......"and randomly got diagnosed with s heart murmur 4 weeks ago. Doctor says it is likely a systolic aortic murmur and is probably nothing to worry about"
A heart murmur is simply a turbulent sound, which may/can come and go throughout life, and sometimes, as reported, the presence of a heart murmur does not indicate a disease or problem, and all heart problems do not cause heart murmurs.
Systolic murmurs are graded by intensity (loudness) from 1 to 6 (I-VI). A grade 1/6 (I/VI) is very faint, heard only with a special effort. A grade 6/6 (VI/VI) is extremely loud and can be heard with a non-amplified stethoscope held slightly away from the chest.
"I'm 30 years old"
"I'm convinced I'm in heart failure."
Well, though heart failure/congestive heart failure is uncommon in those your age, it's obviously still possible.
WebMD/WebMD forums does not provide medical advice. WebMD does not endorse any specific product, service or treatment.
There are advantages and drawbacks to mechanical valves.
Advantages: Mechanical valves are very durable. They are designed to last a lifetime.
Disadvantages: Due to the artificial material involved, patients who receive these valves require lifelong treatment with a blood-thinning (anticoagulant) medication. Blood-thinners are medications (such as warfarin or Coumadin) that delay the clotting action of the blood. They help prevent clots from forming on the mechanical valve, which can cause a heart attack or stroke.
There are advantages and drawbacks to biologic valves.
Advantages: Most patients do not need to be on lifelong blood-thinner medication, unless they have other conditions (such as atrial fibrillation) which warrant it.
Drawbacks: Biologic valves, traditionally, were not considered as durable as mechanical valves, especially in younger people. Previously available biologic valves usually needed to be replaced after about 10 years. However, studies such as those on the PERIMOUNT valve, show that these valves may last at least 17 years without decline in function. This represents a new milestone in durability of biologic valves.
- Source Cleveland Clinic
Be sure to check out this informational/support site for heart valve replacement patients, and for those who may/will require this type of major surgery soon.
"the cardiologist advised us his gradient has gone back up"
General info -
Stenosis (narrowing) of the pulmonary artery (PA) or pulmonic heart valve (PV) leads to a pressure "gradient" across the artery or valve during the time in which blood flows through the artery narrowing or narrowed valve opening.
This gradient is expressed as an "increase and decrease" on each side of the narrowed artery or valve. The magnitude of the pressure gradient depends on the severity of the stenosis and the flow rate across the narrowed artery or valve narrowing. Resouces
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The very best of luck to your son down the road of life. May he live long and prosper.
WebMD member (since 8/99)
- WebMD/WebMD message boards does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.,
WebMD does not endorse any specific product, service or treatment.View Thread
That of course is entirely up to you. You are in control of your health and health-destiny. "My doctor wants me to go to Mayo to consult about minimally invasive surgery"
As applicable to the patient's particular situation, we've talked about this here from time-to-time regarding "revalving" for high-risk patients.
Building a Better Valve
A new approach to replacing narrowed heart valves allows older and sicker patients to survive treatment.
The procedure is called TAVR, for transcatheter aortic valve replacement.
The procedure isnow being tested on a much larger pool of generally younger patients at intermediate risk. Some cardiologists say they worry it will be used in such cases before the evidence is in. Others say it will eventually replace surgery for almost everyone who needs an aortic valve, not just for the most fragile.
"August 2013 I was fitted with a ICD and pacemaker."
"It is often said that an implantable cardiodefibrillator (ICD) is like having a rescue squad inside your chest. As demonstrated in clinical studies (patients meeting the current criteria), in some cases, those with a low (moderate) or very low (severe) left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF), an ICD can improve the outcome (especially if the heart's electrical system goes haywire)."
"I was informed that I need a new heart."
As reported, some cardiac patients, who were extremely ill, and who had an LVAD (heart pump to assist the left ventricle) implanted, were able to stay alive long enough until a heart became available, or were able to avoid a heart transplant completely, as being on an LVAD (and then having it explanted/removed) helped to reverse some of the damage done to the heart, allowing one to live as near a normal life as humanly possible.
"I"ve been put on various drugs to stabilise my condition."
As applicable to the patient, in some cases, along with a doctor recommended/authorized exercise regimen (unless contraindicated), LVEF can be increased, sometimes substantially, by customizing/tweaking experimental and established prescription drug-therapy (e.g., Coreg, which showed, back in its clinical trial days, that it could boost LVEF in some individuals) and supplemental (complimentary or integrative medicine) therapy, as deemed applicable.
Just one example of complimentary medicine is the use of the supplement Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10 or ubiquinone, a vitamin-like substance) for heart failure (though currently not scientifically proven, some doctors may advise the patient to give it a try) which may/can (i.e., along with doctor directed prescription drug-therapy, and with the doctor knowing about any supplements being taken) help to improve LVEF in some, with other supplements sometimes added to the mix.
**To get a decent estimate of LVEF, a MUGA scan is reported as being the most accurate of the non-invasive imaging.
Pertinent excerpt from an article on About com
When is the MUGA scan more useful than other heart tests?
The advantages of the MUGA scan over other techniques (such as the echocardiogram) for measuring the LVEF are twofold. First, the MUGA ejection fraction is highly accurate, probably more accurate than that obtained by any other technique. Second, The MUGA ejection fraction is highly reproducible. That is, if the LVEF measurement is repeated several times, nearly the same answer is always obtained. (With other tests, variations in the measured LVEF are much greater.)
Hi: "aortic valve replaced, mitral valve repaired , bypass, atrium tightened, and a maze."
Wow! That is an overwhelming medical history.
"I have been very emotional since the surgery " "When will this roller coaster stop"
Hard to say, especially since everyone is unique with each and every health/medical case/situation being different.
"and why have I become an emotional wreck?"
Well, as applicable, besides depression, which is common post-heart surgery, as well as possible side effects from prescription drugs, sometimes, heart disease/cardiac patients have reported anger, mood swings/emotional outbursts/emotions running wild, personality changes (which sometimes can be directly due to prescription drugs or even brain damage from a stroke that occurred during or right after heart surgery, as applicable, which can cause neurological alterations or deficits), and fear as well. Additionally, as applicable, a feeling of hopeless in which one has decided to give up, throw in the towel (something that obviously one should not do).