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Heart Valve Replacement

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

Last Wednesday a long simmering congenital valve issue caught up with me and I had my aortic valve replaced along with having some Dacron reinforcement installed over the aorta. Just wondering if any other forum members have been through heart valve replacement surgery, their outcomes and thoughts.

 

I know once I am cleared for return for sports activities most likely will be beating feet to Florida until April so any skiing will be spring skiing. (I'm a golf professional now and retired from active ski teaching-got a lot of this lost summer to make up).

post #2 of 14
No specific reply to your question, just expressing best wishes for a good, quick recovery to a senior member here. Follow doctor's orders and get active ASAP to regain fitness and fend off post-op depression. Keep us posted.
post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 


Thanks so much. Know it will be a bit of a slog but only thinking positively!!

post #4 of 14

While my experience was not identical, it was probably close enough to be relevant.

I had an acute MI on November 23, 2013, the result of my three coronary arteries being 100%, 99%, and 80% blocked. After placing  two drug eluting stents, the Doc told my wife that I had a 1 in 3 chance of making through the day.

When I came to, the first question I asked the Doc was, how soon I would be able to ski.

I did everything he said and worked my ass off in cardiac rehab, until he finally gave me the green light.

I skied 10,276 vertical feet at Beaver Creek on January 9, 2014, and enjoyed it as much as I did that first day on skis in 1973.

I remember thinking that there should be a support group for cardiac patients, because, without the desire to get back on skis, I don't know if I would have had the motivation to overcome the event.

Best of luck to you.

See you on the hill!

BS

post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Streak View Post
 

While my experience was not identical, it was probably close enough to be relevant.

I had an acute MI on November 23, 2013, the result of my three coronary arteries being 100%, 99%, and 80% blocked. After placing  two drug eluting stents, the Doc told my wife that I had a 1 in 3 chance of making through the day.

When I came to, the first question I asked the Doc was, how soon I would be able to ski.

I did everything he said and worked my ass off in cardiac rehab, until he finally gave me the green light.

I skied 10,276 vertical feet at Beaver Creek on January 9, 2014, and enjoyed it as much as I did that first day on skis in 1973.

I remember thinking that there should be a support group for cardiac patients, because, without the desire to get back on skis, I don't know if I would have had the motivation to overcome the event.

Best of luck to you.

See you on the hill!

BS


Thanks Blue Streak. I look forward to some spring skiing after I return from Florida-won't even consider the WROD or dealing with the early season, limited terrain crowds.

post #6 of 14

I had an aortal valve replacement ten years ago to fix a congenital defect.  I was 50. It took about a year to get over everything but now I'm about 125% of what I was before the operation.  My heart is in great shape and I have lots more ability to take it to the next level physically.  It's a big hassle going through open heart surgery, but the other side is great.

 

I had my operation on August 9 and I was ready to ski on opening day in November, even though I wasn't 100% yet.

post #7 of 14
The issue with valve replacements is if you need to be on blood thinners like Coumadin or not. Generally tissue valves do not require thinners but mechanical valves do. It's not that you can't ski whilst taking Coumadin, it just puts up the risk of bleeding if you become injured. Some people can tolerate the risk, others take up activities with less chance of impact injuries. Personal choice.
post #8 of 14

I take Coumadin and I choose to ski.  I understand the risk but I really don't think much about it.  So far I've been happy.

post #9 of 14

I had to take the "rat poison" for almost a year, starting in late April, 2010.

 

After an "epic" day of spring skiing in the slush bumps at Breck, I came back home to Denver, and had a message to meet some friends at a restaurant near Highlands Ranch.  It was a very nice spring evening, so I decided to ride to the venue on my 1999 Kawasaki Concours.  Skiing and riding in one day?  Hell yea!

 

On the way back home, my bike became magically invisible, as did the traffic light.  Got hit on the back wheel, didn't see it coming. After 31 years of riding almost every day I could... I finally got popped.  Due to the extent of my injuries, I needed the blood thinner for a long time.  Luckily, I also had/have excellent health insurance.  :( 

 

I skied again the following December, wearing a wrist band and dog tags stating the blood thinner as a medical condition. First run was just down Keystone's famous School Marm.  I was so happy to ski again that I sat down and cried like a little kid.

 

I'll post the gory details and rehab in another thread.  

post #10 of 14
I'll make this short. Had a heart attack flat lined on the emergency table for 4-5 mins. They got me rebooted and stented. After 3 days in bed I told the Dr. I'm leaving and he said not yet. Told him the ski report says new snow. He laughed. I'm a skier too. Anyway I was on the Mt. 2 weeks later. They said take it easy. Wife rolled her eyes. Born again skier.
post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrGolfAnalogy View Post

The issue with valve replacements is if you need to be on blood thinners like Coumadin or not. Generally tissue valves do not require thinners but mechanical valves do. It's not that you can't ski whilst taking Coumadin, it just puts up the risk of bleeding if you become injured. Some people can tolerate the risk, others take up activities with less chance of impact injuries. Personal choice.


Luckily my surgeon went with a bovine (MOO!) valve so Coumadin not an issue.

post #12 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikewil View Post
 

Luckily my surgeon went with a bovine (MOO!) valve so Coumadin not an issue.

I chose not to go that direction when they told me it would need to be replaced in about 10-12 years, and I definitely was not interested in having my chest ripped open a second, third, and maybe fourth time. Ugh.  The PA told me that the artificial valve would be like new on the day I died no matter how long I lived. So far, so good.

post #13 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Posaune View Post
 

I chose not to go that direction when they told me it would need to be replaced in about 10-12 years, and I definitely was not interested in having my chest ripped open a second, third, and maybe fourth time. Ugh.  The PA told me that the artificial valve would be like new on the day I died no matter how long I lived. So far, so good.


The surgeon felt, and after all options explained, that based on my age (66) the bovine valve was the appropriate choice for me. I concurred. Also with the advances occurring in TAVR any replacement down the road if needed will be done that way.

post #14 of 14

Once your sternum is healed--about six weeks--and you're pain free and otherwise feeling OK (usually longer) you're safe to ski. The biggest issue at our age is conditioning. It will take a lot longer than you think to get back to skiing shape, or even golf shape ( actually, I find carrying a bag for 18 holes, particularly if the pace of play is slow and there are no benches, to be as tiring or more so than a day of skiing. Does anyone walk in Florida?)  

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