Heart Valve Surgery Problems

My father (60 years old male) had a aortic heart valve replacement surgery 5 years back. He has been taking regular blood thinner medication everyday. He has experienced some issues lately (1) He sometimes feel a bit itchy inside his chest area where the valve replacement was carried out. This is rare though. (2) He has trouble sleeping at night, wakes up about 3am and then he feels something heavy and strainous in his heart area, he feels ok once he gets up from bed and walks around but having this heavy feeling every morning is worrysome. Kindly advice if these are normal after effects after even 5 years of surgery and if these will last always.    

If your father were my patient, I’d want to make sure his new valve is still working properly, and exclude coronary artery disease and/or some form of heart failure . The following tests would help figure things out apart from a full consult (cannot do without a proper examination by a cardiac specialist): a chest X ray, EKG, echocardiogram, some blood tests and possibly a cardiac stress test.

Hope this helps,

Dr T


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