Should my Mom have open heart surgery at 85 years old
My Mom was diagnosed with a critically tightened Aortic Valve. Her cardio Dr is recommending her to have open heart surgery to replace the valve. His reason she is still very active, mobile works out 3 x a week and is the care taker for my Dad who has Parkinson. Her heart is healthy and strong as is her lungs and kidneys. She has had a history of blood clots in her legs which concerns me with surgery and had a stent put in 2 years ago which is doing fine.
With her strength and otherwise good health is it wise for her to have this @ 85?
Again her Cardio Dr says normally no but she is not a normal 85 year old
I have mitral valve regurgitation (moderate to severe) for many years and have consulted with doctor's for this valve condition.
Mayo Clinic. Rochester, the very best surgeons for valve replacement or repair. The surgeons there have stated the biggest problem they see is the patient waited too long. Waiting too long can cause left ventricle remodeling (enlarged) and that condition may prevent the heart to normally function after the procedure.
If I understand the "critically tightened" there is aorta stenosis meaning the orifce (opening) is constricted and the heart is pumping against a higher than normal resistence and the heart can become overworked, and then there is a reduction in the cardio output and serious medical develop.
Richard N. Fogoros, M.D.: As a general rule, replacement of the aortic valve should be done soon after your aortic stenosis begins producing symptoms - shortness of breath, chest pain, or dizziness or syncope. Once any of these symptoms develop, the average life expectancy without valve replacement is two or three years. Valve replacement significantly improves this prognosis.
If you have significant aortic stenosis (as measured by echocardiogram) without any symptoms, it is important for both you and your doctor to become closely observant for any sign of those symptoms.
Because surgery suddenly relieves the severe obstruction, in most cases the function of the heart improves fairly dramatically after valve replacement. So even patients who are quite elderly often do well after aortic stenosis surgery."
It is true after the age of 80, the same options may not be available, but that is because the individual doesn't have the strength for a successful outcome. Your mother does not appear to be in a category generally seen with individuals of advanced years.
Hope this helps provide a perspective, and information that can help you discuss with your mother's doctor the issues involved. If you have any further questions or commebnts you are welcome to respond. Take care,
For what it's worth, my grandfather had a quad bypass at 84 and did great. He was in great shape and breezed through it and it extended his life another 13 years. He too was very active and quite strong so it was an option and we're all glad he did.
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