Author Topic: Heart Valve Replacement - recovery & recuperation ?  (Read 1500 times)

Heart Valve Replacement - recovery & recuperation ?
« on: October 22, 2008, 07:28:10 pm »
My dad is 74.  He's in fairly good shape for his age, doesn't smoke but likes a drink. Walks his dogs a couple of times a day.   He's also got high blood pressure & type 2 diabetes.

A recent check up led to him being referred to the local cardio clinic for further tests. Upshot is, he's got a dodgy heart valve, possibly caused by rheumatic fever as a child.

He's booked in for surgery next month (they're giving the old swine a pig valve  ;D)

The hospital have told him he'll be out about 6 days after the op.  He lives with my mother & sister, I'm close enough to get there every night as well.

What will we need to do at home ?  Move a bed downstairs ?   Definitely keep the 2 young & energetic Rottweilers away from him!   

How long to make a recovery from this sort of thing ?

All advice welcome..I'm not sure how he feels about this but I'm scared..
Not fast & rarely furious

tweeting occasional in(s)anities as andrewxclark

border-rider

Re: Heart Valve Replacement - recovery & recuperation ?
« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2008, 07:34:56 pm »
My mum had this done at age 77 or so

She was knocked out for a couple of weeks afterwards (but could do stairs when she was sent home)

I was quite startled at just how out of it she was for quite how long afterwards.  I guess it took a few weeks of close family care and a few months of taking it easy.  After 6 months or so she was way better than before.

My mum had a pig valve too :)

Eccentrica Gallumbits

  • Rock 'n' roll and brew, rock 'n' roll and brew...
Re: Heart Valve Replacement - recovery & recuperation ?
« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2008, 07:45:27 pm »
There shouldn't be any need to move a bed downstairs but the ward physio and OT will check how he's doing on stairs before he comes home. What you might want to do is make sure that his toilet, bed and chair are high enough - the height from the top of the seat/mattress/cushion to the floor should be at least as high as from the back of his knee to the floor. After heart surgery, people aren't supposed to push down with their arms as it increases the pressure in the chest cavity, so if beds and chairs and things are too low, they need to be raised a bit to avoid pushing down on them to get up. It's fine to reach forward and pull up though. The hospital should ensure the physio and OT see him and make sure he's ok at managing getting washed and dressed and on and off things before he comes home.

He's more likely to have problems getting in and out of the bath - it would be easier if he could use a shower while he recovers.
My feminist marxist dialectic brings all the boys to the yard.


Re: Heart Valve Replacement - recovery & recuperation ?
« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2008, 08:07:13 pm »
My Gran had the same operation done at a similar age 15 or so years ago.

I don't recall her having many problems getting up the stairs to the bathroom or bedroom, but she was pretty frail for a few weeks.

On the plus side, the change in her after she recovered from the operation was remarkable.  She was stronger, livelier and had what was almost a change of personality (much happier and less grumpy!).  She passed away a couple of years ago now, but the pig valve hugely improved the quality of her life - a huge success.

Good luck to your dad.

RJMcB

Re: Heart Valve Replacement - recovery & recuperation ?
« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2008, 08:13:02 pm »
A certain Mr Chainring had such an operation a couple of years ago. He's back on his bike, touring the Alps amongst other places. he says he's given up 200k randonnees because they now take him too long to complete, but he still does the 100s. I saw him at the weekend on an event.

hellymedic

  • Just do it!
Re: Heart Valve Replacement - recovery & recuperation ?
« Reply #5 on: October 22, 2008, 08:19:24 pm »
One of my Camden Cyclists friends had a heart valve replaced in the summer, was out of hospital in a week and went on a cycling holiday about 6 weeks later.
He's 70 (but pretty fit).

Re: Heart Valve Replacement - recovery & recuperation ?
« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2008, 08:27:24 pm »
Thanks for the advice & good wishes.

He's no quality of life issues at the moment, other than being a bad tempered curmudgeon, but they've said the valve will start to deteriorate in the next few years.

They don't have a walk in shower, but have a large oval bath with shower over it.  Can possibly fit a chair or stool in that if needs be.

It's the dogs I'm worried about,  his normal relaxing position is sprawled on a couch with a 6 stone Rotty climbing all over him  :o    Can't have them in my tiny flat and they won't put them in kennels so a dog cage may be required. Will he be OK in that do you think ?
Not fast & rarely furious

tweeting occasional in(s)anities as andrewxclark

Re: Heart Valve Replacement - recovery & recuperation ?
« Reply #7 on: October 22, 2008, 08:29:04 pm »
...a dog cage may be required. Will he be OK in that do you think?

 ;D

Eccentrica Gallumbits

  • Rock 'n' roll and brew, rock 'n' roll and brew...
Re: Heart Valve Replacement - recovery & recuperation ?
« Reply #8 on: October 22, 2008, 08:32:37 pm »


They don't have a walk in shower, but have a large oval bath with shower over it.  Can possibly fit a chair or stool in that if needs be.

If he can get in and out of the bath and stand to shower, he should be ok. It's the getting up from sitting in the bath which is the problem.
My feminist marxist dialectic brings all the boys to the yard.


Re: Heart Valve Replacement - recovery & recuperation ?
« Reply #9 on: October 22, 2008, 08:34:06 pm »
Now the serious posts are out of the way...

Presta or Schrader?
Never tell me the odds.

Re: Heart Valve Replacement - recovery & recuperation ?
« Reply #10 on: October 22, 2008, 09:03:52 pm »
Now the serious posts are out of the way...

Presta or Schrader?

Woods,  he's an old git!
Not fast & rarely furious

tweeting occasional in(s)anities as andrewxclark