Undecided about 2nd mitral valve surg... - British Heart Fou...

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Undecided about 2nd mitral valve surgery.

Nettyanne profile image

Hi everyone, I saw my surgeon last week and he recommended I have a mitral valve replacement as my repair done in 2007 has failed and I am back to severe regurgitation, just has it was before the 1st op.

He also wants me to try a different beta blocker as bisoprolol brought my HR down to 32 making me feel pretty awful ! Because my HR is irregular he wants me to start on warfarin, not looking forward to that, but may not be as bad as I am imagining.

I am now on the waiting list for surgery which is about 5 months but have not really decided whether to go through it all a 2nd time.

Hopefully someone will have felt the same and be able to share their experiences.

Best wishes to all.

15 Replies

Hi Netty, I'm in the same boat. Had aortic regurgitation and had the valve replaced in 2011, unfortunately the replacement one has now got severe regurgitation and I am due to have it replaced with a mechanical one on Tuesday. I will then have to be on warfarin. I did have the choice to leave the op for a bit longer but the downside would be that my health would deteriorate whereas at the moment I am reasonably healthy so should make a quick recovery - although have to be very careful about infection as I had my spleen removed last year.

You are the only one who can make the decision, but bear in mind your heart isn't going to get any better, so you might be better off having it done now rather than leaving it until it's worse.


Nettyanne profile image
Nettyanne in reply to Fredders

Hi Wendy

Thanks for your reply, sometimes I feel so alone even though I have a loving family, unless you have been there I don't think anyone can really understand the different emotions. That is why I find this forum so helpful, we are all going through similar experiences and can support each other.

I presume your 1st valve was a tissue valve, what a shame that you didn't get more years before needing more surgery, but as you say at least you're reasonably healthy at the moment.

I hope everything goes well on Tuesday and you are soon on the road to recovery, please let us know how you are once you are able.

Best wishes


Fredders profile image
Fredders in reply to Nettyanne

Hi Annette, yes my first valve was a tissue one. I chose that because my consultant said they lasted about 15 years and as I was 53 at the time I figured that would be okay. When I had a TOE earlier this year the doctor said they don't last as long on "younger" patients because we're more active. I also didn't want to take warfarin, but now I figure it's only one more tablet to add to the handful I take anyway 😋.

Thanks for your best wishes, I've already had it cancelled once so fingers crossed it goes ahead this time. I will keep everyone updated. In the meantime there are plenty of us on here who can help with any questions you have.


Dazzler142 profile image
Dazzler142 in reply to Fredders

Super advice fredders x

Hi all, I had a mechanical aortic valve fitted in 2006 and have been on warfarin and various other meds’ ever since. The main problems with warfarin is watching your diet and alcohol intake, and to have regular INR tests. I had problems at first but it’s just a way of life. Best of luck with the ops, mechanical valves seem to be the way to go.

Hi David, thanks for your reply. It is good to hear other people's experiences, it seems a much bigger decision than the 1st op and I think it is the thought of having something in my heart that is not part of my body and once my valve is taken out there is no going back. This might not be an issue for some but I can't get past that thought 😕

The waiting list is 5 months so I have plenty of time to decide.

Best Wishes

laura_dropstitch profile image
laura_dropstitchHeart Star in reply to Nettyanne

I totally understand the reluctance to "tamper" with your heart. I had similar thoughts when I was considering going on the transplant list and, to a lesser degree, when I was having my CRT-D device fitted. I was really upset on the morning of the procedure, thinking it was my last day with a heart that was all mine and didn't have wires screwed into it and really wanted someone to wave a magic wand and make the device unnecessary. It did take me a while to get used to, but I don't think of my device as a foreign object now. If I think about it at all, it's usually quite fondly, in fact :) My heart still feels like my heart, just a bit more turbo powered. I know yours would be a much more significant procedure, but maybe you would be able to come to terms with that side of things in a similar way? But as you say, only you can decide.

Best of luck with your deliberations, hopefully your surgeon will be able to help you reach a decision you are comfortable with.

Hi Annette, understand your reluctance, but apart from the occasional ticking, you won’t feel any different. The main advantage is that I was told the valve would outlast me!

Dazzler142 profile image
Dazzler142 in reply to Nettyanne

I had the same thoughts also..a forum object..believe me its a lifechanger.

I could barely walk,sooo breathless..its so normal your thoughts.

My heart was getting so poorly and you will recover quicker before you get any worse. X

Hi Nettyanne,

I am so sorry to hear that your valve repair has let you down and that you now have to decide whether to have a replacement valve.

I’m afraid I can’t help you as I am having repair surgery at the end of the month. I’m sure there will be a member of our group who has similar experiences who will be able to share.

I wish you well as you glean information so that you can make the right decision for you.

Dory ❤️💕❣️

Nettyanne profile image
Nettyanne in reply to Ethel13

Thanks for your reply, as you say it has to be the right decision for me.

I am planning to see the surgeon again to ask even more questions, and then I will have to decide.

I hope all goes well with your op and you are soon on the road to recovery.

Best wishes


Ethel13 profile image
Ethel13 in reply to Nettyanne

Good Luck for our consultation with the surgeon.

Thank you for your best wishes,

Dory x💕

Hi Nettyanne,

Nearly 7 weeks post op

I see the surgeon today

I am 45 and was put on warfarin for the mechanical valve.its fine.i notice no difference taking it

The valve is noisy,ticks like the hand of a watch and is very hard to get used to...saying all that though i could barely walk as i had severe mitral stenosis and some regurgation too

Its hard to face the thought of open heart surgery...i do recommend it.

I can walk farther even pained as i am af nearly week 7

I take metropolol for the HR,i went in AF 3 times whilst in hospital..it agrees with me.

I hope i have helped you a little

Any questions,please ask me i am happy to answer any

Jenny x

Thanks for all your replies it is so good to hear from people in a similar position. Even though no one can make the decision for me at least I know others are there to answer questions and more importantly understand how I feel.


I had mitral valve repair in January due to regurgitation and AF but wasn’t told that I may need a replacement in the future? I’m 61 so wondering if my repair will last?

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