Mitral Valve repair
There has been a string of posts regarding getting a special issuance medical after aortic Valve replacement.  I’m going to have a repair done on my mitral valve.  I wonder if anyone has posted or can share their experience for getting a medical after mitral valve repair.  Thanks! Dan
6 Replies
What the FAA don’t know - in other words, I’ve been down that road of being truthful with them and I was grounded for 6-9 months due to their lack of having licensed cardiologist on their staff. I recommend not telling them anything if your heart doctor doesn’t prohibit you from driving on our highways 
It's a double edge sword. I do understand about creating red tape. It has happened to me, but at the same time is it safe for you and others around you to fly if you're not in boundaries of the FAA standards. It's a hard question to answer. Many who have had heart attacks felt find before it happen.
James Rose 24071
2 Posts
The pressures on a person and their heart are a lot different in a car than in the air.  How may Gs do you pull in a car?  Even a coordinated 60 bank turn pulls 2Gs.  In an emergency you could easily pull more.  Even skilled Cardiologists do not know all about what a heart can experience while flying.  My Cardioloigist did extensive research into flying and scuba diving (I do that too) before clearing me for either.  Shortly after my operation the medical team said it was fine to drive.  They did more tests before clearing me to drive or fly.  
May be OK for Basic Med, but if for one of the classes, omitting that on form is cause for denial and possible action I think.
A. Spitzer 19558
1 Posts
Michael Smith it is essential we analyze your message. There are some important points to be made.
1) the vast majority of medical emergencies have no warning (at least the ones with warnings are already being dealt with, and pilots are probably grounded while getting care long before the emergency). So let's turn this around. Your statement implies that we should ground every pilot always and forever, because a remote possibility of an unpredictable medical emergency exists. This includes those who have never had heart problems, because in fact the first episode may have no warning whatsoever. Do you accept that as a reasonable answer?
2) "Hard question to answer" in fact, in this era of pushing for "evidence based medicine", unfounded opinions are frowned upon. But in fact, these issues have more uncertainty than actual knowledge. See item 1 above. We have more and more evidence that many situations are much safer than they used to be or were thought to be, especially with proper treatment.
3) The usual approach used to be to ground pilots who were being treated for various conditions, and yet those who didn't know or weren't treated, were then considered safe to fly. Consider the logic and item 2 above. Does this make sense? Or does it make more sense to encourage pilots to get treated and then consider them safe. I think the ideas are evolving toward 'treated' is safer than 'unknown' or 'ignored'. This should especially be true of preventative treatments (consider how the ideas about treating high blood pressure have evolved).
4) There is still a problem with not being able to recognize and handle individual cases. Unfortunately, the tendency to apply general rules is getting worse everywhere.
Seems to me that our Public Servants that we pay for their salaries and their efforts, need to rethink their basic job description of serving their taxpayers. Instead of taking the easy (and in my mind: cowardly) way out by simply grounding pilots with health issues - they should be finding ways to keep pilots flying.  

For example, Garmin's emergency auto-land function. In this case, as you alluded to, unexpected crises develop without any warning however these unexpected events don't happen in the snap of the finger, there is always enough time to punch the emergency button. Maybe relocate the button to the yoke/stick?

The FAA should use the money that we give them with our taxes to further refine the emergency landing capability. Serve the people who pay your salaries - Don't look for ways to lazily solve the problem by simply grounding the Aviators - Look for ways to make aircraft safer while enabling Aviators to continue their passion of flying!!!!!!