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4th Open heart surgery!

Mar 18, 2008 - 6 comments

mitral valve disease








Open Heart Surgeries


Pulmonary Hypertension

Hello... I was only 19 when I had my first open heart surgery, I am now 29 and needing the 4th one... The first two OHS were both mitral valve repair, the 3rd one was a mitral valve replacement (porcine valve) all due to mitral valve prolapse and regurgitation.  I just recently had a baby (now 4 1/2 mos old via an emergency C-section) and am now in bad need of my 4th OHS due to severe mitral valve stenosis accompanied by a moderate pulmonary hypertension.  On top of all this heart problems I'm also on remission from an osteosarcoma on my right leg.  I had to go through 6 cycles of chemotherapy and another major surgery for resection of the tumor and reconstruction of my right leg.  With all that I've been through in addition to having my newborn daughter, I've been undecided as to when I should have my 4th OHS done.  Doctors say I shouldn't wait long, but I guess I'm scared of what is going to happen.  I'm hoping for the best and will probably have it done by the end of next month.

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Avatar universal
by EOP1969, Mar 23, 2008
My best wishes for you Kalani.  It sounds like you have been through a lot.  I will need OHS too and it scares me a lot.

Try to make the best decision so that you can be around for your baby.  I also have a young son and fear not being there for him.'

Why did you get a porcine valve as opposed to a mechanical one given your age?  (I am 38).  Also, I thought that valve repair was typically performed when possible and tended to have better odds of success than replacement.  I am hoping they can repair my aortic valve instead of replace but your story makes me wonder...what happened?



Avatar universal
by chuckieman, Mar 23, 2008
My heart goes out to you. (no pun intended) I am recovering from OHS for 6 bypasses.  I'm 45 and also a cancer survivor.  I dismissed the tiredness that heart disease brought on because it was too easy to blame it on Chemo. I had rigorous chemotherapy 5 years ago and was sure glad that was as far away from me as possible due to the veins that were wiped out and just general body trauma from the chemo.  Hopefully you can get good advice on how long to wait is too long. Longer the better, to a point of course, in my opinion.  Chemo is brutal.  I was left with some pretty miserable peripheral neuropathy post-chemo as well. Life can be crazy ...but...bring it on!! :) :)
Best of wishes

453731 tn?1225199508
by kalani97, Apr 01, 2008
Thanks EOP1969, my best wishes to you too!  Any type of surgery is scary I guess even the minor ones.  But just think of the positive outcomes and you'll do just fine.  

I chose the porcine valve as opposed to the mechanical one at the time because I wanted more kids.  I now have an 8 year old boy and a 5 mos old girl :) ...... As far as the valve repairs my first one went great, although it only lasted about 4 years (1997-2001) I think it was because of my pregnancy with my son in 2000...  I chose to have the valve repaired again in 2001 because the surgeon suggested it.  I guess it was a bad call because only 4 months after the second OHS, the valve failed again :(  that was when I switched to another surgeon and had the 3rd OHS for the replacement with the porcine valve in the beginning of 2002.................... Now I think that going through the whole pregnancy with my daugther caused the valve to fail again... which is why I need the 4th OHS which I am scheduled to have next month.... and this time I chose to have the mechanical valve because there's no way I can go through the whole pregnancy again....

Bottom line.... I think that valve repairs, if possible, do have better odds than replacement as long as you don't have to go through anything that causes heavy stress to the heart afterwards.  (Note: I was advised by my doctors to never have kids at all, but took not just one, but two chances anyway)

Good luck with everything!

453731 tn?1225199508
by kalani97, Apr 01, 2008
Many thanks to your message chuckieman......It seems like you're a REAL fighter and a good survivor.  I feel bad telling myself that if I have to go through anymore chemotherapy I'd rather be Dd...... My OHSs were nothing compare to the surgery I needed for my leg......not to mention being on chemotherapy at the time.....  I agree, chemo is brutal... my cardiologist and oncologists had huge dilemma with this whole chemotherapy thing because it hasn't even been a year after my 3rd OHS when I needed it (December 2002).....  I was an inpatient for almost 1 week everytime I had to go in for my treatments.... didn't think I was going to make it most of the time......  I'm just amaze that I'm still here and even now have another baby :) ... Life IS crazy and pretty amazing...

As far as the heart part (forgive me if I'm being ignorant :)  ), when u say 6 bypasses, does that mean you had 6 OHS already?  

I hope all is well with your recovery and pray that you stay healthy from now on...  good luck!!!

Avatar universal
by zoes_nena, Jul 27, 2008
My heart goes out to you as well.  I am the mother of two sons with Congenital Heart Disease.   They are 22 and 21 years old now.  My older son suffered Sudden cardiac arrest 5 years ago, but thankfully is doing fine and has had no other problems.  He has an ICD (Internal cardiac defibrillator), but is fine otherwise.  My younger son is scheduled for his 4th open heart surgery this Tuesday.  He is having his Aortic and Pulmonary valves replaced with mechanical valves.  It is scarey for all of us, but I have faith that God has taken such great care of him all his life and that He will continue to do so.  I will pray that He will keep you in his care also.  He gave you the beautiful gift of a baby, and I am sure He wants you to be there for her now, and as she grows!!  I have 2 daughters also, ages 24 and 17, so believe me when I say they need you all the more the older they get!!  I will pray for your complete recovery and health!!

Avatar universal
by CrohnieToo, Nov 26, 2010
Whew!!! I knew I've been blessed but your stories remind me anew just HOW blessed! It appears that I "might" have PH due to COPD due to 50 years of smoking 2 packs a day. I was just recently Dx'd w/Atrial Fibrillation. There have been indications (via Echocardiograms) that I had PH dating back to late 2006 but none of my doctors seemed concerned so I haven't been either. I guess I will be making an appointment at U of Michigan w/a PH specialist. Not really motivated this time of year since it is a 2 hour drive to U of M and I just don't have the nerve to drive Michigan roads in bad weather any more. Ve get too soon oldt und too late schmardt.

Kalani, I wish you well and will say a prayer for you and your family. EOP, I will also say a prayer for you and your family. Zoes, you certainly have had your share of scares w/your sons and I will be praying for your son and your family this Tuesday!!!!

Good luck and God bless you all!!!

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