“If I had it to do again would I choose an On-X valve? ABSOLUTELY”

In October of 2010, I was diagnosed with a congenital atrial valve defect requiring surgery. My surgeon and cardiologist were both extremely detailed in what was needed and gave me the opportunity to research each option and then meet with the surgeon again to agree on the time, process etc.

After researching the mechanical valve options, there was no doubt in my mind that the On-X was the one for me. The material that I read pointed me at On-X at every turn. From the carbon it is made of, to the size of the valve (yes, size matters), to the degree of opening to minimize turbulence (yes, that matters also), it all made sense. There was also a person at On-x there to answer any questions I had that I couldn’t find the answer to in the 4” thick notebook I created for my research. I was even sent a short video of the procedure so that I could ask questions about it before hand. Knowledge is power and On-x gave me the power to make the right decision.

In March of 2011, I went back in for my 6 month check up and found that my enlarged heart had gone back to “normal” size. I was told this was a possibility, but no guarantee could be made as to going back to “normal”. My afib was gone and I felt better than I had in a long time. Not bad for wondering if I was going to make it to Christmas not long before! My energy is better than ever. I can do things now that I hadn’t done in years and it just keeps getting better. Before the surgery, it took me two weekends to wash and wax our two cars. This year I did both on a Saturday morning before noon with time left over. I started at about 8 AM!

Education about the alternatives was one of two keys for me. On-X provided, in my opinion, the best valve for me. My recovery has been “poster boy” according to the hospital and medical staff. My attitude (the other key) also has played a part in this. I went in on Monday positive that I was be out on Friday. I was pushed back leaving a day by a timing delay for the surgery, but I went home in 5 days…My goal.

The surgery was to have taken 4 hours, but because of the surgeon, my physical condition (which was pretty good before the surgery) and the valve, it took 2 ½ hours. I was up walking less than 24 hours after the surgery and haven’t stopped since.

INR was a factor as well. Yes, with a natural valve there is no medication, but there is no guarantee how long that natural valve will last either. Did you ever see a 15 or 20 year old cow or pig? With the FDA trial going on right now and its continued success, there is a strong possibility that Coumadin therapy will not be necessary with the On-X valve. Another plus!

If I had it to do again would I choose an On-x valve? ABSOLUTELY, no question. NO side effects, Quick recovery, Quality of life back. That’s a triple play you will enjoy. -Al

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