Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Uffda!!!

Well I made it through surgery with flying colors (according to my doctor!).  I am not sure that my body would necessarily agree however at this point I will trust them.   With the exception of surgery on one's brain, it  is probably the most invasive surgery there is.  As pictured on the left, you can see a normal thoracic aorta in the white box verses a thoracic aortic aneurysm showing the bulged out artery.  When these babies blow, there is little that can save you, you simply get that Oh Crap look and say goodnight.  Leading up to the surgery I was asked many times if I was nervous and my response was always a resounding no!  I feel fortunate to have the opportunity to fix this problem.

The surgery lasted about 7 hours.  My pre-op nurse asked me a few questions, discussed briefly the procedure, then warned me of what it would be like when I woke up (He told no lies there),   Being surprised how quickly this all happened, in a fleeting moment I was struggling against a breathing tube shoved down my throat.   The surgery included cracking my ribs and spreading them apart to get at my heart.  Once the chest was opened up the heart lung machine was put in place to maintain my blood as they stopped my heart.  There were 3 main objectives during the surgery.  The first was to reposition my coronary arteries to an area further down the aorta as to not interfere with the actual replacement.  The second was to determine the condition of my aortic valve and replace it with either a natural pig valve or a permanent mechanical one.  I had previously decided to go with the pig valve as they only last 15 years, they do not require one to take blood thinners as the artificial ones do.  The great news was that my original valve was in great shape so we left it alone.  The third was to replace the aorta with a Gore Tex type membrane.  This will last the rest of my life.  An interesting note, my wound is super-glued together!  It is a very unobtrusive wound and although it is rather long, doesn't look as though it has been opened through to the inside of the chest cavity.  The staff at the University of Minnesota Hospitals were fabulous as the surgery was almost routine.

I will be stuck at home for another couple of weeks recovering.  I am still pretty weak and the pain killers offer no mercy.   It's a great time to get caught up on my spinner rig supply as well I am researching lead line trolling for Mille Lacs.  This year's Northwest Sportshow will be a focal point for acquiring the right equipment for lead lining and it's techniques.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Great that it went well. I am sure there a lot of disappointed walleyes out there that didn't want it to go so well!

Take Care,

Paul W.

Dewey said...

Glad it went well Dave,
Are you still gonna look as good in your swimming trunks??

bdimat said...

Hi Dave. Glad to have you back. Congrats! I know you are in a great deal of pain... but think about the warm days of summer ahead.
Ben

Anonymous said...

Dave you gave a clear explaination of what you actually went through. I was too afraid to ask you exactly what you would have to have done. Glad to see you're getting stronger every day. XO -janet

Basspastor said...

Very Happy to hear that things are going about as well as they can.

NeenahPete said...

It hurts just reading this. Glad it went well and that you're on the getting well side of things. Take care!

pkellin said...

Hey Dave,
Glad to hear you are doing better. I wasn't going to track you down to see how you were feeling as i thought i would give you a little privacy, but i was thinking about you the week you were in here. I am very glad the surgery went well, and you are on the mend. I hope the pain killers start to deliver some relief for you. I can only imagine the pain. Hang in there and keep the stories coming.

PS. You picked a good time of year to get this done. There isnt much to do as far as outdoors stuff right now... Unless you maple syrup. Take care!

Anonymous said...

There's only a handful of places I would want any serious work to be done on me. The U is one of them.

Glad you're on the mend. Pretty soon you'll be back to using a hand auger. Ha!

Keith

Dave Anderson said...

Thanks guys for the support. I have been really taking it easy the last week. I have weaned myself off the pain meds however still get tired easy. Went to walk around Cabela's today and that took work. I start rehab next week and am looking forward to it. Dewey, I will look good as new as soon as all my hair grows back!

Tami Tooke said...

Wow, you've been thru the mill...glad you're on the mend. Enjoy this beautiful sunshine today and know there are so many pullin for ya! Love you...ditto xo Tami

Susan said...

Dave----I had NO IDEA that you were going thru such a major surgery!! Glad you are doing so well!~~~~~Susan