Aortic Aneurysm Success Story

“When my cardiologist indicated it was time for me to surgically address my ascending aortic aneurysm and degrading aortic valve, I undertook some research into what would be my best choice. I did not want to face the prospect of another open heart procedure when in my 80s, as would probably be required if I went with a tissue valve, but the prospect of being on warfarin for the rest of my life with its attendant problems was not attractive either. When I discovered that the On-X valve held the promise of possibly not having to use warfarin, and that it would undoubtedly last longer than me (!) I decided the On-X would be my choice. And most fortuitously, my surgeon, Dr Ralph de la Torre suggested the On-X as his first choice as well.

The actual procedure went quite well, I guess. (I don’t remember too much of it!) I was in the hospital for about one week, with no difficulties at all, except for a roommate who was obnoxious. I would have been in hospital for less than one week, but on the day I was to be released I was running a temperature of 101. So they kept me for an extra day.

My recovery was effortless. I did a lot of walking in the first two weeks, and was back driving after about four weeks. My surgery was done in early May, and I had planned to do a long two day charity bike ride that August. My cardiologist suggested that a two day, 160 mile ride might not be the wisest of choices, so I reluctantly agreed to postpone it that year. But I did the ride the next year with no problem whatsoever. I was back on the bike again by August anyway, but for shorter rides.

The On-X valve is largely silent. There has only been one case I can recall where someone said that she heard a ticking sound. We were in a quiet space and she was standing only a few feet from me. In general even I am not aware of the On-X ticking away in my chest.”


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