Mitral Valve Open Commissurotomy
What you should know
Mitral valve open commissurotomy is surgery to repair the mitral valve in your heart. You may need this valve fixed if you have mitral valve stenosis. This is when your mitral valve becomes narrow and cannot open all the way. The mitral valve normally opens and closes to let blood pass through the heart. If your mitral valve does not open or close correctly, blood may not flow as it should through your heart.
You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.
- You may bleed, get an infection, or have trouble breathing during or after surgery. Air bubbles in your blood could cause a stroke. The muscles or other valves in the heart could be damaged. You may have problems with your heartbeat or have a heart attack. Your kidneys may stop working and you may need dialysis. You may get a blood clot in your arm or leg. The clot may travel to your heart or brain and cause life-threatening problems, such as a heart attack or stroke.
- Without surgery, your symptoms, such as shortness of breath and fatigue could get worse. Blood and fluid could build up in your lungs and lead to heart failure.
Before your surgery:
- Bring your medicine bottles or a list of your medicines when you see your caregiver. Tell your caregiver if you are allergic to any medicine. Tell your caregiver if you use any herbs, food supplements, or over-the-counter medicine.
- Ask your caregiver if you need to stop using aspirin or any other prescribed or over-the-counter medicine before your procedure or surgery.
- Arrange a ride home. Ask a family member or friend to drive you home after your surgery or procedure. Do not drive yourself home.
- If caregivers think you may need a blood transfusion during surgery, you may be able to donate your own blood before surgery. This is called autologous blood donation. This must be done no later than several days before surgery. You may also ask a family member or friend with the same blood type to donate their blood. This is called directed blood donation. Talk to your caregiver for more information on autologous or directed blood donation as soon as you know you will have the surgery.
- You may need blood tests before your procedure. Talk to your caregiver about these or other tests you may need. Write down the date, time and location for each test.
- Write down the correct date, time, and location of your surgery.
The night before your surgery:
Ask caregivers about directions for eating and drinking.
The day of your surgery:
- Ask your caregiver before taking any medicine on the day of your procedure. These medicines include insulin, diabetic pills, high blood pressure pills, or heart pills. Bring a list of all the medicines you take, or your pill bottles, with you to the hospital.
- If you wear contact lenses, do not wear them on the day of your procedure or surgery. Glasses may be worn.
- An anesthesiologist may talk to you before your surgery. This caregiver may give you medicine to make you sleepy before your procedure or surgery. Tell your caregiver if you or anyone in your family has had a problem using anesthesia in the past.
- You or a close family member will be asked to sign a legal document called a consent form. It gives caregivers permission to do the procedure or surgery. It also explains the problems that may happen, and your choices. Make sure all your questions are answered before you sign this form.
What will happen:
- You may be given medicine in your IV to help you relax or make you drowsy. You will get general anesthesia to keep you completely asleep. A caregiver will clean your chest with soap and water. The soap may make your skin yellow, but it will be cleaned off later. An incision will be in the middle of your chest.
- You will be connected to a heart-lung bypass machine. This machine does the work of your heart and lungs during surgery. The valve leaflets are separated and the opening in the valve may be dilated (made larger). Then the heart is checked to make sure there is no bleeding.
- Caregivers may put wires your chest that stay there in for a short time after surgery. The wires can be used to improve your heartbeat. The bypass machine will be removed, and your own heart and lungs will start working again. A transesophageal echocardiogram (TEE) will be done to see how well the valve and your heart are working. The incision in your chest will be closed with stitches or staples and covered with a bandage. The bandage keeps the area clean and dry to prevent infection.
You will be taken to the recovery room or an intensive care unit (ICU). Caregivers will watch you very closely. A caregiver may remove the bandage shortly after surgery to check the stitches. Do not get out of bed until your caregiver says it is okay.
Contact a caregiver if
- You cannot make it to your surgery appointment on time.
- You have a fever.
- The problems for which you are having surgery get worse.
- You have questions or concerns about your surgery.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.