Mitral Valve Repair

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Mitral Valve Repair – Tips for a Fast Recovery

Around 65,000 Americans receive a mitral valve repair or replacement annually.

The mitral valve is a part of the heart organ. It is a flap of tissue that separates the left atrium from the left ventricle (left-side chambers of the heart). It serves as a “gate” to prevent the back flow of blood into the left atrium when the heart contracts.

Also known as the bicuspid valve or the left atrioventricular valve, this tissue performs a very important role in keeping the function of the heart at the fullest. However, certain factors may cause the mitral valve to become regurgitant, stenotic, or to prolapse.

When the mitral valve becomes regurgitant, there is a backflow of blood from the left ventricle to the left atrium. On the other hand, when the mitral valve is stenotic, or too narrow, blood cannot fully enter the left ventricle upon contraction, thereby affecting the cardiac output of the heart, which leads to serious heart disease problems.

Moreover, mitral valve prolapse is also another valve problem that happens when one of the cusps of the valve protrudes back into the left atrium when a ventricular contraction occurs and thus, the valve does not close properly. This event can also cause potential damages to the circulatory system of the body such as a heart failure.

Given these mitral valve problems, a mitral valve repair is the offered solution. Mitral valve repair refers to the surgical procedure of repairing the mitral valve and correcting its underlying problem – whether it is stenotic, regurgitant (mitral insufficiency), or prolapsed. A mitral valve repair has an 80-90% success rate, with no presenting complications even after five years.

After the mitral valve repair surgery, the shortest recovery period usually lasts for about six months. This span of time is rather long to be the shortest. There are certain factors that each patient must consider so that his/her recovery period would be greatly accelerated. Here are some tips on how one can achieve a far better chance of a faster recovery:

Rest and Sleep - Having enough rest and sleep after the surgery can go a long way in helping the patient’s tissues recover and cells restore more energy. Patients after the surgery may still have pent-up anxieties and thoughts regarding what’s next to come, this is quite normal – but if these things interfere with one’s sleep, they’re no longer helpful. Discussing this problem with the doctor is a great solution. Rest can also decrease the oxygen demands of the body and thereby lessen the workload of the heart.

Get into a good cardiac rehabilitation program - Probably the best way to ensure one’s swift recovery is to enroll in a program that is designed for the optimal recovery of every mitral valve repair patient. The cardiac doctor is the most ideal person to approach when one wants to have the best cardiac rehab program.

Be mentally prepared - Even before surgery, being mentally prepared for the procedure assists one in creating a positive outlook towards his/her recovery. During the recuperation stage, it is important for a cardiac patient to have a positive mindset.

Get a strong support group - Not only are the staff of the medical team important for one’s recovery – even family members, friends, and social groups can make a great difference in helping a cardiac patient fight over the disease and recover successfully.

How fast a recovery is usually depends on these aforementioned factors. What each patient would have to bear in mind is that in every recovery phase, the most important factor is one’s faith and hope that a bright future is up ahead, and that surviving a mitral valve repair surgery is something that can be accomplished.

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