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What Are the Most Common Mitral Valve Repair Complications?

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  • Written By: Meshell Powell
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 23 November 2016
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Surgery to repair the mitral valve of the heart is considered to be a relatively safe medical procedure, although complications may sometimes arise. Some of the most common mitral valve repair complications include infection, blood clots, and negative reactions to the anesthesia used during the operation. Additional complications may include abnormal bleeding, scar tissue development, and chronic pain issues. Heart attack, stroke, and kidney failure are among the most serious potential mitral valve repair complications. Any new or bothersome symptoms that develop after valve replacement surgery should be reported to a doctor for further evaluation and treatment.

Infections are among the most common mitral valve repair complications and may cause symptoms such as pain, redness, and swelling at the site of the incision. Topical, oral, or intravenous antibiotics are typically used to prevent or treat these infections. Blood clots sometimes develop following surgical procedures, and blood-thinning medications such as aspirin may be given in an attempt to avoid this complication. Compression stockings are sometimes placed on the legs to prevent clots from forming as well.

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Anesthesia reactions are possible mitral valve repair complications and may occur even if the patient has successfully received anesthesia in the past. Aspiration may occur if the patient vomits while sedated and inhales some of the vomit into the lungs. Abnormal heart rhythms, blood pressure changes, and cardiac arrest are possible mitral valve repair complications caused by reactions to anesthesia. Nausea, vomiting, and headache are also potential side effects of anesthesia. Allergic reactions to the medications used for anesthesia may cause chest pain, difficulty breathing, or sudden death.

Abnormal or excessive bleeding and bruising may occur following mitral valve repair. Internal bleeding can result in bruising; swelling; or a leakage of blood into urine, stool, or vomit. External bleeding is easier to recognize and may be stopped by applying direct pressure to the wound, although additional surgery may sometimes become necessary. Taking blood-thinning medications such as aspirin or ibuprofen prior to the surgery may increase bleeding risks.

Heart attack or stroke are possible mitral valve repair complications and are frequently caused by accidental damage to the heart muscle during surgery. Kidney failure and chronic pain issues are possible side effects of this medical procedure and may result from damage to the nerves, medication interactions, or a number of other factors. The supervising physician or surgeon should be contacted with any questions or concerns about mitral valve repair complications in an individual situation.

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