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Formyson, December 2,  2019  6:22pm EST

Mitral valve repair

Hello group

Almost 4 weeks post op for mitral valve repair, first post op visit tomorrow. 


Soon to be 55 and was super fit prior to surgery and I am fearful that I won’t be the same again. 


Dont know whst to expect from visit but hope I can return to work, running, and pull-ups 


any imput would help me, nervous

thank you 

8 Replies
  • NanaGwendy
    NanaGwendy, December 2,  2019  7:26pm EST

    Hi. I'm 6 weeks post op (second one; first one failed) and I just started virtual Rehab. It's a free program and much better than the traditional program for active people. I had the same fear. Now I'm walking 3 miles, and they've upped my target heart rate, so I know I'll be able to move forward. 

    I think we have to live with the fact that we will be a little different than we were before surgery. I still have sternal precautions, so no pull-ups. But, over time, I know they'll come back. Your commitment to progress will make it happen. 

  • tmwright88
    tmwright88, December 2,  2019  8:04pm EST

    I am 11 months post op with a mitral valve repair. I was in pretty good shape prior to surgery and like NanaGWendy, I progressed well on my own and then with rehab I progressed back to where I was cardio wise and then once six months passed I started lifting weights again. While I'm not back to where I was on weights, I'm doing pretty well (~80%). Just keep at it and take it slow, adding a little bit each week as you feel up to it and you'll be back. 

    Also, I found meeting with the dietician and with other specialists (reducing stress) while not something I thought I needed, extremely helpful. Take advantage of all that you can for a complete body and mind healing. 

    Best of luck and keep at it.


  • AmbassadorC
    AmbassadorC, December 3,  2019  8:08am EST

    Good morning Formyson, 

    Welcome to the support network❣️ I see that my fellow heart warriors have offered some great insight into thier post op recovery. I can assure you that your concerns are valid as I felt the same way from my mitral valve repair. I agree with my fellows warriors re cardiac rehab. You will find that it will provide you w a safety net to experience the ability to safely exercise with monitoring. You also will be around a likeminded set of patients going through the same fears and concerns as you. I highly recommend participation, if you are able. I have previously posted an encouraging message that I will repost  in a seperate thread. The most important element I feel, in the recovery journey is to celebrate the little milestones that you pass. I found that if you look too far ahead, it will be too overwhelming. Take one heartbeat at a  time. You will cross that finish line. ❤️

    With heart, 

    Ambassador C 

  • AmbassadorC
    AmbassadorC, December 3,  2019  8:10am EST

    Reposting 12/3/2019 

    Adapt and Overcome - What is your New Normal?

    Good evening Heart Warriors❣️
    Welcome to our newest members of the community. While this is a repost, I would like to share with you a positive and encouraging perspective, that life does not have to be limited if you are diagnosed with A-Fib, or in my case heart valve disease. 

    Adapt and Overcome - What is your New Normal?

    I recently celebrated my three year anniversary from open heart surgery for a mitral valve repair on June 13th.  In many ways, it feels like a second birthday.  A time to celebrate, a time for reflection and a time to appreciate all the blessings that have been bestowed upon me during this journey.  Yesterday, I completed my "maintenance checkup" and I could not help but pause and reflect upon the many obstacles that I have overcome in my first year of recovery. There were many speed bumps on the road to recovery and I felt as if they were road blocks at times.  I look back and think to myself, how did I get through all of this?  The answer:  To Adapt and Overcome.  

    While it may sound quite simple, it can be quite challenging.  As I reflect upon the beginning of my journey, I had to "adapt" when  life threw me a curve ball and I was told that  it was time to have open heart surgery to repair a leaking valve.  Life doesn't always go as we plan. We have a choice, we can either ignore the issue and hope that it goes away, or adapt and overcome. 

    The best laid plans for my recovery, didn't go as I had thought.  I had prepared, researched and prepared some more, researched and prepared.  I had many lists and checked them twice, even three times.  What was not on my list is what would become my "new normal".  As I hit the various speed bumps upon my road to recovery (fluid around my heart, atrial flutter, irregular heartbeat resulting in 3 cardioversions,  atrial fibrillation and a catheter ablation) within 4 months of open heart surgery, my recovery plan did not allow for flexibility.  I thought I would have this surgery, go through the healing process and be "fixed".  I quickly needed to learn how to "overcome" these obstacles. Swelling, weight gain, rapid heartbeats, restricted diet, bouts of lightheadedness, fatigue and low blood pressure just to name a few, are what became my new "normal" at various times during my recovery. These were tough pills to swallow at first. 

    I am happy to report that the outcome of my "maintenance checkup" yesterday was a positive one.  While my valve has been repaired, I still feel occasional palpitations, and at times lightheadedness but my heart is beating as strong as ever.  My blood pressure tends to run low, but I am alive and kicking.  I am no longer restricted by rapid heartbeats, even though I still get PVC's.  I am able to kick box 3-4 times a week and I keep fighting with heart. My research and checklists have allowed me to pay it forward and help make someone else's journey a little easier.  This has become my "new normal" and I continue to "kick out" heart disease one beat at a time.  

    What is your new normal?  How have you adapted and overcome? 

