But I’ve always done cycling/tennis/football – can’t I do this instead? Ruth started out running … “I had a guy across the room from me who had been saved with a defibrillator after a heart attack at his local pool. It was in 2005, five years after he started cycling, Pete started having problems during hill climbs. How to Care for Yourself after Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) -3-• Limit the number of times you take the stairs until you are feeling well. Please note: the views and opinions of the storyteller and related comments may not necessarily reflect those of the Heart Foundation NZ. • Divide your time and spread activities throughout … That is a great question! The time it takes to fully recover varies depending on factors like your age and overall health. Since undergoing his surgery Pete has used his passion for cycling to raise considerable funds for the Heart Foundation. Transcatheter aortic valve replacement is sometimes called transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI).TAVR may be an option for people who are considered at intermediate or high risk of complications from surgical aortic valve replacement. “I remember him telling me they would use a machine to pump and oxygenate my blood with a possible side effect of hallucinations. All Rights Reserved, See Dr. Castro’s Interactive Surgeon Profile, Discover the Sequoia Heart & Vascular Institute Heart Valve Microsite, Watch My Interview with Dr. Castro About Heart Murmurs After Surgery, Download Dr. Castro’s eBook, “Heart Valve Surgery: What To Expect?”, The Patient's Guide To Heart Valve Surgery. A fifty-year old has experienced approximately 2 billion heart beats; get to 75 years of age and add another billion! When this valve opens, blood goes from your heart into your aorta (the largest artery in your body) and on to the rest of your body. I have always been fit and active and to discover I had a leaking valve came as a huge surprise - I had no idea. It is only when … It was a few more days before Pete was discharged, but he was happy to be under the watchful eye of the medical staff. I have tried to start … There have been times after open heart surgery when I’ve thought that life isn’t going to be the same again and my best years are behind me.”, “You have just got to talk to yourself and say that was then and this is now. That actually happened afterwards in recovery, but because it wasn’t a surprise, it wasn’t a drama.”, “By lunchtime the team had opened me up, tried to repair my valve, tested it, found it still didn’t pass the pressure and leakage tests, then cut it out and fitted a prosthetic valve and stitched me up. Once home, Pete initially struggled to take it easy. Real stories, healthy recipes and frequently-asked questions from people with heart disease, plus a whole lot more. On the other hand, an extreme athlete who exercises and maintains elevated heart rates above 130-150 bpm for more than two hours a day, everyday of the year, might actually shorten the lifespan of an implanted heart valve by months to several years. Aortic stenosis refers to a condition where in which there is a narrowing of the aortic valve opening, usually due to calcium build-up. Most cardiothoracic surgeons prefer to repair the native valve (your own valve) if feasible since there is less risk of rejection. That felt like a demotion but the staff said it can just be part of the deal.”, Back on the ward Pete felt “pretty wasted” for a couple of days, but still enjoyed the camaraderie of his fellow cardiac patients. “You feel like you want to do a lot of things. After a night in ICU, Pete was closely monitored in the Step Down Unit for a further two days before progressing to the ward. Hi Pete, inspirational story, thank you for sharing. Therefore, the overall number of additional heartbeats a new valve replacement may experience during moderate exercise will not significantly impact long term durability of that heart valve. Many thanks to Mort for his question and a special thanks to Dr. Castro for sharing his clinical research and experience with our community! Aortic valve repair and aortic valve replacement are procedures that treat diseases affecting the aortic valve.The aortic valve is one of four valves that regulate blood flow through the heart. Adam has been featured by the American Heart Association and Medical News Today. Pete recalls the senior registrar quoting the risks of surgery before the operation. In your mind you think you can. So, I reached out to Dr. Luis Castro, the Medical Director of Dignity Health Sequoia Hospital Heart & Vascular Institute in Redwood City near San Francisco in Northern California. He was a real comedian so I needed a spare pillow to hold against my chest. Or you can also contact us by filling the online contact form. “I can empathise with people who do experience some depression. “They were really, really good, the whole team, I couldn’t fault them. At times, he noticed his heart rate monitor showed exactly 222 beats per minute. “It was a bit daunting leaving all that support but great to practice normal life within reach of the hospital before flying home.”