Or at least that’s how long my heart was not pumping when the good doctors were replacing my aortic valve and repairing my aortic aneurysm. Thank you to all involved in creating the cardiopulmonary bypass machine!
I was born with a bicuspid aortic valve, and my cardiologist told me for years that “someday” I’d have to have the valve replaced. I just always thought it was going to be when I was older.
At the age of 40, my cardiologist saw something unusual on an echocardiogram that turned out to be an aortic aneurysm of 5.3 cm. He told me at 5.5 cm they would have recommended emergency surgery. I was lucky I had time to pick and choose the right doctor to do my surgery.
When you have to have open heart surgery, they want to fix all issues at one time. Now I have about 6 inches of a dacron blood vessel and a bovine (cow) valve.
Click on this link if you’d like to view the operative report from my surgery: Gordon Conwell Heart Surgery Operative Report
I feel fortunate that all went well, and I’m still able to do just about everything I did before my surgery.
Shopping for my own life insurance has always been a hassle because of my surgery and my old bicuspid aortic valve that caused some aortic insufficiency.
Every insurance company will charge me more because of my issues. I’ve shopped my medical records to lots of different insurance companies, which has enabled me to save thousands of dollars and learn a lot about insurance companies and how they underwrite.
I also learned that underwriting exceptions can be made, but I have to ask for the exception.
If you’ve had any type of heart valve replacement, repair, or any other cardiac issues, you may very well be insurable at better rates than you’re expecting. You’ll need someone who will work in your best interest and can shop your case to many different companies to get you the best offer.
Even after you apply to any insurance companies, the work for your agent is not necessarily complete if they really want to do what’s best for you.
A perfect example is an aortic valve replacement case I just did for Chris from Indiana. After shopping his medical history to numerous companies, I had him apply to the two best, most probable insurance companies. There’s never any way to know the exact rate until underwriting is complete.
He was initially offered a $250,000- 20 year term rate of $61 per month with one company and $70 per month with the second company. Chris was still a relatively young guy, and these offers were pretty good. Still, it never hurts to ask for a better rate.
I told the underwriter who made the $70 per month offer that I needed him to improve on the rate by two rate classifications, or there was no way I could place the coverage with his company. The underwriter honored my request and offered Chris a rate of $57 per month.
Chris happened to be in very good health otherwise, so this fact helped me in getting the offer changed.
If you had a valve replacement, repair, or other heart surgery, make sure to find an agent who you believe will work in your best interest and will do their best to really get you the best offer possible.
For any of my fellow valve replacement or valve repair friends out there, there’s a good blog with lots of information about heart valve surgery that you may want to check out. If you’re like me and will most likely need to have another surgery in the future, it’s nice to stay updated about what’s going on in that world. The blog is at heart-valve-surgery.com.
If I/we can help you in any way, or if you just want to verify that you have a good rate based on your cardiac and overall health history, feel free to call me at the toll free number above or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.