Mitral stenosis surgery recovery

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Mitral stenosis surgery





Preoperative Evaluation



Outcomes and Prognosis



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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]; Associate Editor-In-Chief: Mohammed A. Sbeih, M.D. [2]


The amount of time needed for recovery will depend on the complexity of the procedure, and whether there are any complications. The patient should be closely monitored during the recovery period, whether they are in the hospital, at home, or are being seen in the outpatient setting.


Recovery at Hospital

The patient may spend 4 to 7 days in the hospital after surgery (much less in minimally invasive mitral valve surgery-3 to 5 days). Then patient will wake up in the intensive care unit (ICU) and recover there for 1 or 2 days. Two to three tubes will be in the patient's chest to drain fluid from around the heart. They are usually removed 1 to 3 days after surgery.

The patient may have a catheter in the bladder to drain urine, and may also have intravenous lines to get fluids. Nurses will closely watch monitors that show information about the vital signs (pulse, temperature, and breathing).

The patient will be moved to a regular hospital room from the ICU. The nurses and doctors will continue to monitor the heart and vital signs until the patient is stable enough to go home. The patient will receive pain medicine to control pain around the surgical cut.

A nurse should help the patient to slowly resume some activity, and the patient should begin a physical therapy program to make the heart and body stronger. A temporary pacemaker may be placed in the patient's heart if the heart rate becomes too slow after surgery.

Recovery at Home

The patient should be informed about the following:

  • Taking care of his or her healing incisions.
  • Recognizing signs of infection or other complications.
  • Coping with after-effects of surgery.
  • Followup appointments, medicines, and situations when he or she should call the doctor right away.
  • When the patient can go back to daily routine, such as working, driving, and physical activity.

After-effects of heart surgery are normal. They may include muscle pain, chest pain, or swelling. Other after-effects may include loss of appetite, problems sleeping, constipation, and mood swings and depression. After-effects usually go away over time.

Less recovery time is needed for off-pump heart surgery and minimally invasive heart surgery.

Ongoing Care

Ongoing care after valve surgery may include periodic checkups with the doctor. During these visits, the patient may have blood tests, an EKG (electrocardiogram), echocardiography, or a stress test. These tests will show how the patient's heart is working after the surgery.

Routine tests should be done to make sure the patient is getting the right amount of the blood thinning medicine in case of mechanical valve placement.

The patient may be advised to change his or her lifestyle, this includes: quitting smoking, making changes to diet, being physically active, and reducing and managing stress.


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