Aortic dissection & aortic aneurysm information support group

Aortic dissection, aortic aneurysm - The aorta - Life after an aortic dissection

hey all,

just an update for you all on my condition as I haven't been on here in a while.

at the beginning of August I had a nosebleed that wouldn't stop. I went to an ENT doctor who packed my nose and was sent home to recover. The nosebleed didn't stop, so I was admitted to my local hospital while they tried to ascertain the cause and stop the bleeding. The cause was my INR which despite being a week in hospital without taking any Marcumar was still reading over 7.0 (apparently the highest they can measure). Anyway after a week the nosebleed stopped and my INR sort of normalised. However, they sent me for more extensive tests including a PET-CT scan which discovered a bacterial colony on my mechanical valve. They then continued my treatment with antibacterial medication and antibiotics. After 3 weeks the colony showed no signs of being reined in so the decision was made to transfer me to the heart clinic for surgery. The heart clinic treated me with further antibacterial medication for 10 days and scheduled me in for heart surgery beginning of September. The surgical team removed my mechanical valve and replaced it with a bovine valve and I have been recovering ever since.

I come off Marcumar tomorrow for good (3 months post-op, the body will now have covered my biological valve with its own film) and I am recovering much quicker than i did before. They also fixed the alignment issue with my first sternotomy.

no one is sure what caused the spike in INR, least of all me, but I lost a lot of blood over the first couple of days of the nosebleed - so, perhaps it was down to lack of volume of blood in combination with me taking marcumar. anyways, now all is well - touch wood - and I am the "proud" owner of a biological valve. Apparently there is not a lot of tissue left of the heart muscle where the mechanical valve was excised and the biological one was implanted so I have to be extra "careful" this doesn't happen again. in any case i am not plagued by ticking, thumping and clicking any more :)

hope all are well,


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Comment by Jeff Frank on December 20, 2015 at 7:46

This AD thing just keeps on giving...  Glad that you are doing better now.  I am not sure how I would handle the silence of a bovine valve after the last 3 years of constant clammer.  In any event best of luck to you Richard. n Thanks for sharing your story with us.

Best To You


Comment by Graeme on December 12, 2015 at 6:08

Hey Richard,

so sorry to hear about the new developments..:-(  Guess you will have to get used to a non tick valve! I'm away traveling at present (in Bangkok) and been frantic busy all year plus getting over prostate cancer treatment..ugly but now looking much better! Home to Oz for Xmas and see the grandkids for the first time! Hope the recovery keeps going well..and wishing you a very happy xmas and a great recovery for the new year! Keep in touch...



Comment by norma bell on December 9, 2015 at 13:56

Hi Richard so sorry to hear about whats been happening to you. I hope you're feeling stronger and that you've got people around you to support you.  I've just come home from my elective surgery so I've just logged on to have a good old moan.  Do let us know if you ever find out what tipped the anticoagulants over the top, it must be strange to lose the sound of your mechanical valve but what a relief after your experience to not be at the mercy of warfarin.  I had no idea they could put a tissue valve in after a mechanical, where did you have all this done?  Loads of good wishes I hope you're feeling stronger both physically and emotionally. 

Comment by Kimberlee Jones on December 5, 2015 at 22:10

What a scary adventure. Glad you came through it like the warrior you are. Given a choice I do believe I would also go with a tissue valve instead of the mech valve. Mainly since warfarin gives me migraines. Ive grown accustomed to the tick  Best of luck and I'm happy to hear you are doing well.




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