Re: Mild Aortic Stenosis...!!!!!!!!
I had the Ross procedure done in 2001 to replace my congenital bicuspid aortic valve. I've known since I was 16 that I had the problem, and a doc told my parent's that it probably would never get worse. It was mild at that time. So...I grew up, went into the Army (you couldn't even hardly hear the murmur at that time), married, and had 5 children. In 2001 at the age of 35, I became symptomatic. Like, I would get winded easily, and I had pain in my chest...shooting, intense pain that would only last seconds, but bring me to my knees kind of pain. I had it checked out, and found out that I was in serious need of surgery. Because I am a woman and only 35 at the time, active and healthy otherwise, I decided on the Ross procedure. I have a human cadaver valve, and take no coumadin at all, in fact, no meds for my heart. It was a more intense surgery, and I was in the hospital for about 5 days back then. I was on heart/lung bypass for about 6 hours. Yes, I woke up with the respirator...and was aware of the ventilator for about 12 hours after waking up. But you are so out of it back in ICU/CCU, you don't notice it much as you are coming off the anesthesia. The only bad thing is the burn from the dry mouth and throat. There are swabs for that the nurses will use for that.
Let me say this: What I wasn't told, and should have been, is that any extra stress you put upon your heart, whether through intense exercise, pregnancies, smoking, or just aging itself, is cumulative. Which means over time, you can make the surgery happen faster or put it off a bit longer by lifestyle choices. This isn't always the case, but enough of it is that you can give yourself a bit of control over it to an extent.
I am now 11 years post op, and doing fine. I'm hoping to hit the twenty year mark before having to do anything else with the valve. I had one doc tell me I might never have to have it redone. Chances are I will.
Whatever happens, I wish you luck. And the changes since I had mine done! Everyday advances are made, making the whole process much easier and outcomes better.