The stranger returns. . . .

Valve Replacement Forums

Help Support Valve Replacement Forums:


Active member
Nov 2, 2018
Howdy all. . . .

Two years ago I asked for some help in locating a good spot for surgical intervention for my aortic aneurysm/aortic insufficiency. My remote location has made this selection difficult, but I recently sought expert opinion at St. Luke's Cardiovascular Consultants in Kansas City, MO. A very long drive, but a good choice.

My local providers, while competent, gave me medical advice that strongly conflicted with results I received at Northwestern Memorial in Chicago. So, I made an appointment at St. Luke's. The diagnosis I received confirmed that from NWM, but also revealed that over the last two years my condition has worsened. I was advised to seek surgical intervention soon (such a fuzzy word, eh?). While the aneurysm has shrunk 2mm (to 4.6cm), the insufficiency is now severe and my left ventricle is likewise severely distended.

I was advised to contact Mayo Clinic or Cleveland Clinic. Of the two, Mayo is closer (still a two-day car trip) than Cleveland, and less of a hassle. I had a telemedicine consult with a RPN/PA just the other day to start the admissions ball rolling, but I still need to speak with my prospective surgeon (Dr. Mauricio A. Villavicencio). If anyone out there has worked with him, I'd like to hear about it. During my KC visit, the cardiologist also recommended I ask about repair, rather than replacement of the valve. I know this procedure has come a long way, and that it is now the preferred surgical technique, but I have no idea whether it's indicated in my case. I suppose that will be determined later. If replacment is indicated, I'd like to get the Edwards Inspira Resilia bioprosthetic valve--I really don't want to put up with the click of a mechanical, and I definitely wish to avoid coumadin if possible. I'm almost 68, so I suppose a bioprosthetic is in my favor.

So, has anyone here had success with a minimally-invasive Bentall procedure, or a similar aortic root re-implantation with valvular repair? Moreover, can anyone fill me in or guide me to information about what gets done with a severely distended left ventricle?

My spouse and I expect we'll be traveling to Mayo around Thanksgiving. The RPN hinted I'd likely be admitted soon after the initial consult. We'll see, but I guess I'll get surgical attention before years' end. I am not happy to be here, but I'm not scared or worried about the procedure(s). I'm a former academic, so I've done a lot of reading in the relevant medical journals about much of this. Still, it is daunting.

Thanks for your patience. You'll probably be hearing more soon, with any luck. (Luck? :unsure:)