Calling all Mitral Valve Replacement Patients: Share your tips
Bessy, after 8 years of solid service, is calling it quits. Time to go under the knife again and get a Bessy 2.0. Hoping to start a chat thread here to meet others who can relate. I don't remember much about surgery, recovery, and rehab from last time around. Would love to chat and exchange tips and tricks on dealing and healing. If you can relate, join the conversation below and leave a tip that has helped you before, during or after surgery. Thanks and welcome to the group!
Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Heart & Blood Health Support Group.
You've had your surgery already. I hope it went well.
I had a mitral valve repair in 2019 and was in the hospital for two weeks after, one of those weeks in intensive Care. I had a build up of fluid and had tubes (called pig tails, ugh) inserted in my back to drain the fluid for about five days. The surgery wasn't that painful They told me not to drive for 6 weeks after surgery and not to lift more than 10 lbs. I changed that to 3 lbs for myself since I'm small. I was up walking pretty soon after the surgery, I could feel my heart beating like I never felt before. At home, I managed okay. Friends took me grocery shopping. My heart would race when I climbed stairs for a while. I had no symptoms before surgery so I felt like a spring chicken. After surgery I felt like a raw egg, then soft boiled, then hard boiled. Now I'm pretty much back to my old self.
I wish you the best. Just take it slow and follow the doctor's instructions.
I’m 61 and scheduled for my mitral valve replacement surgery next month. I will be getting a mechanical replacement. I have done some reading and watched a few videos ( that freaked me out a little!)
However I would like to hear from someone who has been through this.
I’m a planner and I feel like I am not ready for this. What and how did your recovery go?
@sandyjg, good for you for recognizing that you're a planner and want as much informatin as possible as you prepare for mitral valve replacement surgery with a mechanical replacement. You'll notice that I moved your post to this existing discussion:
– Calling all Mitral Valve Replacement Patients: Share your tips https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/calling-all-mitral-valve-replacement-patients/
I did this so you can read the posts made so far and connect easily with members like @lavasite @scottij @in2dabluz @bjanderson @dennyb @tsc, who have had this procedure.
You might also be interested in this related discussion about getting ready for recovery at home:
– How can I prepare for open heart recovery at home?: https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/how-can-i-prepare-for-open-heart-recovery-at-home/
Sandy, what freaked you out? What's your primary concern at this point?
@sandyig Hi, I had mitral valve replacement in 2014. I got a bovine valve, not the mechanical. The surgery went well and my recovery went very well. I wasn’t in much pain and never took any medicines for pain. Mainly, when I coughed is when it would hurt some so I used the “heart “ pillow they gave me to hug which helped. But felt it wasn’t that bad. No pain after I coughed. Follow all their instructions on what to do after surgery because it all helps with recovery. I’m being monitored now to be sure I’m not ready to have surgery again. So the mechanical is probably a good idea for you because you won’t deal with this. I know someone who had a mechanical over 20 years ago and did and still is doing fine with it. I wish you a good surgery and speedy recovery. Please let me know how it goes after. I’ll be thinking and keeping you in my prayers.
Greetings and salutations @sandyjg
As you saw and graciously like from my previous post, I had mitral valve surgery in April of 2019. It did not work. My challenge was undetected congestive heart failure despite years of exercise, excellent diet, no alcohol or drugs, and staying thin. When it was discovered, I was at Stage IV. My heart had enlarged to over 9cm. The mechanical device was intended to close the gap so that the mitral flap could close properly allowing the valve to work. The hope is that would allow and increased ejection fraction, allow the heart to rest as it was working too hard (to keep up with me) and then hopefully shrink to a more normal size. We also used stem cells to rebuild the heart and a variety of drugs to remodel heart behavior. It did not work. BUT, please don't derive any personal fear from my experience. I was always told that this was an emergency action to delay what would probably an eventual heart transplant. What we did not realize is how quickly the decline would be. I really only felt good for about a month. What has you freaked out? Any specific questions that I can address for you? Where is your surgery being performed (hospital; etc. I mean, we know it is being done on your heart. LOL)
I had my mitral valve replaced just 4 months ago and I feel like it never took place. No pain whatsoever to need narcotic pain pills… I only took Tylenol for other aches. The scar is minimally skinny, not wide.
The 4 hr surgery went smoothly and the surgeon put in a ATRICLIP on the 'ear' of the atrium and installed a bovine valve, and he gave me a 250K Smiles of Happiness warranty on it. He had said the mechanical valve will click as it is working. you'll hear it and other people might hear it as well. "click, click, click, click"
If you get the bovine cow valve, cheese looks mighty good and the green grass is tempting… if you go with the pig valve, you just may snort when you laugh !!! :~)
Prior to the surgery I obtained a shower seat and a 4 wheel walker with a seat. The first week or two is P.T. and you'll be glad to have these aids. I did everything they asked and told me to do and was way ahead of the normal recovery schedule by 3-4 weeks. I even went dancing on week 6, but nothing too strenuous.
Just be careful of reaching and stretching your arms, taking it easy and slow.
Hi @sandyig, I posted my story about a mitral valve repair on Oct. 21, 2022, just above your post – so I won't go into the details again. I wish you the best.
How much pain during those 4-6 weeks. I’m choosing a few not medicine pain management not sure if that is only after the medicine is used for the extreme pain?