Surgery this Friday

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Adamlee

Member
Joined
Jul 18, 2020
Messages
20
Location
UK
Hey all,

Finally, after two years of waiting (partly due to NHS/Covid/pre-emptive surgery not emergency) I have received my date.

I'm 32, slightly overweight but no other medical issues.

Since getting the news, I've really found it difficult to relax and have been focusing on the potentially bad result. I've got two kids and I'm so worried.

I had OHS when I was a baby, so I know the risk of surgery is greater due to the scar tissue. Does anyone know what % it is? I've heard different numbers from different doctors but all around the 5-8% mark because it is my second OHS. I know not having the surgery will be 100% the other way but it is still scary.

I want to go into surgery with a positive attitude but I'm finding it harder as it grows closer. Any advice on how to calm down or did everyone else feel this way? I just want to be in the best place for surgery.

Apologies if this post is a bit rambling, I think I just wanted to write down how I'm feeling. I've been chewing my wife's ear off and I think she needs a break 🤣.

Thanks,

Adam
 

pellicle

Professional Dingbat, Guru and Merkintologist
Joined
Nov 4, 2012
Messages
10,739
Location
Queensland, OzTrayLeeYa
Hi

Finally, after two years of waiting (partly due to NHS/Covid/pre-emptive surgery not emergency) I have received my date.

congrats ...


I'm 32, slightly overweight but no other medical issues.

excellent


I had OHS when I was a baby, so I know the risk of surgery is greater due to the scar tissue. Does anyone know what % it is?

it varies, but isn't any significant issue as so many scans these days are done to clarify where things are (blood vessels, nerves ... ) and to be honest its a risk you just simply have to take

if it helps you I've had 3 OHS, one at 10, another at 28 and my last one at 48 (ten years ago now)


I want to go into surgery with a positive attitude but I'm finding it harder as it grows closer. Any advice on how to calm down or did everyone else feel this way?

I discovered Stoicism when I was still in school, I've found the ideas of that are very helpful as well as some writings (from fiction, but still wise) are helpful

1667258659568.png


1667258678469.png

lastly from Marcus Aurelius
1667258747613.png


Leave the surgery to the surgeons and focus on you, your preparation, your family and keeping everyone calm by being calm yourself.



You can do this because you are the descendant of thousands before who have built lives, suffered and survived and then rebuilt lives.


Best Wishes
 

Chuck C

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 5, 2020
Messages
1,793
Hi there.

Glad to hear that you're finally getting your surgery, after the long delay.

I've heard different numbers from different doctors but all around the 5-8% mark because it is my second OHS
I'd be interested to see the source for those numbers. If those are their internal clinic numbers, then they would tend to be accurate for second procedure. However, keep in mind that for second operations, regarding valve surgery, the mortality statistics get skewed by the fact that a number of second operations are due to endocarditis and the mortality for this is very high.

Take a look at the study below, which has mortality statistics for 2nd valve operation.

When SVD (structural valve degeneration) was the reason, the mortality rate was 3.7%

When endocarditis was the reason, the mortality rate was 14%.

You do not have endocarditis, so I would expect the mortality for your procedure to be closer to the SVD statistic of 3.7%. Also, and this is very important, you are young. Really young in the valve world. It would not surprise me if your risk was half of that, due to your age. The youngest person in the study linked below was 46 and there were some as old as 70. A person who is your age of 32 can endure a lot more than someone who is 70.

The mortality is really not that high, especially for young folks, even for a second surgery. You should go into the surgery fully believing that you're going to wake up in recovery and start the healing process.


Best of luck and please keep us posted.
 

Adamlee

Member
Joined
Jul 18, 2020
Messages
20
Location
UK
Thank you both for your reply. You've genuinely helped me calm down a bit. I always feel that the Cardiologists don't take into account my age but I also think they just use their statistics that they know and don't apply to individual cases - which is understandable. Thanks again for your support.

Adam
 

Superman

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 2, 2009
Messages
1,704
Location
Grand Rapids, MI, USA
I want to go into surgery with a positive attitude but I'm finding it harder as it grows closer. Any advice on how to calm down or did everyone else feel this way? I just want to be in the best place for surgery.

First, welcome to the forum! You’ve found a place with plenty of experience. Nice thing is that most everyone posting came through okay. At 32 years, you should be as equipped as anyone to get through it.

