Recovery: Hi Fellow Heart Warriors I’m... - British Heart Fou...

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Irishwolfhound profile image

Hi Fellow Heart Warriors

I’m 3 weeks post mitral valve repair and still in discomfort from my surgery, ( hurts when I sneeze or cough) how long did other people take to feel back to normal? (Obviously differs between people), how long did you keep wearing your surgical stockings? Anyone else feel frustrated with your recovery times?



10 Replies

I was told it takes about 6 weeks for the breastbone to fuse back together and 12 for it to be back to full strength. Like you say, everyone heals at different rates. I think I started feeling reasonably good after about 5 weeks, driving at 6 and was back at work after 12 weeks, but that does depend on what sort of work you do.

I didn’t wear my surgical stockings after I came out of hospital, infact they took them off whilst I was in hospital. They said as I was up and about there was no need.

If you are used to being quite active it is natural to feel frustrated that you can’t do much. Even simple things can be time consuming to start with, but don’t worry, it does get better and soon you’ll be wondering what the fuss was about.

Hope you’re recovery continues to go well.


Cheers Wendy!

I was told to keep wearing stockings until I'd "retained full mobility", whatever that means! I took them off after four weeks and it was one of the sweetest and most significant milestones on my recovery!

Another poster had a more detailed set of written instructions from their hospital which suggested four weeks for ditching the stockings.

Everyone is different, but if their jobs aren't too physically arduous most people return to work six to eight weeks after the operation (with maybe a day a week off for the cardiac rehab programme if there is one in their area). And for a more physical job you could expect to return after twelve weeks. These dates seem entirely reasonable based on my own recovery, although as I said before, we're all different.

Thanks Chappychap

The dreaded stockings!! Hubby is taking these off tomorrow as we're doing everything 'by the book' - so 4 weeks after discharge!

He's quite mobile now so long walks in the park up and down hills etc. He's still in a lot of discomfort if he moves awkwardly (sometimes you do that without thinking). His sleep patterns are finally getting a bit better.

Cardio rehab starts in the middle of January.

Just stay positive and you'll notice little things are improving every day xxx

Thanks Handel, I get the discomfort as well

Just checking that you don't have DVTs (clots) in a leg where vein taken for the bypass graft. If you have DVTs the recommendation is to where stockings for a year or so - medical advice varies. I only know this because I had clots.

Irishwolfhound profile image
Irishwolfhound in reply to

I didnt have a graft, it was a valve repair not a replacement but thanks anyway

I had my mitral valve repair 6 weeks ago and still have some discomfort with the scar. I found that a light application of skin cream helps to reduce the pulling effect of clothes on it. In fact I do not wear a top at night and that helps a lot. Best of luck for a speedy recovery.

Thanks Tomannis31 for the suggestion

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