Mitral Valve Surgery

Post-Operative Frequently Asked Questions

When can I resume normal activities?

You should do as much as you feel able to do. You should be walking daily until your follow up with your surgeon.

When can my family and kids visit?

While you are in the ICU we do not recommend that children visit. You will only be there for a day or two and when you are ready you transfer to 7C there is an area adjacent to it which is suitable for children.

How can I expect to feel when I get home?

You can expect to feel tired. Recovery is progressive and each day you will feel a little better. It is not unusual for pain medication to be necessary for a few weeks after discharge, especially at night. Be patient with your recovery.

When should I call?

If you have any concerns or questions please call.
Possible medical emergencies include:

  • Increased temperature
  • Discharge, redness, swelling or odor at the incision site
  • Shortness of breath at rest. (Shortness of breath with activity can be expected to get progressively better).

What activities can I do?

Walking daily until follow up with your surgeon at that point cardiac rehab is recommended. You can resume normal activities of daily living but no heavy lifting pulling or pushing, prevent strain on your chest.

What kind of hospital bills should I expect after I'm discharged?

Before your surgery, a member of the Finance Department will call to verify your insurance information. Depending on your coverage, you may have to pay a deposit prior to your procedure. Please be aware that you will receive bills from all attending physicians/specialists involved in your care, in addition to the hospital bill.

If you have any financial questions or concerns, please feel free to call Financial Counseling, 212-731-3100 or 866-682-9380, any weekday between 8:00 am and 5:00 pm.

How long will my recovery time be?

This is very individual and of course depends how well you are before surgery. You will probably go home 5-7 days after surgery but recovery can take up to three months. Some patients recover quickly and are back to work in four weeks. If you feel ready to go back to work early we recommend part time to start.

Can I shower?

You can shower the day before discharge, once wires and sutures are removed.

Do I resume old medications?

You should take only medication we discharge you on. When you see your Cardiologist he may change or add medications.

When will I see you again?

The surgical follow up appointment is typically 4-6 weeks after discharge. A date will be given to you before discharge.

When should I see my Cardiologist?

You should see your Cardiologist 7-10 days after discharge.

When can I go back to work?

Two to three months recovery is expected after surgery. Many patients go back to work 4-6 weeks after surgery, but we recommend a part time basis.basis.

When will I leave the hospital?

Usually 5-7 days post operatively barring complications.

What size will the incision be?

This varies, if you have had previous surgery, you will have a larger scar. If this is your first surgery, the scar could be as small as 6cm. The surgeons will not compromise safety for cosmesis.

Are there any restrictions?

No heavy lifting, pulling or pushing for 12 weeks after surgery.

When can I drive?

Driving is restricted for six weeks after surgery. This is a safety issue. The sternum is healing and the bone is knitting, where you to get into a car accident and the steering wheel to hit the sternum, it would interfere with this healing. Also, certain movements of driving may cause pain hindering your normal reflexes.

When can I resume sexual activity?

As soon as you feel ready. Avoid positions which put extra strain on your chest.

I'm worried about pain from the surgery. What should I do?

Making sure that you are as comfortable as possible after surgery is a priority at Mount Sinai. We offer many different methods of alleviating pain, and you should discuss them with your surgeon or anesthesiologist. They will help you understand the options and select the best solution for you.

Contact Us

Mount Sinai Heart
One Gustave L. Levy Place
New York, NY 10029-6574

Tel: 800-MD-SINAI (800-637-4624)
or 212-427-1540