    To read more about my journey Operation Backward Blood 

    Keep on fighting with heart,


  • AmbassadorC
    AmbassadorC, December 3,  2019  8:14am EST

    Reposting 12/3/2019 

    Some cardiac inspo for you❣️

    September 25,  2016  3:25pm EST

    Have you just started cardiac rehab? Do you feel like you'll never be able to get back on your feet again? Do you feel that road just seems uphill? Then this post is for you!

     I am a survivor of mitral valve disease. I just celebrated my three year anniversary from open heart surgery this June 13 to repair a leaking mitral valve. I recently returned to my local hospital where I took my cardiac rehab, to introduce the support network to the cardiac nurses in order to pay it forward to those of you that are just beginning your journey from a cardiac event or elective surgery. I remember all to well the feelings of uncertainty, fear, anxiety and the unknown.  As I was there, so many memories came back to me.  For me, while I went into surgery as a very healthy, active, non smoker, blood chloresrol in good limits, blood pressure great, and no medications, I came out of heart surgery with many post operative complications. While I was told these can be common sideffects of surgery, I certainly was not expecting them.  Initially I developed atrial flutter which greatly impacted my ability to progress through cardiac rehab. Rather than participate in class, I was constantly monitored by the nurses and likely the one to be asked to stop exercising so my heart rate can return to sinus rhythm. If it did not, I could not be released from the cardiac session and had to be cardioverted. This went on for at least a month and instead, I had to receive 3 cardio versions and eventually a cardiac ablation over the course of  4 months post surgery. Eventually, I finished my 13 weeks of cardiac rehab. I could not stand going to cardiac rehab because I was deathly afraid of how high my heart rate would elevate "this time" and be unable to complete a session without a page to my cardiologist, electrophysiolgist or a trip to the ER.   Believe it or not, I was looking forward to starting cardiac rehab and using it as a springboard to launch into a regimented work out schedule.  Instead, I had to take it slow and often times became discouraged. My father ended up reminding me of a snappy tune from my favorite childhood Christmas animantion Santa Clause is Coming to Town by Mikey Rooney and Keenan Wynn.  Here's how it goes and I pass it on to you for encouragment:  


    Put one foot in front of the other

    And soon you'll be walking cross the floor

    Put one foot in front of the other

     And soon you'll be walking out the door


    You never will get where you're going

    If you never get up on your feet

    Come on, there's a good tail wind blowing

    A fast walking (wo)man is hard to beat


    If you want to change your direction

    If your time of life is at hand

    Well don't be the rule be the exception

    A good way to start is to stand


    If I want to change the reflection

    I see in the mirror each morn

    You mean that it's just my election

    To vote for a chance to be reborn


    Here is my advice: Don't give up, keep moving and you will get there, one heartbeat at a time. You WILL make it across that finish line.

     Today, I cardio kickbox 3-4 times a week, and I don't ever give up. I encourage you to keep on fighting and keep on "kicking" out your heart disease one beat at time. When the going gets tough, the tough get going... Keep on going! 
    Rest if you must , but don't you quit.

  • nrbarnes1234
    nrbarnes1234, December 8,  2019  1:24am EST

    hello there,

     you will be able to recover and go back to what you used to do, however, it WILL take time. your mind will tell you your back to "normal" but your body will tell you otherwise, be patient, it's a journey to recovery. I had a valve replacement 7 years ago and it took me awhile. I also want to add that emotionally it will be difficult too and I still struggle 7 years later, the more you talk about it, the better you will feel. 

  • milo1
    milo1, December 9,  2019  2:56pm EST

    Hello Formyson,

    I am 53 and had mitral valve repair 4 months ago. Prior the events that led to the surgery I was a very active/athletic person (lots of cycling). 4 months after the surgery I am prettty much back to where I was before the event happened. The only medication I remain on for now is metrolpolol and it does not seem to interfere much with my activity. The first 2 months after surgery were definitely hard (sternotomy takes paitence to heal) and I also had to be patient while my heart remained in an afib rhythm for a few months after surgery. I took it slow of course, just easy walking for a long while and eventually was able to start simple resistance work at a gym. Little by little, day by day. Small improvements. Seems I would never be able to return to what I used to do. I too was nervous about the outcome of all this.

    Everyones path to get back thier life of couse is different. I just want to try and help you by sharing mine. 4 weeks ago is not vey long, I can only imagine (remember) like it was yesterday what it feels like and what you are going through right now. I still think about those moments often. You will retun to all the things you were doing prior, and hopefully have a better functioning heart than youv'e had your whole life.

  • Burton
    Burton, January 23,  2020  11:48am EST

    I am about six weeks out from mitral valve repair.  Last week my echo indicated that my ejection fraction increased from 30-35% immediately after surgery to 43% vs 55-60% pre-surgery.  My maximum heart rate seems to be stuck at about 85 bpm, above which my heart rate seems to get unstable and fluctuate between 90 and 75 bpm.  Am I right that the two factors to recovery are ejection fraction and heart rate?  Why is my max Hr so slow to recover?  Is it the case that ejection fraction increases first and only when it gets back to normal that HR increases.  Or is the low dose metropol I'm on hold down my heart rate?  I'm just curious on what the science is here.

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