Mitral Valve Surgery Update

I had my transesophageal Tee Echo last week it is the one test that can give the best look at the heart and valves.

They do lots of measurements on the regurgitation, valve diameters, heartbeats, and other stuff.

Both my surgeon and my cardiologist have come to the conclusion that I can put off my valve surgery for now. This is a good thing because I was honestly dreading having my chest cracked open and that was the only surgery option I had.

How long it can be put off who knows but we are aiming for a year or so.

Some might ask why to put off something that is inevitable. Well, there are complications anytime you put a mechanical item into your body. There are complications for some people with the blood thinners and it requires monthly monitoring for some people it is weekly for others. This depends on how your body handles the drugs well I have A LOT of issues with medications so my luck I would be one that would have complications.

Right now my symptoms ( extreme shortness of breath, dizziness)  are being managed by adding new medications, changing old medications to better medications or reducing the dosage of an existing medication.

I feel very blessed and I am thankful I get to wait a while on this surgery. Thank you for all the prayers and good thoughts I appreciate your support.

 

 

 

My Heart Cath.

I have been tested so much lately it’s unreal.

The carotid artery scan last week the results were great.

I had my heart Cath on Wednesday of this week and the best thing happened to me.

My arteries are that of an 18-year-old. There were no blockages or partial blockages my arteries are perfect.

I contribute this to a change in our diets 26 years ago when my father n law had a heart attack. I made the decision at that time to stop frying so many foods and now we maybe have something fried 2 x a month.

I have young arteries and even though I will be doing heart valve replacement very soon this is such a blessing.

 

More testing

I have met with my heart surgeon who agrees with my cardiologist about the mitral valve replacement surgery.

It will be an artificial heart valve replacement and two blood thinners for the rest of my life. These typically last about 10 years.

I am having more testing done before the surgery this is to rule out any blockages. If they find any blockages that will have to be fixed before the heart valve replacement will take place.

First up Carotid artery scan this week.

Then heart catheterization and tee esophageal echo hopefully next week.

If all goes as planned I will be having surgery very soon.

I think the worst part for me will be the hospital stay since I do not like staying in a hospital much less for a week or more.

Cardiac rehab will follow me after I get out and I guess that will go on for about 6 weeks.

 

 

 

Dr. Appointments, Testing and Results

I have spent the last few weeks at Dr. Appointments, testing and getting my results on follow up visits.

I have had 3 EKGs, 1 regular stress test, 1 nuclear stress test, 1 echocardiogram and I wore a Holter monitor for 24 hours. The only results that are not back yet are the Holter Monitor.

I have mitral valve stenosis this was discovered about 12 – 14 years ago. Almost every year without fail I have gotten my yearly echo that is until I got breast cancer and then I had other priorities to take care of. No one should ever put off their yearly heart testing that was not very smart of me but I have no one to blame but myself.

Mitral valve stenosis is caused by Rheumatic Fever but I never had that as a child or an adult. This was verified with my parents. Think of stenosis as a hose that is being stepped on and blood can not flow through the valve properly there is leakage spewing and backflow.

My mitral valve is what they call Moderate/ Severe, there is moderate regurgitation or leakage, as well as my Left Atrium,  is now enlarged. There is an estimated right ventricle systolic pressure of 45 – 50 mmHg. I am sure this will be verified by a heart catheter in the very near future.

The symptoms that this causes me are cough, chest pain, and soreness like a bruised feeling as well as dizziness and fatigue.

The Cardiologist says right now we have to get my pulse rate down to around 50 it runs 74- 80. To do this we have decreased my thyroid medication, changed BP meds to a channel blocker 2 x a day. He even added Lasix even though I am not retaining fluid he thinks there is fluid we are not seeing. All these things will ease up the pressures around the heart and hopefully help some of my symptoms.

On top of all this, I have lung issues emphysema and asthma so my lungs are not in the best shape.

In order for me to have Mitral Valve Replacement surgery the heart and the lungs have to be in the best shape, we can get them with medication. With getting an artificial valve replacement I will have to be on 2 blood thinners for the rest of my life.

I have a pulmonologist appointment this Friday and we will see if there is anything else we can do for my lungs to get them ready for this surgery.

Hopefully, by January this surgery can happen. It is open heart surgery which means more recoup time for me. The thought of cracked ribs scares me to death as well as being put on a heart-lung machine but I am trying to stay calm and not overreact.

I am sharing my story with you all in the hopes I can help someone else. I want others to learn through my experiences and I will do my best to keep everyone updated as new things happen.

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