Home
News/Events
Shipmate
Photo Gallery
Roster
Binnacle List
Last Call
Board of Trustees
Company Reps
Links for '58ers
Fleet Link

 

 

   

 

09/10/2020

 

Note from Gary Minar Re His Recent Heart Operation (9/10/20

Heart Issues Ė September 2020

            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 gary.minar@1958.usna.com.