• 12 replies
  • 9 followings
mecetahoe, July 9,  2019  10:02pm EST

Mitral Valve Repair

Greetings to all. I am new here so I hope I don't mess this up. I am scheduled for mitral valve repair on July 24, 2019. I was first diagnosed with the leaky valve 4 years ago and it has progressed pretty rapidly. My symptoms are not too severe so I am electing to have the surgery now while I am otherwise quite healthy and strong. I am 62 years young and will be 63 in August. My biggest fear, of all the crazy things, is waking with the breathing tube in. Can anyone tell me if the urge to gage is super strong or if it somehow passes over the gage reflex.(I have heard both). I will be receiving a mini sternotomy so I am confident that the pain and healing will be easier. Any comments are appreciated.

  • Birdiecock
    Birdiecock, July 10,  2019  8:40am EST

    I had this exact procedure one year ago at Duke.  Usually they pull the tube before you wake up but if not remember they deal with this and people who have breathing tubes every day.  You will be fine.  Secondly, in addition to this site there are a couple of more.  On Facebook there is a page just for Mitral Valve patients.  It's fabulous and very active.  Secondly, you should register at  You will find literally hundreds of fellow valve patients who have been through or are about to go through MVP.  Many videos and articles including one on what to expect when you wake up.  I highly recommend Adam Pick's book on heart valve repair, available on the heart valve surgery website.  Good luck and you've got this.   Keep us posted. 

  • NanaGwendy
    NanaGwendy, July 10,  2019  9:48am EST

    Hi. I just had a mitral valve repair and a “widow maker” CABG on 6/26. I, too, am 62, female, and in very good health. While my sternotomy was a complete one, I do not remember awakening with a tube. The drugs are strong; it will take a little time for you to fully awaken. Have confidence in the team.

    While I’m still waiting to walk more steps in a week than I used to in a day, I’m making progress.  Good luck, and all good wishes coming your way. 

  • SandyBeaches
    SandyBeaches, July 10,  2019  10:42am EST

    I have s Mitral Valve repair ten years.  Back then it was open heart, so things are much easier these days.  You won't remember the tube.  Once you've recovered from the procedure, you willbe amazed at how muich better you will feel!  Right now you may not even realize how much the leaky valve has affected you, but it drains one's energy a great deal. Again, don't worry about your gag reflex, you'll be asleep when they put the tube in and when they remove it.  Your throat will be sore for a few days, most likely, though.

    Best of luck!

  • mecetahoe
    mecetahoe, July 10,  2019  4:55pm EST

    Thank you all for your responses and reassurance 

  • Caroline65
    Caroline65, July 16,  2019  12:33pm EST

    You will be fine with the repair. Do not worry about the tube, for they will have you medicated and within a couple of hours of you rousing, the tube will come out. I had the same repair many years ago as a child in 1973. Had aortic valve replaced in 2001. A lot has been done in the OHS so do not worry. You will be fine.


  • AmbassadorC
    AmbassadorC, July 17,  2019  6:09pm EST
    heart ekg_0173.png (3).

    Good afternoon, 

    Welcome to the support network as you are among a community of heart warriors.❤️ We will be your strength for the journey ahead, so please do not hesitate to reach out with additional questions. I see some of my fellow heart warriors have weighed in and the vote is 50/50. For me, I recall waking up with the tube and was very much concerned that I would start gagging because I’m very claustrophobic. What I remember most clearly is listening to thr nurse tell me to cough as hard as I could when it was being removed. That must help somehow. I then vividly remember wanting to drink water so bad from being thirsty but was only allotted Ice chips. That to me was the most challenging. The one thing I learned throughout my journey is that every “body” presents differently. It’s great to have others insights, but in the end you may or may not have that same experience. 

    If you have not already, I invite you to view the heart valve education website re post surgical recovery. There’s an awesome downloadable PDF re surgical milestones that can be helpful for your initial post recovery. 

    My very best heartfelt wishes for a successful surgery and recovery.

    Keep on fighting with heart, 

    Ambassador C 


  • jocrous316
    jocrous316, July 17,  2019  9:07pm EST

    I don't remember the tube being in at all.  Just a small bit of a sore throat and a few sores from abrasions I suppose.  Inconsequential.  Nothing to worry about.  Blessings and good luck.  As I posted earlier this month I just celebrated my 3 year anniversary of my mitral valve replacement.  There is nothing that I cannot do.



  • Lorraineg57
    Lorraineg57, July 18,  2019  6:32pm EST

    My surgery is the day after yours! Good luck to you!

  • mecetahoe
    mecetahoe, July 21,  2019  12:22am EST

    Where is your surgery going to be at Lorraine?

dark overlay when lightbox active
dark overlay when lightbox active
dark overlay when lightbox active