Mitral Valve Replacement, Care After

ExitCare Image Refer to this sheet in the next few weeks. These instructions provide you with information on caring for yourself after your procedure. Your health care provider may also give you specific instructions. Your treatment has been planned according to current medical practices, but problems sometimes occur. Call your health care provider if you have any problems or questions after your procedure.

HOME CARE INSTRUCTIONS

  • Only take over-the-counter or prescription medicines as directed by your health care provider.

  • Take your temperature every morning for the first 7 days after surgery. Write these down.

  • Weigh yourself every morning for at least 7 days after surgery. Write your weight down.

  • Wear elastic stockings during the day for at least 2 weeks after surgery. Use them longer if your ankles are swollen. The stockings help blood flow and help reduce swelling in the legs.

  • Take frequent naps or rest often throughout the day.

  • Avoid lifting more than 10 lb (4.5 kg) or pushing or pulling things with your arms for 6–8 weeks or as directed by your health care provider.

  • Avoid driving or airplane travel for 4–6 weeks after surgery or as directed. If you are riding in a car for an extended period, stop every 1–2 hours to stretch your legs.

  • Avoid crossing your legs.

  • Avoid climbing stairs and using the handrail to pull yourself up for the first 2–3 weeks after surgery.

  • Do not take baths for 2–4 weeks after surgery. Take showers once your health care provider approves. Pat incisions dry. Do not rub incisions with a washcloth or towel.

  • Return to work as directed by your health care provider.

  • Drink enough fluids to keep your urine clear or pale yellow.

  • Do not strain to have a bowel movement. Eat high-fiber foods if you become constipated. You may also take a medicine to help you have a bowel movement (laxative) as directed by your health care provider.

  • Resume sexual activity as directed by your health care provider.

SEEK MEDICAL CARE IF:

  • You develop a skin rash.  

  • Your weight is increasing each day over 2–3 days.

  • Your weight increases by 2 or more pounds (1 kg) in a single day.

SEEK IMMEDIATE MEDICAL CARE IF:

  • You develop chest pain that is not coming from your incision.

  • You develop shortness of breath or difficulty breathing.

  • You have a fever.

  • You have increased drainage from your wound.

  • You see redness, swelling, or have increasing pain in the wound.

  • You have pus coming from your wound.

  • You develop lightheadedness.

MAKE SURE YOU:

  • Understand these directions.

  • Will watch your condition.

  • Will get help right away if you are not doing well or get worse.