Good morning to everyone! My name is Dmitrii. I am 44 and I just had David's procedure for the bucuspid aortic valve and, aortic root and ascending aorta aneurysm repair on August 31st in Chicago.
Most of my life I was not aware of my heart condition. In 2018 I had an appendicitis and recovering after surgery started to notice fatigue and slight shortness of breath when picking up heavy objects but I thought at the time this is part of normal aging process.
In late November 2019 I got sick with some respiratory infection that resembled flue, but tests did not show it. Had very high fever for 3 days and started to gasp for the air. Went to local out patient center where chest X-ray was done and it showed some signs of pneumonia but more important it showed and ascending aortic aneurysm 44 mm.
That was not great great news to me.
Had more tests and they showed that I was born with bucuspid aortic valve.
I was visiting local cardiology for 4 years.
Miracle was not happening and the aneurysm was slowly but surely growing up.
This year I realized that the surgery must be done very soon.
My symptoms were:
Shortness of breath with moderate physical work.
Feeling of internal chest pressure when lifting relatively light objects.
Constant fatugue, lack of energy.
Chest pulpitations, sudden tachcardias that lasted for days and then disappered.
Strong heartbeat pulsation on my neck right above the sternum.
When I was drinking big gulp of water I felt an obstruction somewhere down in my esophagus.
I decided to go to large cardio surgery center within 3 hours of my town.
First, I went to Saint-Louis and had a full check up there. Aortic root was measured 49 mm.
The only option there for me was a Bentall procedure with mechanical valve.
I decided to get second opinion in Northwestern Memorial hospital in Chicago, because it has special program with multiple treatment options for the patients with buspid valve
Results were the following.
Aortic root 52 mm, ascending aneurysm 48 mm, normal arch, normal descending aorta and buspid valve with mild regurgitation.
I was offered valve sparing and I agreed for surgery in two week. Second option, in case if valve sparing could be infeasible, was an On-X mechanical valve.
Started surgery at 7:00 am.
Last thing I remember was conversation with my wife, than absolutely nothing until I woke up late afternoon of the same day.
I had a brief conversation with surgeon. He told me that my aneurysm's wall was "paper-thin" and the its rupture could be a tragedy.
Next morning I noticed that my vision is blurred. Eyes were checked and no issues with them were found but MRI brain scan showed very small "silent" stroke in my cerebellum. Luckily I do not have any symptomps, but apparently, small strokes are very common after heart surgeries due to broken off blood clots, cholesterol plaques debris, air bubble or just slower than normal blood flow.
Vision problem was found to be connected with my migraines history. I was given metaprolol and within few minutes I had full scale visual aura with zigzags and flashing lights. Blurry vision in center of visual field was gone. I was able to read fine text again. That was a good news. I have had about 10 migraines in 3 days so far, but they are going away faster now and do not cause much headache.
My biggest suprises after surgery are:
Massive loss of physical strength and endurance.
Constant chest and back pain. It is also painful to breath deeply and to cough.
Vivid, colorful dreams.
Waking up multiple time through the night because it is painful to breathe.
So far this all. I have 6-8 week recovery process before going back to work.