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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Utah
    Posts
    1,016

    Open Heart Surgery

    Wish me luck. Would love to connect with anyone that’s gone through anything like this and made a recovery.

    Last year when I had a pulmonary embolism, the CT scan revealed my aorta was enlarged.

    Have been monitoring for a year, and it’s getting worse.

    Likely surgery within next 2-3 weeks.

    Full open heart.

    Hoping they can preserve my own valves. If they can, I won’t be on blood thinners.

    Not allowed to exercise AT ALL until after surgery

    Happy I got to ski a handful of days this year after missing all of last season,

    But am obviously scared about what’s next


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Last edited by 123ski; 02-26-2023 at 09:48 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    you see a tie dye disc in there?
    Posts
    4,699
    no idea what you're going through but wish you the best mag and hope back on snow after solid recovery

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Park City
    Posts
    5,053
    Best of luck!
    I rip the groomed on tele gear

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Posts
    6,804
    Yeah man. Good luck and recover fast.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Iron Range
    Posts
    4,961
    My 70-something-year-old mother in law had open heart surgery to replace a weak valve. She aced it and is doing great 10 years later. You're youngish (right?) and otherwise healthy. Is there any reason to think they wouldn't be able to preserve your natural valves? IANAHS, but am thankful to live in a time when open heart surgery is a refined speciality.

    You got this dude, report back in!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    entrapped
    Posts
    2,616
    Good luck dude! Speedy and full recovery!

    Sent from my SM-S908U1 using Tapatalk
    No matter where you go, there you are. - BB

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    truckee
    Posts
    23,533
    I had the ascending aorta and aortic valve replaced. They used a pig valve--no anticoagulants requirec. I was on warfarin for a couple of months for atrial fibrillation, which is common after heart surgery, but it went away. They said the valve was good for 10 years and then can probably be replaced with a catheter. After years of telling my patients a sternotomy incision didn't hurt that much--at least compared to lung incisions between the ribs--turns out it hurts plenty. They will tell you to hold a pillow over your breast bone to cough. They gave me a cute little heart shaped pillow for that. Turns out what you want to do is to wrap your arms crossed over the pillow with your hands on your sides or shoulder so you can compress the chest from side to side as you cough. That works better than just pressing the pillow against the sternum.

    It took longer than expected for me to get out of the hospital, mainly while they controlled the rate on the atrial firbrillation and the does of warfarin. Also my oxygen was a little low--maybe because I had had 14 rib frctures 8 months before and definitely because I'm a wimp and could have coughed and did deep breathing better.

    I was back on skis 3 months to the day after my surgery. That's when they told me I could.

    I was terrified--not of dying but having my brain turn to mush. I was also afraid of being on a ventilator with a breathing tube in my throat but the first conscious sensation I had after surgery was having the breathing tube removed a few hours after. My wife and I disagree about the brain mush thing. I think my brain did OK.
    Removing the chest tubes didn't hurt.
    Having the hair grow back on my chest and legs --I had bypasses as well--sucked, and I had my chest shaved several times before and after the surgery for tests as well. I should have just gotten laser hair removal like my kid.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Where the sheets have no stains
    Posts
    22,477
    Good luck and safe travels.
    I have been in this State for 30 years and I am willing to admit that I am part of the problem.

    "Happiest years of my life were earning < $8.00 and hour, collecting unemployment every spring and fall, no car, no debt and no responsibilities. 1984-1990 Park City UT"

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    truckee
    Posts
    23,533
    About the pillow and the chest another way to do it is to squeeze the upper arms and elbows against the sides of the chest while pressing the pillow against the breast bone with the hands. Either way the key is pressing the sides of the chest to counteract the coughing wanting to pull the sternum apart.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    your vacation
    Posts
    4,796
    fuck a duck
    I still sleep with my special pillow they gave me it's like a kid and a blanky

    feel free to reach out to me seriously
    they took a grinder to my chest three years ago (was 44)
    did a 60 mile road ride was skiing all the week before (don't listen to them about chilling)
    had that conversation in the dr's office where you completely break down cause they are like you are dying man lots of denial for months lots of drs calling like wtf bro get back here?

    was skiing 8 weeks later on the bike outside 10 weeks later (like a girl)
    the chest cracking open was the worst part of recovery
    the mental shit was and still is really really hard
    surgeons medical technology the service the care are all over the top you have nothing to worry about
    little gortex some new valves a smug of ptex on your skin and you'll be back at it

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    here and there
    Posts
    18,685
    Wishing you good luck with a full and successful recovery.
    watch out for snakes

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Utah
    Posts
    1,016
    Quote Originally Posted by old goat View Post
    I had the ascending aorta and aortic valve replaced. They used a pig valve--no anticoagulants requirec. I was on warfarin for a couple of months for atrial fibrillation, which is common after heart surgery, but it went away. They said the valve was good for 10 years and then can probably be replaced with a catheter. After years of telling my patients a sternotomy incision didn't hurt that much--at least compared to lung incisions between the ribs--turns out it hurts plenty. They will tell you to hold a pillow over your breast bone to cough. They gave me a cute little heart shaped pillow for that. Turns out what you want to do is to wrap your arms crossed over the pillow with your hands on your sides or shoulder so you can compress the chest from side to side as you cough. That works better than just pressing the pillow against the sternum.