. Later he discovered that was the maximum number it could display. Then, Dr. Castro provided fascinating data about how many times the heart beats during our lives and how that relates to tissue heart valves: If we calculate out how many heartbeats we generate in a lifetime, we can state that on average, we experience approximately 36 million beats per year, which equates to almost 1 billion beats every 25 years. The replacement is done at the time of aortic valve repair or replacement. Just in case I get too, Ana says, "Hello dear brothers and sisters of the"Read more, Kimberly Goodloe from Hi Pete - it is so good to read your story and hear of your recovery from heart valve surgery. Mort asked me, “Adam, Will long distance bicycle riding – approximately 12 hours a week – prematurely wear out an aortic or mitral valve replacement … “I remember getting really tired going for walks. This year he celebrated the 10-year anniversary of his operation with a 101km ride and a post-race drink with his former medical team - and he’s used his cycling … The St Jude Medical has a short and informative article on surgery options. Your aortic valve opens and closes to let blood flow from your heart. I’ve been very fortunate to see Dr. Castro operate before. I could sit and look around while hopefully disguising how munted I felt. "Aorticdissection is a life-threatening issue up front. Your aortic valve separates the lower section of your heart from your aorta. Athletes with a bicuspid aortic valve and aortic root diameter >40 mm should avoid sport with a strong isometric component even with minimal valvular dysfunction. Most tissue heart valves are designed to last at least 15 years after implantation. It was my main motivation for sharing it. I am going in on Friday to have mine done - and it is awesome to know that you can “get back on the bike” (literally for you!) The procedure, known as trans-catheter aortic valve replacement, or TAVR, is an increasingly widely used alternative to surgical valve replacement that would require the chest to be … “I had some dramas with atrial fibrillation which meant a visit back to the Step Down Unit. It can also depend on whether the patient undergoes transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) or open heart surgery. Schwarzenegger was born with a bicuspid aortic valve, an aortic valve with only two leaflets; a normal aortic valve has three leaflets. “People ask me if I have heart disease. Aortic valve replacement is surgery to put a new aortic valve in your heart. Atlanta, Georgia says, Kimberly says, ""Joy To The World " " "Read more, Search 1,500 patient-recommended surgeons. But as you age, the valve's leaflets may stiffen and become clogged with calcium deposits, restricting blood flow. Hi, please take our quick survey and tell us what you think about the Journeys website. Thank you! Recovery from aortic valve replacement varies based on a patient’s overall health. You came close to dying anyway and so what does it really matter. Hi Alexis - Thanks for your comments. First, Dr. Castro provided some great counsel about life after heart valve surgery. Aortic heart disease is a condition affecting the aortic valve, one of four valves in the heart. Sometimes you think that you don’t seem to be afraid of death any more. Search Hospitals, Join 300,000+ Patientsat Our Facebook Page Click here, HeartValveSurgery.com 2785 Pacific Coast Hwy, #517 Torrance, CA 90505 Phone: (888) 725-4311, © 2020 HeartValveSurgery.com. California says, Hello dear brothers and sisters of the heart. A keen cyclist since the age of 45, Pete has ridden in numerous long-distance cycle races, both pre and post-surgery, including the inaugural 101km Grape Ride in Marlborough. “I think that my wife Sheryl was more concerned than I was, which is often the case. Jeanette, like you I’ve always been fit and active so when I was told my mitral valve was regurgitating, I too was shocked, fine one day, floored the next. Whit’s life was going full speed–until his aortic stenosis forced him to stop. So when patientsundergo successful surgery to repair the initial dissection, it is not uncommonfor the surgeons to declare victory, Dr. Pochettino says. This book has helped over 47,000 patients and caregivers from diagnosis to recovery. TAVR … Not a bad morning’s work. “It turned out that both the surgeon and anaesthetist were keen cyclists, so they understood what the biking bug can do to a person...”. You inspired me to crunch some numbers and sometime over this summer my mitral valve will have opened & shut (without leaking) 400 million times.By the time you see this your excellent surgeon may have gifted you a life membership into the ‘Zipper Club. “But he said not to worry, I was only in my 50’s and so was considered a ‘young man’. The one-way valve inside your aorta opens to allow blood to surge from the heart to the rest of your body. Pete was impressed with the care he received from his medical team. Speedy recovery, Pete. Possible risks associated with treatment include: Bleeding during or after … after aortic valve replacement surgery, you’ll likely spend about a week in the hospital. “Times have really changed. “The medical team were conservative about increasing my warfarin to establish my correct dosage so I stayed several extra days, but hospital is a really reassuring place when you are healing and feeling vulnerable so I wasn’t complaining. After that, the choice of exercise is up to you, as long as your health professional agrees. Close Cookie Statement. Although aortic valve replacement is a common operation, younger patients have a higher than expected risk of mortality (death) 10 years after a mechanical or a tissue (bioprosthetic) valve replacement compared to what would be expected in the general population. I just received a