My first was at 17. I was childless and dateless then, so no worries. 😁 My second was due to an aneurysm at 36. I had four kids at the time. Five now, so apparently I got through it okay. 😁

Everyone feels differently going in because we all have different circumstances and dispositions. My general view going in both times was that if I didn’t do something, I would be in danger. I saw surgery as the solution, not the problem. At 17, I had been prepared my whole life. It was a relief when it finally got here. When the aneurysm showed up at 36, after the initial shock, I just wanted it fixed. I was more afraid of a dissection than I was of surgery. But I don’t know that I controlled those feelings. They were just my natural response. Being around for my family was the primary motivation the second time, and if I didn’t get it fixed, I knew I wouldn’t be.
 

pellicle

Professional Dingbat, Guru and Merkintologist
Joined
Nov 4, 2012
Messages
10,739
Location
Queensland, OzTrayLeeYa
I always feel that the Cardiologists don't take into account my age
I think its fair to say its hard for them to think much about you when they have 5 minutes to review your file before moving on to the next patient 20 minutes later.
Accordingly they become habitual and just see you like this:

1667336114071.png


40335848202_5cfbbe35b3_o.png
 
Last edited:

LondonAndy

VR.org Supporter
Supporting Member
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Aug 1, 2015
Messages
556
Location
London, UK
Hey Adamlee, another (rather overweight!) Brit here. I had my aortic valve replaced at age 48, in 2014. I think it is entirely natural to fear major surgery, and to think the worst. When I had my valve done there was a surgical complication, and I ended up with a pacemaker too. Last week it had to be replaced, as it was getting low on battery. The surgeon talked through the risks of complication, such as getting a punctured lung if they had to change the type of pacemaker and insert another wire into the heart, or of needing an external pacemaker during the procedure if I really did have no underlying pulse, which from an experience first time round is what I thought to be the case. (I posted a bit about the procedure here)

Well guess what: all done in a day, came back home on the train. No pain before, during or since the procedure. Wound dressing is off, recovery going well. I had needed an extra scan before they decided whether to change the type of device or not, so one joy of the NHS is that this was no problem - I went down one floor and had it done immediately. All good, operation went ahead as originally planned.

I don't think there is anything I can say to reduce those fears we have in advance, and my pacemaker op is admittedly small compared to 'proper heart surgery', other than to say that you'll wonder what you worried about afterwards. Others here, such as Pellicle, have been through multiple surgeries and still we can't get rid of him ;)

PS A silly story to end on, for no obvious reason other than being in hospital again I remembered this from my 2014 experience. When two theatre nurses took me from the ward to the operating theatre to have the pacemaker done then they took me on the bed I had been sleeping on, with a drip stand attached to the foot of the bed and an IV fluid bag feeding something or other into me. As we made our way around the hospital corridors, the theatre nurse at the front said "How is that drip doing at the back?" Before the nurse at the rear had a chance to respond, I said "She's doing great - don't talk to your colleague that way"!
 

Timmay

Grandfather Clock
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Joined
Apr 22, 2022
Messages
136
Location
Frederick, MD
Welcome Adamlee!

I’m more of a “new guy” around here (5 months post operation). I can definitely tell you that you’ve come to the right place. This forum is awesome. Lots of advice, help, support, etc.

I was worried and anxious going into the operation too. Why? Because it’s a huge deal! HOWEVER, everything worked out great. In this very moment I am sitting on the couch with my wife and dogs eating M&M’s and watching Hallmark (lol). Earlier today I was working out and lifting weights. Then we did a 2 mile walk with the dogs … followed up with cooking some chicken thighs on the grill. Tomorrow I’ll go for an almost 2 mile run! Woohoo!

I was so anxious 5 months ago. Now look at me. Crazy. Hard to believe where I am now.

You will be the same girl! For sure. Head up high. You’ll be coming home to your kids soon enough. Yes, the first month is hard. It gets easier. And then before you know it you’ll be like me - exercising so that you can eat M&M’s while watching Hallmark, lol.
 

Chuck C

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 5, 2020
Messages
1,793
In this very moment I am sitting on the couch with my wife and dogs eating M&M’s and watching Hallmark (lol)

Timmay, you're a better husband that I am. As soon as the Hallmark channel goes on I suddenly remember something I need to pick up at the hardware store.
 

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