Discharge Instructions for Mitral Valve Stenosis

You have been diagnosed with mitral valve stenosis. This means that the mitral valve, located between the left atrium (left upper chamber) and left ventricle (left lower chamber) of the heart, is stiff and doesn’t open correctly. Because of this narrowing of the valve, blood must move through a smaller opening. In moderate to severe cases, fluid can build up in the lungs, leading to coughing and breathing problems. You can also develop heart rhythm problems, such as atrial fibrillation. Over time, mitral valve stenosis may slowly get worse. Most cases of mitral valve stenosis are caused by rheumatic fever.

Many people with mild mitral valve stenosis who don't have symptoms don't need treatment. In such cases, regular monitoring of the valve with echocardiograms is typically recommended. Sometimes symptoms can be controlled with medicines alone. In some cases, you may need surgery or a minimally invasive catheter-based procedure to repair or replace the mitral valve. Your cardiologist will recommend treatment based on your specific condition. Here are things you can do at home.

Home care

  • Maintain a healthy weight. Get help to lose any extra pounds.

  • Cut back on salt.

    • Limit canned, dried, packaged, and fast foods.

    • Don’t add salt to your food at the table.

    • Season foods with herbs instead of salt when you cook.

    • Request no added salt to your order at restaurants.

  • Start an exercise program. Ask your healthcare provider how to get started. You can benefit from simple activities, such as walking, gardening, swimming, or dancing.

  • Break the smoking habit. Enroll in a stop-smoking program and ask your healthcare provider about medicines to improve your chances of success.

  • Check with your healthcare provider before taking any over-the-counter medicines, herbal products, or vitamin supplements.

  • Take your medicines exactly as directed. Don’t skip doses.

  • Keep all follow-up appointments.

Follow-up care

Make a follow-up appointment with your healthcare provider, or as directed.

Call 911

Call 911 right away if you have any of the following:

  • Chest pain or shortness of breath

  • Weakness in the muscles of your face, arms, or legs

  • Trouble speaking

  • Fainting or dizziness

  • Swelling in your hands, feet, or ankles

  • Irregular, rapid, or pounding heartbeat

© 2000-2024 The StayWell Company, LLC. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.
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