Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
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.