Thanks from a newbie

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Well-known member
Aug 19, 2010
Salt Lake City, Utah
Hi, All. I'm the new kid on the block. Well, sort of--I've actually been sneaking around the forums anonymously for many weeks, learning from all of you. I have an AVR scheduled in three days (8/23), and I've appreciated being able to read your posts and learn from your experiences. I'm fairly young to be doing this (33) and very active as a runner and cyclist; I'm looking forward to getting through this and hopefully continuing on my way in many more races to come.

I'm a rheumatic fever case, and I've decided to go with a stentless porcine valve, knowing that in 10-15 years I'll almost certainly be back on the OR table. Like many of you, I'm hoping for improved options in round two. Hopefully, in a couple months, when I've put the worst of this behind me, I'll be able to contribute better to this forum with my own experiences and stories. In the meantime, just wanted to say thanks to all of you who post here and help newbies like me feel more comfortable with what we're about to do. It's close enough now that I feel a little like a kid on the high dive for the first time... "Count to three... Hold your breath... Jump!"

Welcome. Sorry to learn you need the surgery, but it beats the alternative hands down! I'm almost 4 weeks out from my AVR and glad to have it behind me. Take a deep breath because the water's a little cold, but you get used to it quickly.

God bless and good luck,

....... It's close enough now that I feel a little like a kid on the high dive for the first time... "Count to three... Hold your breath... Jump!"

Welcome Nate, and just like that kid, we all "bob up" to the surface after the jump. August is a good month for this surgery:wink2:. I wish you an uneventful surgery and quick recovery:thumbup:.
Sorry to hear that you need imminent surgery. My experience of it (almost 3 weeks ago now) has been very positive. I didn't worry unduly beforehand and I've been very lucky thus far with my recovery. I hope the same will be true for you too - stay positive and always look to the good things that lie ahead. All the best to you.
Hi, Nate.
A jump into the abyss . . . that brings back memories! I'm confident you'll do well, and I sure hope you'll check back in either before or after surgery to let us know how you're doing. In the meantime, I'll check and see if anyone put you on the surgery calendar.

Did your surgeon give you those projected durability numbers of 10 to 15 years?
If not, you might want to ask about the distribution history for that valve.
We have had several 'premature failures' (1 to 7 years) reported by Porcine Valve Recipients.

'AL C'
Hi Nate,
Happy you found us but sorry for the reason.
Many of think the wait was the worst part of this experience. Sounds like you are otherwise strong and healthy and there is every reason to think you will go through this with few if any bumps. The most important thing you can do for yourself is don't push yourself too hard, too fast. Skip the cycling and running and do lost of walking as your surgeon instructs. I firmly believe it is about the best thing we can to do help our recovery move along.....that and absolutely no lifting more than 12 pounds until sternum is fully healed.

I am older than you, have a bovine valve and my surgeon said there is no way to know for sure but he hopes I'll get 15-20 years from my valve. He said this generation of tissue valves are still too new to know how long will be average but has hopes it will go to the 20+ year range. We'll see.

Best wishes....... please let us know how you are doing as soon as you are able.
A great big welcome to you Nate & wishing you the very best with your upcoming surgery! Will be looking forward to hearing from you when you're on the other side!

I remember exactly how you feel.The anticipation is tough.If you werent nervous there would be something wrong with you.We have all been through it and will have your back. Hang in there for a few more days.It will be over before you know it.And you will be healthier and happier for it!
Nate; Good-luck with your surgery.I also have a porcine valve.I'm a year and a half out from surgery and have had no setbacks at all.Back to playing basketball and golf four months after surgery and doing everything I did before surgery.
Welcome, and blessings to you. I'm 8 weeks out of my surgery today as a matter of fact, I'm doing well. Still tire out easily though. I'm in my late forties. Sorry you have to have the surgery, but I pray everything will go very well for you and you'll be back to a much better life real soon! Take care, you're in my prayers.
Welcome Nate and all the best with your surgery on Monday.

Am porcine AVR as well, 57, just hit my 3 months post op and all is very well, in fact am into 3rd week of daily gym, incuding some pretty decent weightlifting as well as aerobics.

Have just completed my 3 month coumadin program as well and have only one remaining med, 1 small daily dose of 5mg bisoprolol beta blocker.

In my case, I was quite well and very mobile a week post op, and daily/weekly improvement from then on and generally healed at about 1 month post operation and quite independant.

Nate, hoping your recovery goes as well as mine and looking forward to your post surgery updates.