What should I expect during the recovery?
- You will need to lay flat for about 6 hours after the catheter has been removed from your groin to prevent bleeding. You will have a tight bulky dressing on your groin area while you are resting in bed. Do not bend your legs during this time to prevent bleeding. A sheet may be placed across your legs to remind you to keep them straight. Your nurse will tell you when you may sit up and get out of bed.
- You should not eat anything until the catheter has been removed from your groin.
- Notify your nurse immediately if you have a fever, chest pain, swelling or pain in your groin or leg, or bleeding at your groin site.
- You will have an echocardiogram the morning after your procedure.
- Medications may be prescribed. Ask your doctor if it is safe to continue taking the medications you took prior to the procedure.
- Once you have recovered from the procedure and have talked to your doctor about your follow-up appointments and care, you will be able to go home.
- You will be able to return to most of your normal activities the day after the procedure. Ask your doctor when it is safe to drive, return to work or begin or continue an exercise program.
- Once your cardiologist has successfully opened the narrowed mitral valve, your symptoms of valve disease should decrease or disappear completely.
When should I call my doctor?
When you go home after the procedure, call your doctor or nurse immediately if you have:
- Fever (100 degrees Fahrenheit or 38 degrees Celsius) or higher
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
- Unusual swelling or weight gain
- Bleeding, swelling, pain or changes in skin color at the groin site.
- A return of previous symptoms (symptoms you had before the procedure was performed)
Does balloon valvotomy cure mitral valve disease?
Balloon valvotomy is a procedure that may relieve many of the symptoms of valve disease, but it will not cure valve disease. Some patients may continue to need medications, even after a successful procedure.
After the procedure, you will need to continue seeing your doctor regularly to make sure your heart valves are working properly. Lifestyle factors that can worsen valve disease may also need to be changed. An exercise program may be prescribed to improve your heart health after the procedure.
To protect your heart valves from further damage, tell your doctors, dentist and other health care providers that you have valve disease so antibiotics can be prescribed before you undergo any procedure that may cause bleeding. Also, take good care of your teeth and gums.
New percutaneous, non-surgical procedures to treat mitral regurgitation (leaky valve) are being tested.