Friday, December 30, 2016

The Positive side of the bad news...

Went to see the cardiologist yesterday regarding the results of my Transesophabeal echogram (TEE). I took this test during my last visit here in late October.  A TEE is a test where a probe is inserted down your throat so that its behind your heart.  From there, sound waves are emitted and a echogram view is captured and the doctor can diagnose the problem.

The bad news is that its confirmed that I will need surgery as my mitral valve leak is considered severe and it will only progress over time.  It will not heal by itself nor is there any medication that will fix it.

The good news is that the problem is caused by ruptured chords on my posterior leaflet which allows the leaflet to flap, thus causing the leak.  A posterior leaflet problem is the most common and the most easily corrected condition and the expected success and recovery rate is nearly 100%.  So basically, after this repair, my heart will be normal and good to go for my expected life expectancy without restrictions or medication.  My other heart functions and overall health condition is normal. The information needed by the Cleveland Clinic should be ready in a couple of days and I will send those via FEDEX or UPS as soon as I get the data.  Once that info is received, I will hopefully get an appointment for either a consultation and/or the surgery.  

Very straight forward repair with high rate of success

The standard procedure is to remove the valve section with the ruptured chord, sew it together, and then sew in a ring to adjust and maintain the valve size and opening.  That is the gold standard approach for this problem.

In the meantime, life moves on and I have to take life one day at a time.  Its fortunate that I am asymptomatic and can carry on with daily activities without any problems.  This is a lesson for fiends and readers that a regular check-up is very important, even if you feel fine.  I would not have discovered this problem except for a routine check-up which I have each year at Bumrungrad.  My heart murmur came up during an EKG stress test and after some follow-up, this problem was confirmed by doctors in both Thailand and California.  Otherwise, I could have continued on in my merry way until one day my heart fails or I have severe problems which requires emergency surgery.

Do your annual check-up as you get older.  It is a matter of life or death - yours!

Plan to have a low key New Year celebration.  Simple dinner out with friends and a call back home to the Land of Smiles.  I know what my new year resolution will be this year - take care of my heart and take care of my health.  There is too much at stake for being sloppy and breaking this resolution.

Happy New Year !  Sawadee Bee Mai !



  1. Hi, can you tell me which you plan picked for your checkup and how much it cost?

    Is it this one?

  2. Yes, the package you indicated is one of the ones I use. I alternate years on that plan vs the Executive plan. From what the doctors tell me, the comprehensive plan just has the cancer markers and Thyroid that the Executive doesn't include. Starting next year, I think I am going to get the Holistic plan every other year (the Executive the other year) since I am getting older. A list of the plans and what they cover are this link:

  3. I should note that I take the Executive with stress test every other year, not the regular Executive test. That's where they found out about my heart murmur.

  4. Thanks a million!


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