In Reply to: Aortic valve issues posted by Herb on February 22, 1999 at 20:49:09:
I have been reading the posts here for some time now, as I prepare for Aortic Valve replacement on March 8th. I have been through most of the testing, have given blood on my own behalf, have decided on a mechanical valve, and I am working hard on preparing myself mentally.
I have a few questions that I would like to ask. Some background. I am a 44 year old male, 6'3", 238 pounds, feeling ok, and in pretty good general health. I have already done the second opinion thing, and now both cardiologists and the surgeon agree that this should be done. My question is more to understand how bad my situation is. This is what I know from the letter that I got today from my surgeon (who I fell is VERY good, and I have much confidence in). I have known aortic insufficiency. My aortic regurgitation is 3 to 4+ and I have mild to moderate aortic stenosis (my surgeon indicates this is a very bad combination to have). My left ventricular and diastolic dimension is 65%, and my systolic dimension is also above the normal range. During my second opinion, we did a stress echo....it showed that the left ventricle was quite dilated, and that I have quite severe aortic insufficiency and moderate aortic stenosis. My peak gradient was 55 across the aortic valve.
I have recited all this from the letter. I am not questioning the need for the replacement...I am trying to understand how bad my situation is. Any help that you could provide would be greatly appreciated.
I also have been reading the postings here for some time as my condition and age are very similar to yours. Can you (or anyone reading this)tell us what contributed to your decision to go with the mechanical valve and what your thoughts are about the requisite use of coumadin (anticoagulant)?
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