Advice: Hi I have a faulty mitral valve... - British Heart Fou...

British Heart Foundation
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Hi I have a faulty mitral valve and had endocarditis the other year. Now been told need surgery to repair it, looking at this year. What can I expect surgery wise. I am also scared to death about the this. Any advice?

3 Replies

Hi Fenz

BHF have an info page here:

I had a chat with my cardiac surgeon 6 months ahead of my op. I imagine you'll get that opportunity too - you really need to discuss the surgical options with a consultant. It could be a minimal access operation, or open heart surgery, as I had.

It's easy to say, but try not to be too terrified. The care I received was fantastic, and 7 months after my op, my mitral valve repair appears to be completely successful. My fitness is way down on what it used to be, but improving, and my life is pretty much back to normal. The outcomes are very good for mitral valve repair.

All the best




I had a similar experience to Richard. My mitral valve was repaired last May after it was diagnosed in February 2017. I’d had a heart murmur for years and never thought about it so it is very scary to be told there’s something wrong that needs operating on. I had various tests to check there was nothing else wrong as the surgeon wouldn’t see me until she knew everything I had. This included ECG’s a Trans Oesophagus Scan, an angiogram and ultrasound of my heart. They want to make sure that when they operate they do everything that’s needed to save you having to go back later. I was lucky in that they only found the collapsed valve. Mine was open heart surgery which is pretty major but valve repairs/replacements are the most common operations they do so they are very experienced. I had superb care from my cardiologist and surgeon but also my GP. They were crucial in helping me manage symptoms while I was waiting. I had a lot of fluid retention that they managed really well for me. They are also the people who can contact the hospital if your condition worsens. Looking back it’s been a hard year as I get an unusual syndrome after that slowed me down but now I’m nearly back to where I was before it all happened which isn’t bad considering in 2 years older! I still have the odd twinge from the operation site and at times I’m very aware of my breathing and my heart beat but overall it was so worth it.

Happy to answer any questions that arise as you go along. One last thing. If you feel ill with this you can’t work through it but it’s your bodies way of telling you to rest. It’ll make it worse if you don’t. The same will happen after your op. It’s weird but you will be better if you listen to your body.

Take care



Hi Fenz. I had a mitral valve repair in October 2018. I became aware of a problem 12 months earlier. The replies you have had so far are detailed and sound sense. It is a major operation but it is important to remember that to the surgeon it is very straightforward and routine. You need to talk to people about any concerns you have. This site will provide lots of informed opinions from people who have gone through exactly what you are now. For me it's month 5 It's not all been fine and for me I have suffered with post op depression and anxiety. About 40% people do. Again just be honest with your doctor or family with how you feel. Personally I got quite low before I asked for help. Over the past month I have received tremendous help and support from my doctor. I wish I had been more honest with how I felt much earlier.

My experience at hospital was fine. I was in for 6 days. I had to wear a thoratic jacket for 6 weeks which caused great hilarity for my kids. Yes you have to take it steady at first but I agree listen to your body. General fitness is key before and after the op. I was averagely fit so my recovery has been ok. With hindsight I wish I had kept up my sport much longer pre sport to keep my fitness level up. Just be realistic with yourself

I hope my ramble is of some help and reassurance to you. We all react differently but on the whole the experience has been ok. Tiredness is still an issue for me. I just allow myself time sleep during the day. The actual op is straightforward. If you take the pain tables it's fine. Don't try to be brave and sometimes one drug might not be right for you. They have lots of alternatives. Again share your feelings at the time with someone who can help

It will be scary to you as it is something unknown. But as someone who had gone through exactly what you are worried about and now 5 months on. It is and will be ok

Talk to people about your concerns and work at your general fitness starting now. Please feel free to message me if you wish to pick up on anything I have mentioned


Good luck. Trevor


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