Mitral valve repair. 12 months on. - British Heart Fou...

British Heart Foundation
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Mitral valve repair. 12 months on.


It's now 12 months since my surgery to repair my mitral valve.

This was done minimal access through my right nipple (incredible I know).

I really don't know where to start but I am so grateful to all at Blackpool hospital for everything they have done for me.

I can't thank Mr Zacharias and his team enough as they literally saved my life.

I'm a 47 year old firefighter and returned to full duties only 3 months after my surgery.

Anyone facing the same op feel free to ask as I'll answer any questions with honesty.

Does it hurt? Yes!!

Are there bad days? Yes

Is it all worth it in the end? YES YES YES!

Stay strong x

13 Replies
MichaelJHHeart Star

Hello and welcome to the forum! It is great to hear that things went well and you made a full recovery. It is against forum guidelines to mention specific consultants but yours has already been in the news. He performed life saving Malcolm Hebden, who plays Norris Cole in Coronation Street, after a massive heart attack. I will try and find a link for you.

Sorry if I broke the rules. I was unaware

MichaelJHHeart Star
in reply to Scratchfire

No worries...

MichaelJHHeart Star
in reply to MichaelJH

On balance I think that saving a firefighter is worth an honourable mention in dispatches just this once ;)

What a great post, thanks for posting.

Hi scratchfire and welcome :)

Always good to hear positive results like this to give a bit of balance to the "real but over reported" problem cases.

I guess it's human nature that most people come looking for a forum like this because they have a problem and need abswers rather than to say "that went well!"

But that does tend to skew the true picture a bit towards problems and any successes like yours help to balance that out :)

Great turnaround, Scratchfire. 3 months, end to end, is a great result and a miraculous return to what must be a pretty physical role in the fire service.

I looked for minimally invasive surgery to replace my aortic valve and was offered a referral to Blackpool but opted for what is laughingly referred to as the 'gold standard' - the one where your sternum is sawn in half!

I wish you health and happiness with your refreshed life expectancy. Use it well

As someone who has had ' saw through your sternum and retract your ribs, etc' open heart surgery, I was very interested in your comments and hope this technique spreads and becomes more widely available. Reports of good practice are invaluable and very good for my morale. More power to your elbow, may you live long and prosper. Thanks for the post.


MichaelJHHeart Star

I passed your story on to a friend who has mitral valve problems. At the moment they are monitoring the situation but a three month turnaround would be great for him!

If he wants to discuss anything with me let me know and I will contact him

MichaelJHHeart Star
in reply to Scratchfire

That is very kind of you. I will PM presently.

Hi Scratchfire. So pleased to hear of your success - great news. I had the same procedure at the Harefield in May last year. Within 6 months I was back playing football, badminton and swimming (and I'm 69!). I would recommend it to anyone and suggest the recovery is largely "down to you". I religiously followed the rehab programme (led by a super team) and it paid dividends. Every best wish for the future. God bless_Bubble wrap 😎⚽️🍷

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