British Heart Foundation
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Mitral heart valve

I have been diagnosed with sever calcification of the mitral valve, and 3 coronary blockages, cut a story, I was at Papworth yesterday [ Fri ] to be told by the surgeon that he wouldn't operate on me as the survival rate wasn't good [, re the mitral valve, ] I'm 73. He is now referring me back to the cardiologist at west Suffolk hospital with a view of stenting the 3 arteries, so no open heart surgery. I thought that the mitral valve could be replaced ? a question I should have asked, but as you can imagine I was quite taken aback and upset, I feel as though I have been given a death sentence.

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Obviously I cannot know your overall health situation but someone I know who has always been fairly active had mitral valve replacement and two other valves repaired at age 70, last year. There is also a minimally invasive procedure for mitral valve replacement/repair. Make an appointment with your GP after the weekend to discuss the issue as he will have a better understanding of any health issues involved.

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Thanks for your reply

I have been on long term steroids [ 17 years ] so I bruise easily, and there was a mention that I could have tissue damage, so that could be a factor ? I will have to speak to a Dr. and ask more questions. I can only assume that the heart surgeon at Papworth wouldn't do the op if there was a risk ?

I was amazed how busy it was at Papworth, the Cardiology dept., was full, almost standing room only, and the Dr's /nurses feet never touched the ground, so you felt like you couldn't take up too much of their time, which is stressful for the patients.

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I know that steroids increase risk during surgery but nothing more than that. Hopefully the stents will improve things a fair bit for you.

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You definitely need a second opinion but as already said, we don’t know your other health issues that makes you high risk.

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I had aortic valve replacement in January on my 72nd birthday. It was never even suggested that I was too old, just that the chance of success was only 40%. Luckily I was one of the 40%.

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Hello

I don't think my age came into it, The surgeon said that my mitral valve was so severely calcified that it was inoperable, and a replacement valve wasn't an option for me and could be fatal. He suggested I have the 3 coronary blockages done with stents rather than open heart surgery. I did a google [ I know I shouldn't ,] and on one site it did say that " to replace a severely calcified mitral valve could cause a rupture " but didn't understand it all, so another reason why I shouldn't have googled it.

I hope I don't have to wait too long for the stents, I will ask more questions then, I was so taken aback when told, I didn't ask any questions.

thank you for your reply.

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I would be asking your GP

All your questions

Would have thought that the stent work could be done regardless and then take things from there.

Good luck

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I will get my stent work done, but not at Papworth, I will be going back to west Suffolk for that. I was going to get the 3 arteries done when the surgeon at Papworth did the mitral valve but as I'm not having the valve done I wont need the open heart surgery ,they will do the stents via the groin. As I said in my above post I hope I don't wait too long for the stents to be done.

thanks for your reply

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I had 4 valve replacements via keyhole surgery but 4 days in a row.

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Did you mean you had 4 coronary arteries replaced ?

I have a sever calcified Mitral valve, plus 3 coronary blockages. I will have my arteries stented via the groin.

thanks for your post.

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I’ve had numerous stunts and replacement coronary artery thru keyhole surgery. If it isn’t safe to do all of it they do another part the next day.

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Hi Bowler. I am having a mitral valve replaced in 2 week time as I have sever regurgitation and calcification, I was told the operation was more difficult because of the calcification and it did depend on how bad it was. Good luck with it all.

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Hello Nanival

Can you tell me what your symptoms are.

Many thanks Bowler

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Hi again,my main symptoms have been tiredness and palpitations,I am 65 and was still working as a barista 3 days a week 8 month ago now struggle to get through a day and breathless when walking very far.

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Thank you for your reply,

I too have the palpitations and fatigue, and like you I get breathless after walking to far, especially up an incline. I am very worried that my situation is inoperable. I also have 3 blocked arteries which will now be stented instead of bypassed, which would have been done with the mitral valve. I think the stents will be done via the main artery in the groin [ like an angiogram ] or the one in the arm, I have been prescribed Isosorbide mononitrate which has helped, I also have the under tongue spray.

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I cannot walk far (awaiting quadruple bypass) and get breathless. Late afternoon I start feeling tired so I try to do things between 8:00 and 16:00. A friend has mitral valve issues but his walking is far, far better than mine (an angioplasty was clear). Hopefully, things will improve considerably after the stents..

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I am the same I do all what I can in the morning, My husband and I have even contemplating paying private if it can be done. It's surprising what money can do and if you are a Royal !!!

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I can only assume that my mitral valve is so calcified they wont/cant do it, I am 73 so maybe age comes into it ?

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My belief is that it can depend on the exact area of the valve calcified. Age is a hard one to judge. I know of someone over 90 who has developed a painful hip but been refused hip replacement because of age despite being very fit for his age and having no other medical conditions. Yet older Royals have had hip replacement. It can also be done with an epidural avoiding a general aesthetic

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