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ladydxxxx, November 4,  2019  1:25pm EST

Mom's long road to recovery after open heart mitral valve replacement

My mother has had a long complicated and difficult road related to her heart failure. She had  open heart mitral valve replacement surgery on October 8, 2019. She is still in the hospital (4 weeks out) with major fluid retention issues, breadhing difficulties and low oxygen. We were aware that the surgeon had a difficult time inserting the new valve (he said there was severe stenosis outside of the old valve so he had to manuever the sutures to fit in the new valve).  At that point he said all was fine.  We just found out a week ago that there is a "minor" leak in the valve. One of the hospital cardiologists told us this (not the surgeon) and said that we have to just wait and see how this would affect my mother  She may have breathing issues because of it but we have to wait to see how her normal recovery goes.  In the meantime, I called the surgeon who said that there is absolutely no issue with any effects on my mother from the valve - there is a very very minor leak due to the way he had to suture in the valve but in NO WAY will this require fixing or have any effect on my mother..  Well, since my mother is 4 weeks out and has major breathing, fluid and oxygen issues, we aren't so sure.  I have a call into the surgeon again to actually spent some time talking to myself and my mother about why she is still going through all these complications which do not seem normal.  I do not want to offend the surgeon so I need advice on how to proceed.  Thank you for your input.

1 Reply
  • erma11
    erma11, November 21,  2019  11:54am EST

    Hello -- I am very sorry to hear about your mom.  I can speak to it all personally as I also had multiple valves replaced in 2016 - both Aortic and Mitral and a tricuspid repair as well. It was a long and complicated surgery which took over 10 hours and I developed pulmonary edema (fluid in my lungs) within 3-4 days. I also had low O2 sat issues and could not get rid of fluid no matter what.  I was released after 3 weeks in the hospital but was soon back for another few days.  All in all it took a few months for the fluid to finally go away.  All I can say is to hang in there, try and move as much as possible, do a lot of the breathing exercises prescribed and stay positive.

    All the best.


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