuck C each small victory should be celebrated. I read that here a lot but now the penny has dropped. Walked for an hour and fifteen minutes yesterday, felt good, tired and a little achy at the end but tired in a good way. Still feeling good today so must be about right distance for me right now. After a few years of decline ,breathing deep is to be celebrated, the difference is so enjoyable. Something to look forward to for anyone waiting around :) No doubt it'll continue to improve in the coming weeks.

P
 

DJ-Rae09

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Hey, hopefully these heal up. All in good time. Keep the infections away and we'll be set. Some "interesting" stories in here about wound infections and healing difficulties. As if OHS isn't enough :)

yep, my drainage tube wound is all good after a week of anti-bacterial cream on it.
 

DJ-Rae09

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Hey, Exactly the same.. Top healed fastest, followed buy the bottom 3 to 4 cm.. A few small red parts in the central region, had been leaking/bleeding very slightly but look like it is sorted now. The bottom section also looks a little raised and different to the rest, maybe breathing + movement promotes a more interesting scar. It's nearly 6 weeks now so just glad things seem to be nearly in the rear view mirror regarding the incision.

same thing here. the bottom 3-4cm is raised and slightly red. The rest of the incision has started to fade away
 
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AZATADINE

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same thing here. the bottom 3-4cm is raised and slightly red. The rest of the incision has started to fade away
I actually went to my GP during the week about mine - the lower couple of inches are a bit raised and occasionally get a bit tender but the rest is almost invisible now. Just wanted to check if this was normal.

Apparently it's pretty common. I know I also have 4 little bumps in this area and they are fairly regularly spaced in terms of where they are. Gp told me they could be related to where the staples are.

Either way, seemingly, this is not uncommon.
 

Thomas67

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Hi Pan, I am scheduled for Ross procedure December 13th. Such a hard decision to make on what type of valve to go with. I realize it hasn't been very long, but would you suggest the Ross having gone through it?
 

PAN

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Hi there,

I noticed your other thread. Honestly not for me to recommend one over the other. I'm happy that I went ahead with it. I did my homework and was fully aware of the options and the current thinking in support of and against both options. That being said I was also fully aware that my native aortic valve was on its last legs so any replacement would be an upgrade. I went into it eyes open and I think that is probably the best any of us can do. It has been said many times before, choose your poison, that might be the toughest part in all of this you know. Especially if you are identified as a good match for a Ross.

This forum is a great resource but it should only make up ( likely small ) part of the decision making process. That might sound obvious but at times it is easy to get drawn too far into the discussion. Sometimes that is good, sometimes it isn't. At times I needed to step back from here. Though I was over ten years in the waiting room and would sometimes let the whole thing wind me up. So listen to your doctors and take an average from these online resources :)

I also notice that some of the information being shared about the Ross is quiteout of date here. Not all of it but certainly some of it. So again, discuss with your surgeon, preferably more than one. ( 4 in my case ) and be sure you understand the details and why he/she feels you are a good candidate.

It took me a while to decide. I was originally set on a mechanical and my surgeon absolutely drove me nuts when he suggested the Ross. The ultimate curve ball. To return the favor I did interrogate him for many months to understand his thinking. Once decided however, I dropped this forum and took a deep breath. All was good. Just over 7 weeks now and energy has increased yet again. Feel better than before surgery and still some recovery to complete.

Wish you all the very best with your decision. It's not easy, not at all, you have options and really they are all good. Even now I think about that. We are lucky.

P
 

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