What kind of regular care should one receive after surgery

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macvalve

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Sep 14, 2023
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I'm about 8 months after AVR (mechanical) + aneurysm surgery. As far as I can tell things are going OK. Some things are annoying, others are better than expected, but overall I feel decent. I'm wondering what kind of care I should be looking for from my primary care doctor and cardiologist moving forward. Do folks on this forum recommend getting echos, CTs, EKGs, etc. done at certain intervals in the same way many of y'all advocate for weekly home INR testing?

I'm mainly wondering what I should be advocating for when talking to doctors.
 

tom in MO

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Jan 17, 2012
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I have a mechanical AVR. I go yearly to the cardio and my primary care doctor. Since I go to a cardio, my primary care doctor doesn't do anything regarding my heart. I get an ekg from the cardio and a cholesterol test. I got an echo within a year of surgery and a few years later. I was told to expect an echo every 5 years or so. Then my cardio said the standard of care changed and there is no need for an echo every 5 years only an echo when something seems amiss. I'm at the 12 year mark and at my last cardio visit he said everything is fine, no echo needed but maybe I should have one in the next year or so. I think he wants the extra assurance even though it's not required. I take warfarin and 80mg aspirin for the valve anticoagulation, lisinopril and amlodipine besylate for blood pressure and pravastatin for cholesterol.
 

Art O Ceitinn

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Neuilly Plaisance
I'm about 8 months after AVR (mechanical) + aneurysm surgery. As far as I can tell things are going OK. Some things are annoying, others are better than expected, but overall I feel decent. I'm wondering what kind of care I should be looking for from my primary care doctor and cardiologist moving forward. Do folks on this forum recommend getting echos, CTs, EKGs, etc. done at certain intervals in the same way many of y'all advocate for weekly home INR testing?

I'm mainly wondering what I should be advocating for when talking to doctors.
I visit my cardiologist/ echo/scan/blood once a year.
 

DebbyA

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This is the standard of care for U.S. patients https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/10.1161/CIR.0000000000000923#d1e1911

Section 2.7.4 Periodic Imaging After Valve Intervention​

is the approximate location for management of patients after surgery. However, the entry for Mechanical valve with no symptoms seems to be "whatever", and I never had a TEE for any pre- or post- AVR diagnostics.
This forum used to have a collection of references, but I couldn't find it.
Based on my experience you won't need to advocate for echos, EKGs, followup appointments. As a stable patient, I'm inclined to think I'm an easy source of income for Pima Heart.
 

carolinemc

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May 31, 2010
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kansas city, mo
This is the standard of care for U.S. patients https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/10.1161/CIR.0000000000000923#d1e1911

Section 2.7.4 Periodic Imaging After Valve Intervention​

is the approximate location for management of patients after surgery. However, the entry for Mechanical valve with no symptoms seems to be "whatever", and I never had a TEE for any pre- or post- AVR diagnostics.
This forum used to have a collection of references, but I couldn't find it.
Based on my experience you won't need to advocate for echos, EKGs, followup appointments. As a stable patient, I'm inclined to think I'm an easy source of income for Pima Heart.
Echos, EKG, and follow up appointments are standard after bypass. Every six months for those with other issues, once a year for those who are stable. And pre-surgery, TEE , echo and Cardiac Cath is to check for any other issues before bypass. Been a cardiac person since the day I was born. 58 years and counting.
 

dick0236

Eat the elephant one bite at a time
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louisville, KY USA
........Based on my experience you won't need to advocate for echos, EKGs, followup appointments. As a stable patient, I'm inclined to think I'm an easy source of income for Pima Heart.
My experience is like DebbyA's. I see my Cardio annually and my PCP as needed for other health issues.

The only "must do" for mechanical valve patients is:
1. take the warfarin as prescribed
2. test your INR every week or two (home test or INR clinic)
 

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