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Biscupid Aortic Valve

Old 24th Apr 2021, 13:19
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Question Biscupid Aortic Valve

Hi all, long story short I went to the cardiologist (general checkup due to genetics) and they said I have a Biscupid Aortic Valve. Never knew I had it, no pain, no issues with exercise etc. Just wondering if itíll have any complications on holding a class 1 or anyone in a similar situation? Iíve held a class 1 for a few years now, and it was never picked up. Not sure if CASA will be funny about it now itís known?

Thanks in advance
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Old 25th Apr 2021, 13:25
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Been there, done that. I'm in the US, so can only speak to FAA rules, but simply wanted to commisserate, you're not the only one!
I'd been flying for about 15 years, FAA 2nd class (charter, corporate, never airlines), and at my yearly medical exam, they discovered a murmur (I was 55 yrs old). I had bicuspid aortic like you, no idea whatsoever, no symptoms, in good shape. But, mine was starting to leak ('regurgitation'), and I needed to get a replacement. Anyway, a few months later, they're cutting me open like gutting a salmon, and put a 'new' valve (bovine) in for me. So, the FAA protocol, 6 months off, then a handful of tests (treadmill stress, monitor, etc.), and favorable doctor reports, I was eligible for what FAA calls a "special issue" medical, i.e. in general (for any condition), the regular med examiner can't issue a certificate, but if certain conditions are met and all is good, then I get my med certificate. In my case, it's a basic echocardiogram, ekg, and cardiologist report, to make sure I'm good, and I get a 2nd class med., good for one year. (My doctors said that they wouldn't care about seeing me but every 5 years if not for FAA, but so be it, it's good to know all is OK on an annual basis). That was 11 years ago, so far, so good, I'm likely to retire before anything goes bad. I'm healthy, feel good, exercise regularly, all good so far. FAA-wise, I could get a 1st class med cert. the same way, might have to have 6-month checks, though.
For your rules, of course, best to go to your aviation examiner to find out what needs to be done. I know you want to get the required paperwork right, here in US, every turn-around to correct any erroneous or deficient form was at least 6 weeks, delaying certification, nothing to do with actual health issues (ask me how I know!). I'd bet if your valve is not leaking yet, you may only require regular scans, like an echo-, or such.
Sorry for the long tale. But, good luck with the med. certification, and don't worry too much. Yeah, it's huge to find out you have something wrong with your heart, but these days, they're pretty good at fixing this kind of defect. Happy flying!
P.S. Oh, yeah, stay in shape as best you can (within any doctor-proscribed limits, of course). My recovery was made much easier since other than the valve, I was in pretty good shape. My rehab folks had all kinds of horror stories about patients who were already way behind the power curve (smokers, diabetic, obese, other cardio issues, etc.) that had really tough times clawing out of the recovery hole.

Last edited by 340drvr; 25th Apr 2021 at 14:34.
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Old 25th Apr 2021, 19:48
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I had a dilated aorta which required surgery. Just turned 50. So, after tests and scans and stuff, opened up and the valve replaced with a titanium one, along with some of the aorta as well. I got my class 3 back after about 18 months, and I'm on Warfarin as well, which creates its own issues, and apart from an annual scan and report all still OK. Tres scary though.
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