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British Heart Foundation
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Mitral Valve Repair set backs

I had my mitral valve repaired almost 4 weeks ago and after initially returning home to convalesce I began to feel quite unwell and couldn't breathe. I felt like I was drowning in my own body. After two visits to A&E firstly with dehydration and very low blood pressure i was diagnosed on the second visit with pericardial effusion and pleural effusion. (Fluid in my lung cavity and the sack my heart is in) I had the fluid drained and felt better almost instantly but left feeling shattered with another week in another hospital to contend with. I'm back home now to start recovery all over again but feel quite bruised mentally and physically. Just wondering if anyone else has had something similar?

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That sounds like quite an ordeal, no wonder you're worn out. Hopefully the road to recovery is much smoother from now on. Best wishes x

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Thanks Laura X

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hello shopgirl, really sorry to hear of your issues. I hope you recover soon, not had this personally but there are some threads on mitral valves on here

healthunlocked.com/afassoci...

healthunlocked.com/search/m...

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Hello Shopgirl, me again. a new member has just posted here, healthunlocked.com/bhf/post...

sounds very similar to yourself, hopefully will give you a lot of comfort

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Thanks Skid for the link x

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Hi Shopgirl, I had the effusion after an aortic valve change 11 years ago. Owing to taking warfarin, they decided not to drain, but to try steroids, which I’m glad to say worked, although It took 3 weeks in hospital. I felt extremely fragile and vulnerable afterwards, but attended the rehab course offered which proved invaluable. I rode my Harley Davidson again 3 months to the day after my op! I would definitely recommend the rehab course.

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Thanks for getting in touch. I was on warfarin but the cardiologist decided to reverse it for the procedures. It's very encouraging that you were able to get back on your Harley Davidson after 3 months. I'm signed up for the rehab course soon but unfortunately the level 3 course has been cut near me so it's a 44 mile round trip, but I will still go.

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I’m sure you’ll find it’s well worth it, it’ll help both with fitness and improving your confidence. Keep us posted as to how you get on.

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Will do and thanks for your encouragement. Julia

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Aww hello shopgirl,

I hope you start to feel better

I had a trip to hospital mon eve as i felt what you described almost..like my lungs were a bit squashed inside.i am lucky though as was not what you had.

I hope you are feeling stronger now as i think you will be amazed how well you will start to feel now home.

I am 5 weeks nearly 6 now since my mitral valve replacement.

My sternum really sore still but i really think i feel better under the tightness and pain

Let me know how you are.will keep you positive

Jenny x

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Thanks Jenny for your encouragement. It helps so much. After a morning doing not much I've taken myself to bed! Glad you escaped anything nasty on Monday.

Julia x

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Hi, I had my mitral valve op over a year ago now but had a similar story. I was back in through A&E about three days after having been discharged. I also had pericardial effusion. It took a while to get over it but my general health improved quite quickly after the second discharge. My mitral valve repair wasn't that successful and I'll have to go back in for a replacement sometime which is very disappointing but you'd know already if you had any issues. Good luck with the recovery. It's a balance of trying to do as much as possible without overdoing it. Let your body tell you when to rest!

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Hi PhilC, very sorry to hear that you are facing another op. Have you been told how long you have to wait?

I'm over 5 months post op now and feeling quite good. I'm trying to build up my fitness but a trapped nerve in my neck is holding me back as I get quite a lot of upper back and shoulder pain and unfortunately opening my ribs during surgery didn't help! But I'm managing to walk a lot and have some nice hills nearby to challenge me.

I'm not sure how long my repair will last and in the back of my mind I'm sure it will need repeating for a mechanical valve in the future. I wish I had pressed for more info pre op about the merits of a repair v replacement but I had to have faith that the surgeon would do what was best at the time.

Wishing you the very best for your pending op. I look forward to hearing how it goes.

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Hi PhilC,my situation is similar to yours. I had a mitral valve repair in 2007 but the result was never that good and I am now waiting for another operation to have a mechanical valve fitted, should be some time in March but it's looking like there could be a delay .

I often think I should have opted for the replacement in the first place but as I have said before hindsight is a wonderful thing.

Best wishes

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