Mitral Valve Surgery Preparation and Recovery
If you undergo a mitral valve repair procedure, then there are very specific things you will need to do in preparation for this treatment process. If you wish for the surgery to be truly successful, you will need to adhere to the detailed guidelines given to you by Dr. Bethencourt. Please be aware that specific instructions may vary on a case-by-case basis, though a majority of these surgical procedures will involve many similar steps as described below.
Preparation for Mitral Valve Surgery
To begin, patients will need to prepare for their mitral valve surgery mentally and physically by:
- Researching and understanding what the surgery is and what to expect.
- Visiting our office for blood work that needs to be completed in order to ensure that you do not have any underlying conditions that could prevent the surgery.
- Reviewing the risks of the surgery and then signing a consent form with Dr. Bethencourt.
- Taking some time to relax. For about two weeks before the surgery, it is vital that you do not cause yourself undue stress.
- Follow Dr. Bethencourt’s instructions as they pertain to various medications that you are currently taking. You will most likely be told to stop taking any types of blood thinners, including ibuprofen or aspirin for several days if not weeks prior to your procedure.
- You must stop smoking at least two weeks before the mitral valve surgery.
Recovery from Mitral Valve Surgery
Once patients have completed their surgery, they must expect to rest and relax for several weeks during their recovery process. Remember that your heart has just undergone a major surgery, and try not to push yourself too far too quickly as you could increase your risk for complications to occur. Patients should be sure to complete all of the proper recovery steps, including the following:
- Stay in the hospital for approximately 2-3 days.
- Eat smaller meals and eat more frequently to avoid excessive nausea.
- Always take all of medications as prescribed by Dr. Bethencourt.
- Keep the incision clean and covered.
- Only take a shower after the surgical staples have been removed. Never let the incision soak in water.
- Follow our cardiac rehabilitation program to slowly work yourself back up to normal activity levels. Avoid any strenuous activity for several weeks or up to a month after mitral valve surgery. Patients should not engage in any aerobic activity for at least three months.
Mitral valve surgery is very common, but as with any surgery, there are always risks that individuals should consider prior to their procedure. You will need to ensure that you follow all pre and post-operative instructions given by Dr. Bethencourt in order to achieve a successful outcome from your surgery.
If you have further questions about mitral valve surgery, please call the Bethencourt Group at (657) 241-9440.