great question form Mort about exercise, biking and heart valve durability. The following short video shows a 3D animated video of aortic valve replacement … In the end, I … Pete joined the ride for Nelson – Murchison – Hanmer – Christchurch stages, raising $10,000 to help the Heart Foundation establish a permanent cardiovascular research programme at Auckland University. #heartfoundationrocks. “It’s great to be an encouragement to others beginning or progressing on a heart journey of their own”. For people whoexperience aortic dissection, simply surviving the event is a triumph. Most of us are not extreme athletes. I say I had a leaking valve and now it’s fixed just like a plumber fixes your tap, it’s fixed and it doesn’t have to be fixed again,” says Pete. It reminded me again of all the great health care professionals whose skills extended my life. The David procedure allows surgeons to repair the aortic valve … Woo-Whoo!!! A number of people in the aortic aneurysm community, who had open heart surgery for valve repair during ascending aortic aneurysm correction, have written to me for advice. One day I walked around Nelson airport and back home, but I paid for that the next day. (Yes, you read that right… 154 patient testimonials!!!). Eddie Caldow, Exercise … I was the only ex-patient in the ride, and the friendly cyclists would ride and chat with me. “One day they gave me an afternoon pass so Sheryl and I went on the bus into the city which was quite interesting, because I was thinking, people don’t bump me, I’m pretty fragile.”, Pete spent three nights out of hospital but still in Wellington while his medication was finalised, before finally flying home to Nelson. You just have to help yourself and slowly build up without overdoing it and remember to stay active.”. Thanks for sharing your experience - it has given me inspiration! This year he celebrated the 10-year anniversary of his operation with a 101km ride and a post-race drink with his former medical team - and he’s used his cycling skills to raise $10,000 for heart research. He’s certainly put the new valve through its paces. The aorta is the large blood vessel that carries blood from your heart to your body. Lisa says, "Merry Christmas heart family, today isn...", Ana says, "Hello dear brothers and sisters of the...". Now health professionals will sit down and draw you diagrams, show you pictures, and explain what’s going on and discuss treatment options. There is an association between mitral valve … “One of the highlights for me was that no less than three of them said, “This is really cool, when I go back to work I’ll be able to tell my patients about you. About 12% of people ages 75 or older have this condition, known as aortic … Dr. Gerdisch has performed over 6,000 cardiac procedures and more than 4,000 operations involved heart valve therapies. A range of tests revealed a severely leaking mitral valve, and he underwent surgery 12 months later. Recovering in ‘stages’ after aortic valve replacement “Life can be good again,” says Ruth, a critical care nurse who learned about the far-reaching impact of heart surgery, first-hand. Pete explains that sometimes after heart surgery emotions can be conflicting. They undid me, fixed me up and put me back together, in about the same time as I could install two or three power points in someone’s home.”. In addition… Dr. Castro has successfully treated many, many, many patients from the HeartValveSurgery.com community including Shelly Gould, John Ehret and Salma Halteh. The National Heart Foundation of New Zealand is a registered charity (CC23052) under the Charities Act 2005. But with a TAVR aortic valve replacement, he was able to get back to go-go-go. Find out how to share your story and help other people on similar journeys. … Laughing was about as uncomfortable as coughing, but it was great being in a room of six guys.”. If they need similar surgery I’ll tell them a guy with a new valve biked from Nelson to Christchurch with me.” They said it would be a good example to use. They were interested in my heart journey and how I was going. Albany, Australia says, Merry Christmas heart family, today isn’t starting to great, I didn, Lisa says, "Merry Christmas heart family, today isn"Read more, Ana Brusso from When Pete had open heart surgery to replace a heart valve, he discovered his surgeon and anaesthetist shared his passion for cycling. I am determined to make a full recovery just as you have and lead an active life again. Had my bi-cuspid Aortic valve replaced and aneurysm repaired December 5th, 2013. Pete managed to sneak in his third 101km Malborough Grape ride just two days before his surgery, making sure he rode at a sensible pace governed by a heart rate monitor. Great question Mort! Risks of Heart Valve Repair or Replacement. After sending Mort’s question to Dr. Castro, I was thrilled when my inbox lit up with an answer. I’m in week 8 of my recovery from my valve repair (great job by the ERI doctors) and looking forward to getting back on my watt bike (when allowed). I just received a great question form Mort about exercise, biking and heart valve durability. With all the help and support from the medical team, my many questions answered, together with my faith, I was so relaxed about the whole process.”. I’m pleased you found some encouragement and motivation from my story. Any thoughts on best practices for cardiac rehab after Aortic Valve Replacement. 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