    It took longer than expected for me to get out of the hospital, mainly while they controlled the rate on the atrial firbrillation and the does of warfarin. Also my oxygen was a little low--maybe because I had had 14 rib frctures 8 months before and definitely because I'm a wimp and could have coughed and did deep breathing better.

    I was back on skis 3 months to the day after my surgery. That's when they told me I could.

    I was terrified--not of dying but having my brain turn to mush. I was also afraid of being on a ventilator with a breathing tube in my throat but the first conscious sensation I had after surgery was having the breathing tube removed a few hours after. My wife and I disagree about the brain mush thing. I think my brain did OK.
    Removing the chest tubes didn't hurt.
    Having the hair grow back on my chest and legs --I had bypasses as well--sucked, and I had my chest shaved several times before and after the surgery for tests as well. I should have just gotten laser hair removal like my kid.
    Dude I’d love to chat - thanks for sharing all of this


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Utah
    Posts
    1,016
    Quote Originally Posted by fastfred View Post
    fuck a duck
    I still sleep with my special pillow they gave me it's like a kid and a blanky

    feel free to reach out to me seriously
    they took a grinder to my chest three years ago (was 44)
    did a 60 mile road ride was skiing all the week before (don't listen to them about chilling)
    had that conversation in the dr's office where you completely break down cause they are like you are dying man lots of denial for months lots of drs calling like wtf bro get back here?

    was skiing 8 weeks later on the bike outside 10 weeks later (like a girl)
    the chest cracking open was the worst part of recovery
    the mental shit was and still is really really hard
    surgeons medical technology the service the care are all over the top you have nothing to worry about
    little gortex some new valves a smug of ptex on your skin and you'll be back at it
    I’d love to chat! PM sent


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Squaw valley
    Posts
    4,751
    Quote Originally Posted by old goat View Post
    I had the ascending aorta and aortic valve replaced. They used a pig valve--no anticoagulants requirec. I was on warfarin for a couple of months for atrial fibrillation, which is common after heart surgery, but it went away. They said the valve was good for 10 years and then can probably be replaced with a catheter. After years of telling my patients a sternotomy incision didn't hurt that much--at least compared to lung incisions between the ribs--turns out it hurts plenty. They will tell you to hold a pillow over your breast bone to cough. They gave me a cute little heart shaped pillow for that. Turns out what you want to do is to wrap your arms crossed over the pillow with your hands on your sides or shoulder so you can compress the chest from side to side as you cough. That works better than just pressing the pillow against the sternum.

    It took longer than expected for me to get out of the hospital, mainly while they controlled the rate on the atrial firbrillation and the does of warfarin. Also my oxygen was a little low--maybe because I had had 14 rib frctures 8 months before and definitely because I'm a wimp and could have coughed and did deep breathing better.

    I was back on skis 3 months to the day after my surgery. That's when they told me I could.

    I was terrified--not of dying but having my brain turn to mush. I was also afraid of being on a ventilator with a breathing tube in my throat but the first conscious sensation I had after surgery was having the breathing tube removed a few hours after. My wife and I disagree about the brain mush thing. I think my brain did OK.
    Removing the chest tubes didn't hurt.
    Having the hair grow back on my chest and legs --I had bypasses as well--sucked, and I had my chest shaved several times before and after the surgery for tests as well. I should have just gotten laser hair removal like my kid.
    Damn, this sounds rough.

    Did i meet you in the siberia lift after the heart surgery?

    My father in law, 80, is having the same procedure in late March. Scared.

    Sent from my moto g 5G using Tapatalk

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    truckee
    Posts
    23,533
    Quote Originally Posted by rod9301 View Post
    Damn, this sounds rough.

    Did i meet you in the siberia lift after the heart surgery?

    My father in law, 80, is having the same procedure in late March. Scared.

    Sent from my moto g 5G using Tapatalk
    It was a lot less rough than I expected. The problem being a surgeon going into surgery is you know all the bad things that can happen, no matter how rare.
    We met on KT--I'm pretty sure before I had surgery. FYI I'm still on those "backcountry" skis you were dissing and I still like them. I'm sure they would be way too wimpy for you but they work at the speeds I ski (slow).

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Utah
    Posts
    1,016
    Well, I’ve made it through the other side.

    Heart surgery was March 27. Kept my native valves, just have a radiator tube where the aorta used to be. I was released from hospital 4 days later.

    My spring consisted of a lot of walking.

    In June I was cleared to exercise again.

    Was mountain biking by the middle of June.

    Had a recent setback if pericarditis in July, keeping me off my feet for a few weeks.

    Doc says I’ll be skiing full speed this winter.




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  17. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    here and there
    Posts
    18,685
    Nice!
    watch out for snakes

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    entrapped
    Posts
    2,616
    Excellent!!

    Sent from my SM-S908U1 using Tapatalk
    No matter where you go, there you are. - BB

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    truckee
    Posts
    23,533
    IME you can make the incision perfectly straight but it always winds up a little off. Different pull on the skin depending on how positioned on the table.
    Glad all went well. I'm impressed with home in 4d.
    Last edited by old goat; 08-04-2023 at 07:55 PM.

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