It is seen that once a successful surgery of mitral valve repair is done, a patient may live without complications for at least 10 years. With recent scientific advancement and with proper after surgery care procedures, the patients are seen to lead a complication free life even after 20 years. A reoperation is required in very rare conditions, providing that the valve repair surgery was done once successfully. However, the routine echocardiogram may be recommended to the patient to ensure proper mitral valve functioning over the years after the surgery.
What is the Procedure Of Mitral Valve Repair Surgery?
The mitral valve repair surgery is a major cardiac surgery. It takes a couple of steps for proper success-
Anesthesia: The patient is given general anesthesia as usually mitral valve repair is an open heart surgery.
Incision: The incision to be made for the surgery essentially depends on the type of approach to be used for the repair. The maximum incision is done in the process of full sternotomy, in which the chest has to be cut open while the minimum incision is used in the process of mini incision.
Placement of Heart Lung Machine: The heart lung machine is a necessity in such a form of major heart surgery. This is because this machine basically does the job of the heart of providing the oxygenated blood to the body parts while the heart is put to stop for the repair surgery in order to work on the valve to be repaired.
Replacing the Ruptured Cords- There are various techniques used to repair the mitral valve. One of the techniques includes replacing the damaged and ruptured cords which is the primary cause of the valve leak.
Removing Extra Tissues: Other techniques involve removing the extra tissues of the mitral valve leaflets and working on the other related modifications in order to ensure no further leakage and rupture.
Annuloplasty: Most of the times, the surgeon follows the procedure of what is called the annuloplasty. This basically involves placing of a band around the mitral valve.
Mitral Valve Test: Once all the mitral valve repair procedures are done, the mitral valve is put to test to check out whether all the leakages are fixed or not.
Removal of Heart Lung Machine: Finally the heart is put to function normally again and the heart lung machine is removed as the chest is closed back with stitches.
Group of Surgeons: It must be remembered that mitral valve surgery should be done by professional and experienced group of surgeons for its success. Depending on the damage caused in the mitral valve, the procedure may take around 2 to 4 hours on an average.
Robotic Surgery: With recent scientific advancement, a new method of robotic mitral valve surgery is done in recent times.
What are the Precautions the Patient Has to Take after the Mitral Valve Repair Surgery Is Done?
Few restrictions which the patient should follow to ensure successful recovery include-
No Heavy Lifting- In case the chest is cut for the mitral valve repair surgery, the patient should not indulge in any form of activities which involve heavy lifting for at least 8 weeks. This is because heavy lifting may put a pressure on the stitches and they may come off.
No Driving: The mitral valve repair patient may have to avoid driving for few weeks post-surgery. Patient may continue driving after 2 to 3 weeks.
Going Back to Work- The patient may join work once the patient feels fit. In most cases, it is preferred that the patient starts with half days and later resume with the full days, as the mitral valve repair recovery progresses.
Discharge: In the absence of complications, the patient may be discharged just the next day after the mitral valve repair surgery. However, it is up to the doctor to decide on this factor.
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