Mended Hearts Open Forum

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Bicuspid Valve

  • 1.  Bicuspid Valve

    Posted 12-19-2020 13:18

    Hi all,

    I had surgery to repair an ascending aortic aneurism 7 weeks ago that was caused by my having a bicuspid valve. Surgery went smoothly, and recovering is going very well. However, I have gotten two different assessments from my surgeon, and cardiologist. My cardiologist says my aorta has been weakened by the bicuspid valve, and told me that I would not be able to lift above 55lbs when fully recovered. She did say it's possible another aneurism could form sometime later. My surgeon however, said the aorta did not appear weakened, and that the chances of developing another aneurism is unlikely. He did say he would monitor me. He also said I would be able to continue my regular weightlifting activities with no weight restrictions when fully recovered. So one appears to be incorrect in their assessment. I'm more inclined to believe the surgeon as he specializes in operations of aneurisms. What do you think? Any opinion is greatly appreciated.

    Scott Woodward

  • 2.  RE: Bicuspid Valve

    Posted 12-20-2020 05:06


    I'm not a doctor, so this is my non-medical analytic reaction.  First, my initial reaction to your statement about trusting the surgeon who actually performed the surgery was that it was exactly what I had been thinking.  

    Second, it seems to me that now might be the perfect time to get a third opinion, although I'm not sure whether it would be best to get it from a thoracic surgeon or a cardiologist (or both).  

    Third, another possibility might be to share your surgeon's assessment with your cardiologist, and your cardiologist's assessment with your surgeon, and have them explain their positions to each other with you (and perhaps a third doctor) in the room listening.  It's also possible that the two doctors might come to some agreement after speaking together (which still might make it a good idea to then get an unbiased third opinion). This third idea might have come to me because I'm a lawyer and often think like one.

    Anyway, you're clearly in an untenable position now but this is my two cents.  Good luck and let us know what you decide, how things develop and what gets resolved.



    Ira Reid
    Hoboken NJ

  • 3.  RE: Bicuspid Valve

    Posted 12-20-2020 16:07

    Forgive me, but what's wrong with this scenario, you got advice from 2 medical professionals with whom you entrust your life and when there's a difference of opinion, you come to a slew of strangers who frankly are a bit shady...

    Okay so you've gotten advice from your Cardiologist, your Cardio-thoracic surgeon, and a lawyer. Let's think this through. We all know Donnie has been guided since at least Nov 3rd by a herd of lawyers, the results of which are shall we say suspect, so let's drop the lawyer from the candidates. 

    Then there's your Cardiologist, now he/she is highly educated and knows a lot about the mechanical aspects of the heart as well as what can and often happens with various conditions, so he/she should be held in high esteem regarding this decision. 

    Finally there's the Surgeon. Now he/she has seen your broken down heart first hand and can readily say both it's current condition as well as the probability of future break downs. 

    My opinion, which as they say is worth what you paid...go with the worst case scenario that a specialist will monitor and watch for. If it never comes to pass, great. If it does, they'll catch it and correct the problem before you need the lawyer. 

    Good luck