I have had 2 open heart surgeries in 3 years and now need a 3rd. I will need to have my failed mitral mechanical valve replaced, aortic and tricuspid valves replaced as well. I am an active 48 year old female, I am also an RN. I am having a hard time finding information or studies on this very complex surgery. I am patient at Cleveland Clinic but am considering looking elsewhere to find a team that I feel has my best interest in mind. I have not been pleased with the care I have recieved so far. My question is this: How common is this surgery with a patient that has had 2 open hearts in the last three years, and what is the mortality rate compared to patients who have undergone only 1 surgery to correct multiple valves? Is Cleveland Clinic really the best place to be? Thank you
I'm sorry that you have not been pleased with your care thus far. You have been through quite a bit with your previous surgeries, and can understand that you are probably frustrated with everything. However, to answer your question, undergoing a 3rd redo surgery for multiple valve replacements is not as uncommon as one might think. Having a valve replaced at an early age often will necessitate a second and even possibly a third surgery in one's lifetime due to natural lifespan of the valve as well as any other concurrent medical conditions that are being addressed. For full disclosure, I am a physician at Cleveland Clinic. That being said, I can say that Cleveland Clinic has extensive experience within their cardiothoracic surgical department performing redo surgeries, and feel that this is one of very few institutions that have this type of experience. If there are specific grievances about your previous or current care, I would encourage you address them with your physician or the hospital. Cleveland Clinic is always trying to improve their patient care and always appreciate hearing any comments patients might have. Additionally, it is possible you could be reassigned to another surgeon with whom you might have a different experience. Hope this helps.
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