Mitral Valve Repair Reference Center at The Mount Sinai Hospital Mount Sinai

Before Surgery (Click a question below to see the answer.)


Do I need to have any tests before my surgery? []
In most cases, yes. Pre-admission testing typically includes blood work, an electrocardiogram and a chest x-ray, and should be performed three to ten days before the procedure. Your surgeon will tell you which tests you need and help you schedule them. If you have any questions, you can also call the Pre-Admission Testing Center at 212-241-0714.
What should I do if I get sick before the procedure? []
If you develop a cold, virus, sore throat, or other illness during the week before your surgery is scheduled, contact your surgeon immediately to discuss whether your surgery should proceed.
What should I bring to the Hospital? []
Be sure to bring a list of medications (including herbal remedies and over-the-counter drugs) that you take on a regular basis and a list of any known allergies, as well as your insurance cards and any correspondence with your insurance company regarding your admission. If you have been asked to make a deposit, please bring the deposit with you, too.


Also bring personal items that you rely on, such as eyeglasses, hearing aids, or dentures, and any documents you may have regarding advance medical directives. We encourage you not to bring jewelry, large amounts of cash, or other valuables.
Can my family members stay with me until I go into the operating room? []
Friends and family members are welcome to accompany you to the registration area on the day of surgery, but, for the safety of the patient, visitors are not permitted in the pre-operative assessment, holding, or PACU areas.


There is a Surgical Family Waiting Area, located on the second floor of the Guggenheim Pavilion, where your family/escort can stay while you are in surgery. Your surgeon will contact them when the procedure is done. Please do not bring children with you on the day of your surgery, since the wait can be very difficult for them and they will not be allowed to see you after the procedure.


The waiting area is staffed Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm in case questions arise. The number is 212-241-7778.
What if I need to cancel my surgery? []
If you need to cancel your surgery, please notify your surgeon as soon as possible. Please note: If you need to cancel your surgery due to illness or an emergency and it is after business hours, 9am to 5pm, Monday thru Friday, or it is a weekend or holiday, you must contact the Cardiac Fellow on call or the Cardiac Physician Assistant in the CSICU, at 212-241-7344. Please state your name, surgeon and reason for cancellation of surgery and they will notify the cardiac surgeon.
Do I need dental prophylaxis? []
You will always need dental prophylaxis.


After Surgery


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.
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 212-241-8060 (Financial Counseling) any week day 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.
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 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.
When will I leave the hospital? []
Usually 5-7 days post operatively baring complications.
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 apt. 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.
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 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 on the ICU we do not recommend children visit and adults should be limited to immediate family only. You will only be there for a day or two and when you are ready you transfer to 7W 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
  • Shorness 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.
When can I resume sexual activity? []
As soon as you feel ready. Avoid positions which put extra strain on your chest.

Page Created: Thursday, 27 April 2006

Last Updated: Tuesday, 28 July 2009


Department of Cardiovascular Surgery | The Mount Sinai Hospital | 1190 Fifth Avenue, Box 1028 | New York, NY  10029 | 866-MITRAL5 (648-7255)

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