Aortic Vavle repair with an Asscending aortic graft Recovery time

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New Member

Date Joined Jan 2015
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 3/2/2015 10:13 AM (GMT -6)   
Hello all,

So I am scheduled for open heart surgery on March 10th at Inova Fairfax in Fairfax virginia. I was wondering if anyone could share what to expect for the 1st few weeks of recovery. As the date draws near I find myself getting more anxious and not sleeping well. I have good family support in place but still nervous.


New Member

Date Joined Jun 2014
Total Posts : 16
   Posted 3/3/2015 6:50 AM (GMT -6)   
hiya, firstly the waiting is the worst bit, honestly it really isnt as bad as the mind leads you to believe,for the first week you will be sore but the pain is no where near as bad as you think, the day after surgery you will be sat up and have taken a little walk, from then its just a case of taking it easy but doing a bit more every day, you will be just fine,
had heart valve surgery 2008. replaced with a nice porky pig one

New Member

Date Joined Jan 2015
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 3/3/2015 8:31 AM (GMT -6)   

Thanks for responding, Glad to know your surgery went well. The waiting for the day to get here is horrible.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2003
Total Posts : 1157
   Posted 3/3/2015 9:20 AM (GMT -6)   
It's so not anywhere near as bad as what I imagined!

First, you are pretty drugged the first week, so you might not remember things super clear. I don't, but this is what I do remember.

I woke up in the ICU, I was off the vent about 10 hours post-op (I had some problems with the pain meds). 16 hours total in the ICU, then to step-down. I was petrified when they removed my cath and told me I had to get up and walk to the wheelchair to move to the step down. I didn't want to get up I was so scared. Turns out, it was a total piece of cake.

As soon as I moved to the step-down unit, I was up with assistance using the bathroom on my own.

Day 3 I was up out of bed unassisted and walking in the halls.

Day 4 I went home! I was able to get out of bed by myself.

That first week I could be up for around 5 minutes before I was exhausted. I kept at it, adding more up time every week.

Week 3 I concurred stairs!

Week 7 I ran a mile.

Most important advice I can give..... stay on a pain management schedule. I set an alarm to take pain meds every 4 hours, regardless of whether I thought I needed them. I even set an alarm at night to wake up and take them. You need them even if you think you don't! It's important to stay on a schedule so you can get up and move around. The more you can move around, the faster you will heal. Pain meds are your friend! Your very best friend.

Best of luck to you! You can do this!

Post Edited (jdiane) : 3/3/2015 7:25:19 AM (GMT-7)

New Member

Date Joined Jun 2013
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 3/12/2015 4:08 PM (GMT -6)   
Jdiane- you and nightingale are my rock stars (and angels) . I read your posts whenever I begin to panic about the possibility of surgery. I'm waiting again for a scan and reading all those encouraging, but honest, posts.

New Member

Date Joined Sep 2012
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 3/20/2015 1:00 AM (GMT -6)   
Don't know if it is significant that a week has passed with no further posts since March 12. Keep fingers crossed for those folks. Just found out myself that my 4.5 AAA isn't the sum of problems for poor poor pitiful me . . . stenosis of aortic valve is what i need to learn about from those who've been thru it. You're never supposed to use the internet to research symptoms because it's always worst-case scenarios, right? That echocardiogram I had last week was interpreted to say "aortic valve stenosis." Not good news for 64 y.o. male with diabetes, atherosclerosis, and post-whipple-surgery abbreviated abdominal anatomy. I'm totally freaked out at the thought of open heart surgery. Which is kind of what I expect the cardiologist to suggest in two weeks when I see her. My symptoms of fatigue, shortness of breath, dizziness, and now some angina (which until lately hadn't bothered me since I was stented 10 years ago) had me baffled but they match the Mayo description of severe stenosis. Suddenly I feel mortal like never before. Haven't posted here previously.

New Member

Date Joined Apr 2015
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 4/27/2015 7:39 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi platenpressman,

Any updates on your aorta issues? I know what you mean about feeling mortal like never before. I think the key is to make sure you have a surgeon with stellar credentials. This really put my mind at ease, even though open heart surgery is a scary reality. I'm scheduled for it in a few weeks. With your diabetes and other health issues, I'm sure they're going to be cautious and prepared. It's always better when they find and try to fix these things--just common sense to get it done (as my daughter keeps telling me). :) Keeping you in my prayers, Jill
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