Aortic root surgery next week

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rnc76
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2014
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 3/28/2014 3:51 AM (GMT -6)   
All, I found out yesterday afternoon that I am headed to Cleveland for surgery next week. I have an aortic root aneurysm of 5.1cm with moderate regurgitation and a family history of sudden cardiac death. Dr Lars Svensson is performing the modified David's reimplantation procedure. This is all happening so fast. On one hand I am thrilled that I am able to get in with such a world renowned surgeon on such short notice. However, I was not really expecting to go NEXT WEEK! Cleveland is about a 10 hour drive but I think it will be well worth the trip. The piece of mind is invaluable. I actually feel better in some regards because there is a plan, the anxiety of the unknown has been worse than worrying about surgery. I am thinking ahead to a little more than 1 week from now and I won't have to worry about this aneurysm. I can just focus on healing and looking forward to doing the things that I enjoy: playing with my daughters, exercise, hiking...

stkitt
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Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 3/28/2014 10:53 AM (GMT -6)   
 
Glad you have a plan and soon you will be on the road again...........From what I have read here in the forum,  Dr Lars Svensson is a great surgeon.  I will be thinking of you and keeping you in my prayers.
 
For now, remember to stay in the moment and try not to get caught up in what-if thinking.  Plan for a positive outcome.
 
Kindly,
Kitt
~~Kitt~~
Moderator: Anxiety/Panic
and Heart/Cardiovascular Disease.



"She Stood in the Storm & When the Wind Did Not Blow Her Away, She Adjusted Her Sails."

baseball fan
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2014
Total Posts : 57
   Posted 3/29/2014 12:38 PM (GMT -6)   
I have 2 aneurysm at the root at 4.3 and a 4 right above that. I have always been full of anger and negativity and reading your post on the positive out come is inspiring. You are going to the best place to have your surgery. We are blessed we live in our age so we are able to fix these things. The peace of mind you will have after the surgery and recovery will be a blessing. will be thinking if you til we hear back after your recovery!!

rnc76
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Date Joined Mar 2014
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 3/31/2014 2:39 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks and I will give an update from my hospital bed next week. We are very fortunate that this can be fix. Not too many years ago, the technology didn't even exist to detect it, no less fix it. I would have died of a sudden "heart attack" with no warning at an early age leaving my daughters without a father. I don't know that I have any words of wisdom but I can say that I had some previous trials a few years ago that gave me perspective. I had a lot of negativity and anger and they are toxic. They will eat you from the inside. I had to change my view on aspects of life.

rnc76
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2014
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 4/3/2014 7:43 PM (GMT -6)   
Surgery in the AM. Met with Dr. Svensson today. He and the entire Cleveland Clinic are amazing. I feel very at ease after this whole experience of testing and scans and interviews and consultations... here and speaking with him. There is no stone unturned. I know as a patient I have done everything I can for a good outcome and the chances are high that I will bounce back quickly. Please say a prayer, send some good vibes, chant to the sun god... for a stranger tomorrow morning.

baseball fan
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Date Joined Mar 2014
Total Posts : 57
   Posted 4/3/2014 8:12 PM (GMT -6)   
praying and thinking of you, will be waiting to hear back from you... what a joy it will be to not live in fear of a dissection!!! prayers to you from west texas!!

baseball fan
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2014
Total Posts : 57
   Posted 4/4/2014 10:40 AM (GMT -6)   
thinking of you rnc76, for a qwick recovery!! prayers from west texas...

jdiane
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Date Joined Jan 2003
Total Posts : 1156
   Posted 4/5/2014 8:40 AM (GMT -6)   
Thinking of you! May you get off that respirator and up walking quickly! You can do this!

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 4/5/2014 9:33 AM (GMT -6)   
 
I have been chanting to the sun god all week and today the sun is truly shining here in MN -  prayers are being flown to you on angel's wings.
 
I am watching for a message from you so hopefully we will hear something soon.
 
Hugs,
Kitt
~~Kitt~~
Moderator: Anxiety/Panic
and Heart/Cardiovascular Disease.



