What To Know About Mitral Valve Replacement

Mitral valve surgery is a type of medical procedure that helps in fixing or replace a stiff or leaky mitral valve in the patient’s heart. Mitral valve replacement is one of the two types of mitral valve surgeries. The mitral valve is located in the human body between the lower left heart chamber or the left ventricle and the upper left heart chamber or left atrium.

Mitral valve surgery procedure can either be done as a minimally invasive heart surgery or as an open-heart surgery. The specific procedure recommended by a doctor depends on how severe the mitral valve disease is in a patient and if it’s getting worse or not.

If you’re hoping to learn more about the mitral valve surgery procedure or the mitral valve surgery cost, reach out to our team at Calwin Hospitals. We are one of the best heart hospitals in Nagercoil, providing effective care using state-of-the-art technology.

Who Needs Mitral Valve Replacement?

When someone has issues associated with their mitral valve, it’s known as mitral valve disease. In some instances, the symptoms of this disease do not start showing up early on until the situation becomes severe. However, when someone does face the symptoms, they usually include a rapid heartbeat, lightheadedness, and shortness of breath.

Mitral valve diseases can be of two types: mitral valve stenosis and regurgitation. Mitral valve stenosis is where it’s difficult for a patient’s mitral valve to open all the way. As a result of this, there is less blood that flows through the chambers of their heart. Mitral valve regurgitation is when blood leaks from the patient’s mitral valve. Due to this, some of the blood that’s supposed to be traveling through their heart leaks backward instead of forward.

Numerous factors can cause mitral valve disease. In certain situations, it occurs just due to age and if the mitral valve begins to wear out. A couple of health conditions can also lead to this disease, such as rheumatic fever, mitral valve prolapse, coronary artery disease, heart failure, and an infection in the valves of one’s heart.

How To Prepare for A Mitral Valve Surgery?

The medical team will help you prepare for your mitral valve replacement surgery. Discuss the type of valve you will receive with your doctor beforehand. There are two options here, which are biological valves and mechanical valves.

Biological valves are made using cow, pig, or human heart tissue and don’t last as long as mechanical valves. Mechanical valves, on the other hand, are human-made. Although they last longer, they also leave you more susceptible to infections. The patient will have to take blood thinners till their last day if they get a mechanical valve.

Talk to your doctor about the ways to prepare for your surgery. Try to remember the following pointers:

  • It’s best not to drink or eat anything post-midnight on the day of your surgery.
  • Give up smoking before your surgery. Ask your doctor for help regarding this, if needed.
  • There are certain medicines you cannot consume before your surgery. If you take any blood-thinning medication, you must stop taking them before the procedure.
  • Before going in for your surgery, remove your jewelry, contact lenses, nail polish, and dentures.

A week or two before your mitral valve replacement surgery, your doctor might call you in to conduct some tests to help them assess your health. These tests include X-rays, an electrocardiogram (ECG), an echocardiogram, a coronary angiogram, and blood tests.

mitral valve surgery

Risks of Mitral Valve Surgery

Any surgery has certain risks and complications, and the same holds for mitral valve replacement surgery. Some of the possible risks to be aware of in this case include bleeding, memory loss, blood clots, infections, malfunctioning of the replacement valve, stroke, irregular heartbeat, damage to the nearby organs, and even death in some cases.

Some individuals are at a higher risk of developing complications due to mitral valve replacement surgery. This includes:

  • Smokers
  • People who are obese and have lung health issues
  • Individuals who have previously suffered from a stroke
  • Patients who have congestive heart failure or kidney failure
  • People who frequently contract infections or have a weakened immune system
  • Patients suffering from multiple chronic health conditions

Patients who are older or don’t have good health overall might want to think of other treatment options as they could be more vulnerable to the risks in relation to this surgery.

What Happens During and After an Open Mitral Valve Replacement?

Before your mitral valve replacement surgery begins, you will be given anesthesia. The operation could take several hours, so it’s wise to have your family and friends around during the surgery. The doctor will make an incision down the middle of your chest, and they will separate your breastbone to access your heart. You will then be connected to a heart-lung machine which will perform the role of your lungs and heart during the surgery.

The doctor will remove your current mitral heart valve, replacing it with a new one. You will be detached from the heart-lung machine, your breastbone will be wired back together, and the incision will be sewn back properly.

After the Surgery

Most individuals who get mitral valve replacement surgery tend to experience relief from the painful symptoms immediately. Once the surgery is complete, you will be taken to the recovery room or the intensive care unit. Your vital signs, such as your heart rate, will be monitored carefully by the medical team, and you could have a tube inserted in your throat to help you breathe. This tube will be removed within 24 hours.

A tube could be inserted into your chest to drain any excess fluid. The bandages covering your incision will come off a few days after the procedure. Patients can sit on a chair and walk around with assistance for a day or two following their surgery. Fluids could get collected in your lungs during the surgery, and your doctor might suggest breathing therapy to aid in removing those fluids.

Most patients begin consuming food after the operation once they can tolerate it. The stitches or staples will be removed from your body during a follow-up appointment, usually a week or 10 days after the mitral valve surgery. Your doctor might ask you to monitor your body temperature and body weight daily so that you can inform them if your temperature goes over 38 degrees Celsius or if you experience changes in your weight.


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