He told her if she did not have it fixed she would not live long.
So we are driving home and my mother said . I've had this leak for over 20 years. Is this something that will end her life soon or not.
Guess I do not understand the meaning of 30% function .
He told her she would die suddenly.

Thank You

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A bit more clarification might help - was this her regular doctor or a surgeon? Generally a GP, or general practicioner, won't do surgeries, especially heart surgery. While he can answer some general questions, for details specific to your Mom you should speak with a specialist who will do the actual surgery. There are many medical advances now - years ago a leak meant a value replacement but now they may be able to mend it somehow without the long recovery time. If it were my mom, I'd have a long list of questions ready and consult with a heart surgeon. Her doctor should be able to refer her to someone. If your mom is in good health overall, surgery at 83 might give her some good quality years. If she's got other health issues - diabetes, high blood pressure, clogged arteries, etc - then the risk to her during surgery is greater. You might want to do some on line research about the surgery itself - possible alternatives, possible complications, recovery time, special care after surgery, medicines she'll need after surgery, ANYTHING you might be concerned about. Also, now is the time to start thinking of WHERE she'll recover. If she's 83, does she live at home? with you? in assisted living? She probably can't be alone once she's released from the hospital. Can you or someone else care for her at home? She might need skilled nursing or rehab care at a nursing home for a bit after she's released from the hospital - it all depends on the type of surgery she'll have. NOW is the time to make that call and advise her doctors or the hospital social services staff and tell them she'll need help post-surgery.

Also - don't underestimate your mom's ability to understand this situation and decide for herself whether to have the surgery or not. Good luck and best wishes to you and your mother.

I agree with all of the above. Ask is your right...if the doctor continues to be arrogant, you may want to get a second opinion.
When it comes to caring for the elderly - especially those in their 80s+ - I think less is more. Your mother may have hit on something - if she has been living a comfortable life so far with this defect, why have her take the risk of a major surgery? The anesthesia alone is dangerous at her age.

Anyway, that is my 2 cents.

Good luck,

I have had to pin doctors down pretty hard in the past, just to find out the real truth. When my mother went in for her quadruple bypass, I asked the doctor what was the percentage rate of his successes. He looked at me like I'd grown a horn on my head. But asking a prima donna doctor to cut to the chase is necessary sometimes. So personally, I'd go back to the source. I'd write down my questions first, and then ask him what you really wanted to know.
And I wouldn't leave his office till I had my answers. Even if you only get a phone call from him/her, ask the questions till your satisfied.
He is working for your mom after all.

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