Met with my surgeon this morning (profile here). Fortunately did not have to wait too long because he was available and not in surgery. He went over my condition, which is that I have a mitral valve problem, but that problem may have also saved my life from a silent widow maker heart attack because of my constricted artery. Its one of those conditions in which people will have no symptoms and can be in apparently good health, but can suddenly have a fatal heart attack without warning. One would not have any indications without getting a catheterization procedure. This procedure involves inserting a thin tube to your heart and then injecting an iodine dye before special cameras take pictures of the entire circulatory system close to your heart. So in his words, the mitral valve diagnosis and repair saved me from a fatal heart attack situation which could have occurred at any time.
He also said that due to the bypass operation, the only solution is to have a full sternotomy. No other options are recommended due to the location of the bypass and the risk. His assessment is that this was going to be somewhere between an easy and medium difficulty operation. The bypass part, he said, could be done by a third grader. That gave me a lot of reassurance that the whole procedure was going to worth the risk. 100% chance of dying from a heart attack in the future or a very minimal chance of complications from the procedure. He did say that these repairs would last my lifetime and that my heart and circulation should be better than it ever was. It was easy to sign the consent form.
Anyway, just got word from the clinic that I will be reporting to surgery at 5:15 am. Hopefully, by this time tomorrow afternoon I will be awake in the ICU all patched up and ready for the long haul. The road to recovery is next but at least there is hope for a much longer ride on this merry-go-round called life.
The takeaway for all of this for the readers of this blog should be to get your regular exams and make sure you follow-up on all the recommendations. If it wasn't for the follow-up to my heart murmur after my annual physical at Bumrungrad, I would be a walking heart attack case which could have happened at any time. Now, with the right procedure, I should be OK for a normal life with no other heart problems. Doctor says I will likely die of something else...555
Got to get packing for a hopefully short stay in the hospital. More tomorrow morning before I go into surgery.