"She Stood in the Storm & When the Wind Did Not Blow Her Away, She Adjusted Her Sails."

rnc76
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2014
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 4/8/2014 7:41 PM (GMT -6)   
Well I am thru surgery and to be released from the hospital tomorrow! Dr Svensson said my aortic root replacement and valve repair went exactly as expected. I am recovering well. The first couple days post op were intense. I can't even say whether it was better or worse than I expected because I didn't know what to expect. By day 3 I was getting slightly mobile and feeling generally better, with much less pain. Today I am 4 days post op and I can do most basic activities: shower, brush teeth, walk, go to the bathroom without much pain. Of course, I get exhausted very easily. I am very optimistic that the recovery will be smooth. The boredom, fatigue and loneliness will have its own set of challenges. But I got through the last few days, I will get through the next few weeks/months as well.

I cannot say enough good things about Dr Svensson, his team, the nurses and the clerical staff at Cleveland Clinic. Every person I met was so professional, knowledgable and punctual even! I had 3 days worth of tests, scans, appointments... Not one ran behind schedule.

Post Edited (rnc76) : 4/8/2014 7:53:09 PM (GMT-6)


jdiane
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Date Joined Jan 2003
Total Posts : 1156
   Posted 4/9/2014 12:25 PM (GMT -6)   
YAY. It's all down hill from here! So glad it went well.

Most important lesson I learned post-op at home, was to stay on a consistent pain meds schedule. I was so shocked that I wasn't in as much pain as I thought I would be that I got lax on my schedule. Don't do that, no matter what, stay on schedule, even if you have to set an alarm at night to wake up and take them. It makes all the difference in recovery!

All my best!

rnc76
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2014
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 4/9/2014 5:40 PM (GMT -6)   
I hear you on that. The first few days I am setting an alarm to remind me every 4 hours. I got behind on my pain meds at the hospital. I broke out in a heavy cold sweat, shaking uncontrollably, heart was beating 150 for no reason... Took me about 12 hours to fully recover from that. I felt almost like I was going into shock. The pain was bearable, it hurt quite a bit but it was bearable, but it felt like I was shutting down. I think after being in constant for several days, what is intense pain takes on a different meaning though. No more of that thank you.

baseball fan
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2014
Total Posts : 57
   Posted 4/11/2014 9:29 AM (GMT -6)   
didn't recieve an email on any posts to this thread, was waiting to hear? so glad to hear you are doing well!!!! God is with you and you will have a smooth recovery and healing.. prayers from west Texas...

baseball fan
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2014
Total Posts : 57
   Posted 4/14/2014 1:08 PM (GMT -6)   
hope you are doing well rnc76, still thinking of you in Texas!!

rnc76
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2014
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 4/16/2014 1:13 AM (GMT -6)   
11 days post op and I feel very strong. I have felt better and better since leaving the hospital. Pain is very manageable. The 10 hour ride back from Cleveland was pretty much a non-event. I guess I was expecting more discomfort but it was just a long boring ride. I am able to do most normal activities to take care of myself just fine. I just get tired easily.

baseball fan
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2014
Total Posts : 57
   Posted 4/16/2014 10:30 AM (GMT -6)   
thats great! glad to here back from you and doing well!! What restrictions will you have after you have completely healed? no more worries about a dissection, that is a mind easing comfort! wishing you the best!!

rnc76
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2014
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 4/16/2014 8:24 PM (GMT -6)   
The only restriction I was given was to avoid extreme spikes in blood pressure. No really high weight, low rep squats, deadlifts... However, he said higher rep, like 10+ reps, weightlifting was fine.

Beamer1
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2014
Total Posts : 60
   Posted 4/18/2014 6:53 PM (GMT -6)   
Oh wow soo glad you are recovering so well and that they found the aneurysm in time! I have a polyester thoracic aorta ( well a part anyways) and a mechanical valve. I had my surgery at 39 with five kids at home! I like you am so grateful to the surgeons and support staff who performed my surgery three years ago. Sounds like you are on a wonderful journey to recovery! That's awesome!

baseball fan
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2014
Total Posts : 57
   Posted 4/20/2014 11:54 AM (GMT -6)   
thats great, so glad to here all good news.. wishing you the best!!!

rnc76
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2014
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 6/4/2014 5:29 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi all, I thought I would give an update for those interested. I had my thoracic aortic aneurysm repair and repair of my aortic valve, 2 months ago today. I feel good, I am walking long distances up to 5-6 mile hikes on fairly rugged trails. I try to walk at least 30 mins/day. I got back to work a few weeks ago part time. I am still working about 30 hours/week. I am sure I could push it to 40, but I am pretty happy taking it easy for now and my boss is supportive. The pain of the incision is still present but not intense. Just enough to give me a gentle reminder occasionally of what I went through. I had an echo at 4 weeks. Everything looked great. My aortic regurgitation pre-surgery was a 3-3+. The recent echo measured "trace" regurgitation, written down as a level 0-1. I call that a success.

