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Heart surgery for Hodgkins survivors

Posts: 2
Joined: Jun 2017

Hi everyone,

I'm a 47-year survivor (I was 12 at the time), now diagnosed with aortic valve stenosis.

My doctors are debating whether to use a less invasive surgery (TAVR - or a new valve via cathether), or replace the valve via open heart surgery.

The TAVR is a fairly new technology, and the valves don't last as long. SAVR (surgical valve replacement) is a more intense operation, lasts longer, but can be complicated for people with long-term radiation issues/damage, like me.

Has anyone made a similar choice between the two surgeries? Thanks for any thoughts!


Posts: 3
Joined: Jun 2017

Hi Kevin,  I don't have answers for you, unfortunately, but I am very interested in what you learn.  It seems I am just headed down your path.  I was treated in 93 for HL.  In October, I was told they found a level 1 murmur.  Today, I went to the Dr. for a sinus infection and left with a referral to a cardiologist because the aortic murmur is now an easy 3/4.

How did you find yours?  Did it progressively get worse?  What were your symptoms?  I'm very curious to learn more about what is ahead.

Posts: 2
Joined: Jun 2017


For years I had a heart murmur, but no serious problems. I was never warned about heart damage from the radiation therapy (I was very young when treated). Then about four years ago I had a Heart Echo done and they saw some mild valve damage. Told me to just keep an eye on it. In 2016 I started to get tired much more easily, and at first my doctor said, well, you're getting older. He advised me to exercise more, which was bad advice. In May I went for another checkup and really complained, so they did another Heart Echo, and found the valve damage had rapidly progressed to severe. Untreated, many people die within two years. 

So apparantly that is common - years or decades of no symptoms, then suddenly it gets bad. This is the best summary I've found. http://www.mdedge.com/ccjm/article/120414/cardiology/radiation-induced-heart-disease-practical-guide-diagnosis-and


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