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Can someone go back to their normal activities after mitral valve repair surgery?

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  • Can someone go back to their normal activities after mitral valve repair surgery?

    I posted yesterday about my boyfriend who is going to need repair surgery. Right now he can't drink, exercise, have relations, drink coffee, etc. Has anyone else been informed by their doctor that they cannot have or do these things while they were on meds and before they had surgery? After surgery, were you able to go back to these things/activities?

  • #2
    I still have to take some meds, but I carry on like normal folks. Mind you the smokes and beer area thing of the distant past, but you can live a normal life with some modifications. I can not coment on the coffee and relations, but after I healed and got past the rythm issues I am back to two cups a day, and other things.
    Todd Taylor
    Mitral Valve Replacement - Mech St Judes 5/26/2010
    Dr Michael Petracek, Vanderbilt Heart Institue
    [B]"he's more machine than man now" Obiwan Kenobi[/B]


    • #3
      I had mitral valve replacement, am still on meds and have absolutely no restrictions. My doctors have not named one thing that any sensible, reasonable person would do that I cannot. I'm not a heavy drinker but have wine at will, I don't smoke and drink decaf coffee only because that is my choice NOT because any doctor instructed I should.... quite the opposite.

      You can count on him returning to 'himself' after his surgery assuming all goes well.
      This is a hugely successful surgery. It seems so overwhelming and almost all of us get very unsettled and shaken up to hear we have no choice but to submit to it if we wish to live but for those who do these surgeries for us...... it's another day at the office. They have seen everything and know how to handle it.

      You live close to two of the very best heart centers in the U.S.
      Urge your boyfriend to consider making an appointment with a cardio and/or surgeon at one of them.

      He needs someone to instill confidence in him that this surgery is overwhelmingly successful and for a young, otherwise healthy man, he will pick up his life and be better than ever.


      • #4
        Hi Hook,
        Thank you for your response. I am happy that you are back to drinking coffee, among other things.
        I will pass this info along to him.


        • #5
          Hi Jkm7
          What type of meds are you on and when did you have your surgery and how soon after were you able to go back to having no restrictions? He isn't a heavy drinker either and I think the hard part for him now is that he can't have coffee, which he loves, or beer.

          He has a doctor's appt. next Tues and hopefully they will be able to set up surgery soon since he is not feeling well at all. Yes, I know we have the best hospitals here in Boston and I already suggested that but I can only suggest it to him - he has to be the one to either stay where he is - which I think is what he will do - or go into Boston. I just pray that they can do the surgery non-invasively. Is this usually the case?

          Thanks again - I do appreciate it!



          • #6
            I think some of the answers may depend on whether he has a repair or a replacement, and if it is a replacement what type of valve he chooses (mechanical or tissue).


            • #7
              I had no restrictions except driving and that was lifted at under 3 weeks. I was permitted to add all acitivities back into my routine as I felt up to it. I would say that within 3 months, I was back to doing most of my usual activities. Sure, I got tired and needed to rest but we learn to listen to our bodies and our strength returns to all of us at individual rate.
              My valve replacement surgery four year anniversary is next week.

              My cardio was specific in saying coffee was fine though I didn't even ask. I was drinking decaf before my surgery so no issue. If he has a mitral valve repair, the chances of his being permitted to drink beer are extremely high.

              I don't know what You mean by non-invasively but his valve repair/replacement will require a chest incision in one form or another. There are some options as to style of surgery but they all involve a chest incision of various size/location/type.

              I prefer to not list the medications I take on a public forum. Hope you don't mind.


              • #8
                Hi Mom2izzy
                I think he mentioned valve repair.


                • #9
                  After my MV repair, I continued to cycle, ski, kayak, hike, walk our dogs, etc. It is done so routinely by amazing surgeons, it's magical. My only pre-surgery concern was if they had to go with Plan B and replace with a mechanical valve in my case. I asked my cardiologist a few months prior to surgery about a mechanical valve. He said that I can do the same things I was doing before. I asked him about drinking. He said don't binge and wear a helmet when skiing and cycling. So I bought a ski helmet. I already wear a cycling helmet.

                  Keep in mind that prior to surgery, he'll probably have a heart cath, TEE, CT Angiogram, so that they go in with a pretty good understanding of all his issues if any. It'll probably be after the heart cath, that they'll have a better understanding of the best way approach this. The reason I bring this up is that it's probably a good idea to choose a hospital before you start having all these procedures.

                  Btw, thanks for the reassurance jkm7 regarding the valve replacement.
                  Robotic Mitral Valve Repair using a 31mm ATS annuloplasty band, 06/18/09: Dr. Douglas Murphy, St. Joseph's Hospital/Atlanta
                  Endocarditis, July 2014


                  • #10
                    Hi Jkm7,

                    That is great! I think he mentioned valve repair and I;m sure he will be able to drink beer and coffee again.

                    I meant if they do it by not opening the whole chest. He is petrified and doesn't really ask his cardiologist too many questions - I've probably looked into finding out answers more often than he has - he hasn't been in touch with me as much as he used to be and I haven;t seen him in over a month and I'm sure it is because he is very depressed.

                    No problem - I understand - he is on beta blockers now and it seems like they aren't agreeing with him at all...



                    • #11
                      My surgeon wanted to try a repair though he knew I was 'queasy' about that. He tried a repair but in the end knew my valve was too far gone and honored my wishes to replace with a tissue valve when he knew it was best to do a replacement. I was relieved when I woke. The point I'm trying to make is we are never assured a repair is possible until they can actually see the valve. Your boyfriend should have a conversation with his surgeon telling him/her his choice for Plan B(what style valve he wants) in the event while he is on the table, they decide a repair is not working.


                      • #12
                        Hi ejc61

                        That is great - I keep telling him he will be fine and will be able to do the things he enjoyed doing previously but I think he is just so scared that he doesn't believe it.

                        He has already had two angiographs and the doc put him on beta blockers and he has tried two different ones but he is still having side effects and I believe the doc should have suggested surgery before this.

                        Thanks for the information.



                        • #13
                          I had a repair, and the doctors really haven't restricted me from anything. I'm still taking my beta blocker, and decided to give up caffeine because I figured that I didn't need to have one stimulant trying to boost my heart rate while the pills were trying to slow it.

                          I did have to decide before the surgery what type of valve the surgeon should use if the repair didn't work. That was one of several papers I had to sign while in the bed getting ready to go into surgery.
                          MV repair (mini sternotomy) , June 2, 2010, Brigham & Women's Hospital, Dr. Shekar.
                          Focusing on the positives that will result from the surgery can help reduce the stress from the days leading up to the surgery and help you get over any bumps in the road.


                          • #14
                            Hi Jkm7

                            Thank you for this information and I'm sure the surgeon will discuss this with him.


                            • #15
                              Thanks Ken

                              That is good to know. I'm sure the surgeon will explain everything to him before surgery.