How Dangerous Is Mitral Valve Replacement Surgery?

Mitral valve replacement surgery is a major heart surgery aimed to cure the damaged mitral valve. The risks associated with this particular surgery are same as any other form of surgery like infection and bleeding. Apart from that, the surgery is known to improve the quality of life of the patient. The risk of death due to the surgery ranges from 3% to 9%, which is negligible. It should be remembered that the risks of the surgery may differ from patient to patient, depending on the age and the general health of the patient.

How Dangerous Is Mitral Valve Replacement Surgery?

Why is Mitral Valve Surgery Done?

Mitral valve surgery may be done due to various reasons. These include-

Mitral Valve Damage: Ideally, in case of mitral valve damage, the team of surgeons would always go for valve repair instead of valve replacement. However, there may be cases in which replacement surgery may prove to be better than the repair. In such cases, the damaged mitral valve of the patient will be replaced.

Deterioration: Mitral valve replacement may be necessary when the amount of deterioration has gone beyond repair. In such a case artificial form of mitral valve has to be used.

Prior Repair Procedures: Sometimes, the damage is so extreme that the anatomy of the mitral valve may change due to prior repair procedures. In such a case, the replacement surgery serves the best option.

Factors to Be Considered: It should be remembered that the patient’s health and age are deciding factors that it mitral valve surgery will be suitable for the patient or not. It is important to discuss these with the doctor prior the surgery.

What to Expect After A Mitral Valve Replacement Surgery?

Once the replacement surgery is completed successfully, the patient may expect the following things to occur.

  • Once the mitral valve replacement surgery patient has a new artificial mitral valve, the bodily functions, especially the heart should work normally without any uncomfortable symptoms.
  • The mitral valve replacement surgery patient is expected to feel better after the surgery since the symptoms prior the surgery should be gone. The patient is expected not to feel fatigued and should not complain of shortness of breath.
  • The hospital may keep the patient for few days in order to monitor the functions after the surgery and then he may be discharged.
  • The mitral valve replacement surgery patient and his caregivers should be careful and aware of the symptoms of infection and blood clots that may have a chance to occur after the surgery.
  • The mitral valve replacement surgery patient may have to take blood thinners for the rest of his life in case the artificial heart valve used is mechanical. This is aimed to prevent blood clots in the heart. Such points should be discussed with the doctor.
  • A mitral artificial valve may have to be replaced after a certain amount of time. Thus it is important to visit the doctor from time to time.

What Includes In The Recovery Procedure of A Mitral Valve Replacement Surgery?

The total recovery process of the mitral valve replacement surgery may be few months of time. It is normal for the patient to take some time to build up the physical endurance post surgery. The patient may feel sore and pain in the chest area for few weeks after the surgery. Such symptoms disappear after four to six weeks. Thus, the normal activities may be done by the patient after six weeks of the surgery. It should be remembered that after the surgery proper healthy diet and exercise is important to gain back the lost strength. Sometimes cardiac rehabilitation may be recommended.

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:March 19, 2018

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