Quantcast

Aortic or mitral surgery- recovery comparation?

Help Support ValveReplacement.org:

Midpack

Well-known member
Joined
May 31, 2012
Messages
166
Location
Argentina
Hi!

Are surgery recoveries more or less similar for aortic and mitral valves?
I know this is probably a question more suited to a cardiologist/surgeon than for patients, because patients usually have just one of both replaced/repaired (or both at the same time, in which case no comparation can be made). But i am sure that many of you have an idea. I ask this because my problem is with my mitral valve, but the vast majority of discussions here are about the aortic one. And i would like to know whether all these valuable testimonies from aortic patients can also be somewhat useful for mitral ones.

Regards
 

Adrienne

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 3, 2006
Messages
1,502
Location
Montreal, Canada
I can only tell you about my experience since I had a mitral valve repair at the age of 60. Basically, at the beginning I felt weak and pretty crappy, but every day I felt better. After 3 weeks I felt pretty normal although it took a few months to feel totally back to normal. I don't think that it's the particular valve being repaired or replaced that makes the difference in how the recovery goes.
 

gerrychuck

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 17, 2012
Messages
214
Location
Moose Jaw, SK, Canada
I had emergency mitral replacement at age 53 in Oct/12. My initial recovery was very slow, as my heart was badly beat up between the time my valve failed and the time I was finally diagnosed, so my story is probably not typical. Took me 2 weeks to get off supplemental oxygen and get out of hospital. BP was very low, had post-op pneumonia, took a while to get moving. I was able to start doing some limited admin type work in December, and was able to sing, play guitar, and dance at my son's wedding at the beginning of January. Working normal hours and duties as a physical therapist and clinic manager since February. I can't claim to be back to where I was before I got sick even yet, but I am functioning normally; I just know that my tolerance for vigorous work and activity is still limited, and I will have a bit of a tight chest and maybe a little extra afib the next day if I do too much. I have seen (on this forum) a rule of thumb that says it takes about a month of recovery for every 15 minutes your surgery lasts; that would have me feeling "normal" at about 1 year out (another 3 months). Seems about right. Good luck, mid pack!
 

ski girl

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 14, 2010
Messages
683
Location
Perth, Western Australia
IMHO the recovery is from the anaesthetic (and surgery in general) and sternums being sawed through - what the docs do while they're in there is fairly immaterial.

The exception may be arrythmias post-op, as the aortic valve is close to some of the nerves responsible for passing messages on to the heart and a lot of us AVR patients hearts do some really odd things after surgery. That may or may not be the case with mitral valves, others would know more.
 

epstns

Premium User
VR.org Supporter
Joined
Dec 26, 2002
Messages
5,143
Location
Chicago area
Ski girl hit the point that I was going to make. The actual surgery and recovery is probably very similar, but the potential complications are different. I do not know what specific complications are common with mitral valve replacement, but I do know that rhythm disruptions, afib, pacemakers, etc. are all common after aortic valve surgery.

Maybe one of our mitral valvers can join in with their knowledge.
 

gerrychuck

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 17, 2012
Messages
214
Location
Moose Jaw, SK, Canada
Well, I'll chime in with my limited knowledge (N=1, for you research types). I developed some arrhythmia when my mitral valve failed, which has persisted as paroxysmal afib post-surgery. Fairly well-controlled with low dose metoprolol. I think both SkiGirl and Steve make a very good point about the factors that influence recovery. I would add one more thing; the state of your heart and lungs by the time surgery is performed (i.e the degree of enlargement/failure) can have a profound effect on how quickly you recover as well.
 

Gail in Ca

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 26, 2001
Messages
946
Location
SF Bay Area, CA
I had 2 surgeries just on the aortic valve. I blamed the mechanical aortic for my symptoms after the 2nd surgery, and was comparing it with the tissue I had gotten the 1st time.
During aerobic class and walking briskly, I just didn't feel the same. Forward 8 1/2 yrs and I got my leaky mitral repaired along with a new aortic mechanical (same brand, though). I must say that I felt better when my mitral was fixed. No longer had the symptoms I had before when exercising. So, for me, all along it was the leaky mitral that gave me the most symptoms. When it was fixed along with my aortic, I feel good when I walk or exercise, now. So, it wasn't the mechanical valve causing me to feel bad! I think recovery was the same, even somewhat better. How you are going into the surgery makes a big difference. My 2nd (aortic only) was the hardest to recover from and I was the sickest going into it.
BP was 90/19, and my tissue was failing fast.
 
Top