Mended Hearts Open Forum

Expand all | Collapse all

Aortic Valve and Ascending Aorta replacement

  • 1.  Aortic Valve and Ascending Aorta replacement

    Posted 02-01-2020 15:44
    I had a first aortic valve replacement way back in 2001, when I was a mere 59 years old and subscribed to, a very helpful site. I then received a bovine valve that has done swimmingly: though predicted to last 12 years, it is now in its 19th year... but is at last a candidate for replacement once again.

    The complicating factor is that at the same time my ascending aorta has been dilating and is near the limit, so in all likelihood I am destined sometime this year for a double replacement procedure, which I gather precludes the marvel of intravenous replacement and means more open heart surgery.

    Que sera, sera. My question at present is mostly on which forum might I find people with similar experience. In addition, any info, referrals or words of advice would also be appreciated. -- Peter Easton

    Peter Easton

  • 2.  RE: Aortic Valve and Ascending Aorta replacement

    Posted 02-04-2020 17:22
    Hi Peter!
        My name is ken Levine. I am a young-feeling 62 years old, active and doing very well with a prosthetic Bjork - Shiley valve placed in 1976. After 42 years its doing very well.
         I have had no more than three open-heart surgeries- one in 1969, the second in 1972, and the third in 1976.
    Stents, intravenous placement, cell phones, forgetaboutit!
         Cardiac  surgery has soared many times over in 50 years. Imagine an EKG machine the size of an office desk, yep those were the days, but not necessarily "good."
          So if I understanding you correctly, are you wondering about having your chest opened again? If that is so, I can say that in effect, the second and third time was much easier; not as much discomfort, but remember the sternum had to knit itself together again, which took time. ITs as if the surgeons had a template to follow. The sternum seemed to be more easy to cut.
          In '72 I was given a valve that would fail four years later, and so I was recalled, (like a Ford Pinto! ) for a new, I think one of the better valves available.
          My parents were given a choice of my getting a bovine valve, which as you say, has a good lifespan, and you do not have to take blood thinners.
          Being Jewish, at 21 I joked that a bovine valve was not kosher! I do not know what or how the choice was made to implant a prosthetic Bjork-Shiley
    valve, but I am glad we took that route.
         Being on blood thinners for now 42 years is yeah, kind of a pain, but I do not complain much.
    I hope I have helped you in some way. If I can be of assistance in any way friend, please contact me. We are all in this together!
    Ken levine
    Middlebury, Vermont

    ken levine
    volunteer, retired
    Middlebury, Vermont
    United States of America