- Removing the aneurysmal tissue in my pulmonary artery and re-patching the artery. A Gore-Tex patch will be used, and he expects it will safely last for the rest of my natural life. (That said, he was very impressed with the durability and longevity of the original pericardium patch that was put on during my first surgery 30 years ago.) This procedure will fix the aneurysm, as well as the narrowing of the one branch of the pulmonary artery. Currently, the aneurysm is pushing up against this branch, causing it to be narrowed.
- Replacing the pulmonary valve with a cow (pericardium) valve. Even though this valve may have to be replaced in 15 to 20 years, that procedure can be done through a heart cath, as opposed to another surgery. (He doesn't want to replace the valve with a mechanical one, which would require me to be on Coumadin. So I'm a fan of that decision!)
Next steps: I have a dentist appointment later this week to get the dental clearance I need before having the surgery. This is done to ensure that no oral infections are present, which could potentially spread to the new valve. Once I have that done, I plan to schedule the surgery at Northwestern later this fall. I already have a call in to the surgeon's nurse, who is checking calendars for available dates during the first full week of December.