We had a long day yesterday down to Charleston and back. The surgeon was kind and went over things thoroughly. He is 95% sure he can repair my valve. However the unknown factor is how much scar tissue he'll find from my 1st surgery that will hinder a repair.
He went over my replacement options in some more detail. For the tissue valve they would use a calf valve. It averages 5-10 years before needing to be replaced. Then my 3rd surgery would carry more risk. He said they don't have many patients that get 3 or more surgeries so they don't have as exact statistics. He said the 5-10 years is an average and depends on my body. Some will only last 2 years and he's had some last almost 20. One good thing was that he also said that pregnancy wouldn't speed up how quickly it wore out.
With a mechanical valve I wouldn't need any more surgeries. I would be on an oral blood thinner for live. I could possibly get pregnant but would have to switch over to a daily injection before I tried to get pregnant and throughout the pregnancy. It also carries some fetal risk. He said that 1-2% of the people on blood thinners die each year from complications. If I fell and skinned my knee while playing soccer with my son, not such a big deal. If I fell and hit my head it could cause fatal bleeding into my brain. So no horses, bicycles, contact sports (not that I play any!), etc.
So now I have more info to help me make this decision that I hate having to make. Yet, it has to be decided before I go to surgery. Our big prayer is for REPAIR!!!! That being said, I'll have my surgery in January. They will contact me the beginning of next week to set up the date. He wanted to give me some time to think of more questions. I will be 1 week in the hospital, 2 weeks at home doing nothing, 4 weeks getting back to doing stuff then 6 months until I really feel normal. He said by 8 weeks post-op I'll feel 90% back to normal but that last 10% takes up to 6 months.
So please continue to pray. I've already told my hubby he'll have to blog for me while I'm in the hospital. :) Gotta keep everyone up to date.