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Forum Name: Valvular Heart Diseases

Question: Mitral and aortic valve surgery

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 sharon - Wed Sep 24, 2003 5:21 pm

I have written several times before with questions about mitral and aortic valve surery. I had surgery to repair both valves 10 weeks ago and havce several questions. The mitral valve was very detoriated and one of the leaflets was completely curled under. He was able to repair the valve and insert a ring to hold it. The aortic valve was less severe and only needed minor repairs. the surgeon told me that the left atrium was enlarged but the venttricel was okay. Before the surgeon began the surgery he said that the valve could fail on the table, in 2 months, 2 years or never.

I am still having some symptoms which concern me. I am still out of breathe going up and down stair and when I bend over to tie my shoes or whatever. Is this normal and just takes time or does this indicate a problem. What are the the implications of an enlarged left atrium? Will the atrium return to normal size, is there any reason to be concerned? I am no longer on coumadin and am taking lopressor 2 times a day. I quess my real questions is, is the mitral valve failing?
 Dr. Yasser Mokhtar - Sat Oct 11, 2003 12:57 pm

User avatar Dear Sharon,

Thank you very much for using our website.

Happy to hear that you are doing well after surgery so far.

It is still a little bit too early. i think you should give yourself a 6 months period to judge your symptoms putting in mind that you have to go through extensive postoperative cardiac rehabilitation since most probably you were out of shape before surgery.

If you are concerned about failing of the mitral valve, the best thing to do is have an echocardiogram and see whether there is any complications or whether the mitral valve regurgitation is still present at the same degree before surgery.

A dilated left atrium in your case is caused by the abnormal large amount of blood that it was getting from the left ventricle because of the incompetent mitral valve. Since the valve has been repaired there is no more blood going to it and its size should go down in 6 months or so.

The other thing is that sometimes patients who are on beta blockers (one of them is lopressor) get short of breath if they have a history of asthma.

i think that you are going to see your doctor soon for follow-up anyway and you can raise these concerns and suggest that you have an echocardiogram if you are not already scheduled to have one and may i suggest a transesophageal echocardiogram not a regular transthoracic.

Once more, thank you very much for using our website and i hope that this information helped.

Yasser Mokhtar, M.D.

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