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Problems with recovery after mitral valve replacement 79 yr old female
My mother, age 79, had mitral valve replacment surgery 2-14-07 - pig valve.  Prior to procedure, her health was excellent. After 3 days in ICU, she was moved to room.  she had very little pain but seemed more alert on 3rd day in ICU than she is today -  day 8 after surgery.  She spent 5 days in hospital, transferred to acute LTC facility for further nursing and rehab.She still has very little pain but is constipated, only one bm since surgery.  I am inquiring via this forum re: concern for her recovery.She remains constipated, very tired.  She is unable to complete a sentence her voice is weak.She cannot get out of bed without assistance. She is doing as expected from a physical standpoint.  My concern is with her mental state.  She is beginning to believe that she will never be the person she once was and will spend the rest of her life as an invalid.She has received no rehabilitation or physical therapy since the surgery.  Has anyone else experienced something similar?  Is her mental state, which is deteriorating daily, common for what she has gone through?  What are realistic expectations for her recovey time-frame?  Any ideas how I can reverse her mental attitude and help her to get back to the vibrant, hard-headed, determined person she was prior? I don't want to watch my mother die a little each day until she's gone permanently. Any help, "war stories" and suggestions will be greatly appreciated...........
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21064 tn?1309312333
Hello.  So sorry to hear of your mom's trouble with MVR surgery and recovery.  Please check out valvereplacement.com.  There is a wealth of information regarding valve surgery.  MANY folks have had valve surgery and are very willing to help.  Best of luck to your mom.
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I am a critical care cardiac nurse and often recover post valve replacement and post bypass patients.  I always tell my patients before they go in the surgery that they will probably experience some depression after the procedure.  THIS IS SO NORMAL!  As she physically recooperates, mentally she will also feel better.  I have had heart problems myself, and I never really understood the psychiatric component to physical illness-until it happened to me.  Support her, be there for her.  Make sure she is rarely alone.  There is still alot of life out there for her to enjoy.  People need her-keep reminding her of that.  Tell her SHE WILL FEEL BETTER.
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I am a critical care cardiac nurse and often recover post valve replacement and post bypass patients.  I always tell my patients before they go in the surgery that they will probably experience some depression after the procedure.  THIS IS SO NORMAL!  As she physically recooperates, mentally she will also feel better.  I have had heart problems myself, and I never really understood the psychiatric component to physical illness-until it happened to me.  Support her, be there for her.  Make sure she is rarely alone.  There is still alot of life out there for her to enjoy.  People need her-keep reminding her of that.  Tell her SHE WILL FEEL BETTER.
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Remember, this is a huge surgery to go through.  It is difficult for a young person, let alone an older person who may have other multiple health problems.  This surgery takes at least 6 WEEKS before you start feeling better.  Have you had your 1st post-op cardiology appointment yet?  Make sure the MD does lab work on her.  You have to make sure there is no physical cause to her weakness- such as being anemic, or having an infection. I feel confident that she will probably be feeling better in the weeks to come.
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