“I wanted the best option for life. I chose the On-X AAP”

I was diagnosed at the age of 15 with moderate aortic valvular stenosis. In my late 20′s, I was informed that it was likely the result of a bicuspid aortic valve. At 38 years old, in 2004, I was diagnosed with an ascending aortic aneurysm. In August 2004, I had my first open heart surgery. I received a homograft to replace my aortic valve and part of the ascending aorta. At the time, I was thinking I had up to 20 years on this ‘fix’.

After 7 years, I was experiencing what I thought was poor cardio fitness. I teach Martial Arts for a living and am very active, so this was a perplexing problem. I increased my activity level, thinking I would get back into shape. It did not work, in fact, it seemed my body was getting stronger but my cardio was slowly getting worse. I even tested for 4th degree black belt, struggling to breathe. I passed the test, but knew something was wrong. Then one day I worked out and felt a clinching feeling in my heart, I was now seriously concerned. I made an appointment with my cardiologist not making it to my annual visit. I was informed that I had severe aortic valvular stenosis and that needed to be replaced within a few months.

I met with the recommended surgeon who was very thorough about all the options. I asked him about the On-X valve and the PROACT study. He told me what he knew about it and stated that it would be his choice if he needed a mechanical valve. He said he could give me a fairly reliable 20 years with a tissue valve. I did not want to face the possibility of a third surgery later in life. I wanted the best option for life. We chose the On-X AAP and the surgery was done October 16th, 2012. They replaced the valve and repaired the aortic arch in an 8 hour surgery. I am 8 weeks post op and am feeling great. This recovery is much better than what I experienced 8 years ago. I am in Cardiac Rehab and am very happy with my cardio performance. It feels great, I even enjoy the workouts.

Thank you for making this ‘Cadillac’ of heart valves.


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