Mitral Valve Repair Info for Patients
Mitral valve repair is a type of open-heart surgery performed to repair a leaky mitral valve. The mitral valve separates the left atrium from the left ventricle, and if it leaks, the heart becomes less efficient in pumping blood to the body. The operation to repair the mitral valve requires using the heart-lung machine and stopping the heart. The technique of repairing the mitral valve usually involves placing some prosthetic material around the valve to restore the normal anatomy of the valve. In addition, portions of the dysfunctional valve may be excised, or repaired with sutures. Your surgeon can discuss the specifics of your operation with you.
After the operation, you will wake up in the intensive care unit. During the first few days after surgery, you will be monitored closely, and may have drains coming out of your chest, which collect air and fluid. You may also have a temporary pacemaker. These are usually removed in a few days as you recover from surgery.
Most people are in the hospital less than a week after surgery, and are discharged home once they can perform the activities of daily living independently. Some people benefit from physical therapy and rehabilitation, which can be outpatient or inpatient after surgery. It can take 2-3 months to fully recover from surgery.