Note from Gary Minar Re His Recent Heart Operation (9/10/20
Heart Issues Ė
At our 58er age range of mid-eighties, heart ailments can be a major
concern. I was about to go into the repair shop for a bad knee in June and did a
pre-op cardio stress test to assure the orthopedic team that I was low risk.
Iíve had chronic a-fib problems for many years that are controlled by
medications including a blood thinner. Unfortunately I flunked the cardio stress
test while using the treadmill. The cardio told me that my aortic valve had
severe stenosis and this explains why Iíve been so tired after bike riding. So
that finding made me cancel the knee replacement surgery.
My cardio sent me to the heart clinic in nearby Santa Barbara and I met
with the surgeon who does aortic valve replacement surgery with the TAVR method.
This visit set in motion a series of tests and procedures to prepare me for the
valve replacement surgery. TAVR is a new method of high tech replacement of an
aortic valve by entering through the arteries in your leg and emplacing the new
valve directly inside the old valve. So after an initial procedure to evaluate
your heart condition and size then replacement valve, they scheduled me for the
surgery. The process is to create the valve, folded, and place it into the
original valve location and expand it to take over as the primary valve. It is
done with sedation such that I was aware/awake while it was done, but not
uncomfortable. I kept asking how it was going and are they done yet? I had the
surgery on August 31 and am in recovery now.
Generally, the TAVR method is to create a valve that is coiled up and
contains valve leaflets made from pig or beef tissue heart valves. The maker is
Edwards in Irvine, CA. The valve is inserted via the right groin artery and
guided into place using ultra sound. The valve is expanded and takes over for
the worn aortic valve. Recovery takes a while with limits on lifting, etc.
So there is more info available on the internet. Good luck if you need
such a repair, and be sure to keep up with your doctor team if you may have
heart issues. Old heart valves do not self-repair. I can be reached for more
info if needed. Gary Minar 805-245-0296, or firstname.lastname@example.org.