The physical recovery has been a slow steady progression. The initial couple weeks the healing was very fast, since then the "sprint" has turned to a "marathon". The speed of that initial healing I am sure is due to youth (relatively at least, I am 38) and general overall good health. The mental aspect of healing is at least as important after that initial phase. For a person not used to being limited, the sitting around and trying to rest can take a toll. Having a good support network is critical. I caught up with a lot of my extended family in this time, which has been nice. I have been in touch with a lot of my older relatives. They have been a great source of comfort. They generally have more time to talk, they are very supportive and many have been through health issues or know someone close to them who has.

I thought I would give an update now that the fog of surgery has lifted.

jdiane
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2003
Total Posts : 1156
   Posted 6/4/2014 8:10 AM (GMT -6)   
So glad to hear you are doing so well! Couple more months and the scar will be the only reminder and even that will fade too. Keep on keeping on.

baseball fan
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2014
Total Posts : 57
   Posted 6/4/2014 8:16 PM (GMT -6)   
WOW, you have recovered well.. walking miles long hikes, thats great!! life is good!!! happy to hear good news!! my aneurysm at the root is still 4.35 and holding as long as I dont lift anything heavy, my main problem is the back pain from disc problems!! severe at times!! ugh!!!!

Soybean
New Member


Date Joined May 2014
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 6/6/2014 5:40 AM (GMT -6)   
Thank you for your updates. I am just starting my journey through this maze of anger and disbelief. I thought I was taking good care of myself and then my routine echo show an aneurysm. Then the CT showed the aneurysm was at 4.2.

I has my aortic valve replaced in 2004 and it has been doing fine. I have been researching the On-X valve for my next option. Does anyone have any input on this?

I am trying not to upset my family with to much information as that just intensifies the situation. nono

Stiophan
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2014
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 6/7/2014 9:44 AM (GMT -6)   
@rnc76 Thank you for sharing your journey and posting about your recovering. It has put my mind a little more at ease. Kitt... I did read the cleveland clinic pdf which was very helpful in understanding.

So I guess here on post 1, here goes my story....I am 44 (m) 2 amazing kids and incredible wife. (Live on Long Island, NY). Went for annual wellness check up in early May. At the end of the visit was pretty routine (I am in good health, active) - Dr said 'we should do a echocardiogram on you too' lets make an appt to get it done. So booked an appt at the front desk...and set 5/27 as the day for the echo. Echocardiogram was uneventful - joked a little with the technician and that was that. I must have been done within 20 mins. Ah life is good.

June 2nd at 1pm: Dr calls and leaves a message at home - call me back - need to get you into do a CTA asap. Call back and after a few calls set up CT for June 4th.

June 4th at 3pm: 20 mins and I am done with CTA. Pretty uneventful.

June 6th at 11am: At this point tests should be in...I am thinking..ah if it was bad Dr would have called me by now right? Nope. He is busy with a busy practice. I call at 11am. Dr tells me I have 4.9cm aneurysm on aortic root. Tells me to make an appt with Cardiovascular surgeon who he recommends here on Long Island. Call the specialists office and make an appt for this coming Wednesday (June 11th at 10am).

I will post later about the outcome and what the prognosis is for treatment now or later. I guess I am just in shock, scared out of my wits and a little terrified (ok no more googling and you tubing 'aortic aneurysm's" for me). I find RNC76's story very reassuring and on another website there is a story of a Finnish man who seems to be running like Forest Gump since he recovered. Fingers crossed, praying and here goes. I will post updates as regularly as possible.

Soybean
New Member


Date Joined May 2014
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 6/7/2014 11:58 AM (GMT -6)   
Stiophan. Thank you for sharing your story. My aneurysm is in the root also. I too have Googled myself into a frenzy. I now find the posts most helpful for they are real people not statistic .

I do find it most interesting that so many of the people are active runners, cyclers, hikers and still there heart betrayed them. Why is that? I do not go for another test till late August. At that time it will be clear if the aneurysm is growing or standing still.

May God protect you at your appointment this week.
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