Recovery after mitral valve replacement surgery may vary, depending on how successful the procedure is. In addition, it depends on the ability of the patient to recover from it. Typically, a patient takes anywhere between four and eight weeks to recover from an open heart surgery for valve replacement.
But patients who undergo a minimally invasive surgery for mitral valve replacement are able to recover much sooner than those who undergo an open heart surgery. Only an experienced cardiac surgeon is able to assess whether the patient is suitable for an open heart surgery or whether they should carry out a minimally invasive surgery.
At the time of hospital discharge, the patient with the new biological or synthetic valve is thoroughly guided about the lifestyle changes that they need to make to be able to recover faster. Most often, the recommendations made by the surgeon concerns the exercise schedule, specific dos and don’ts, wound care, medication guidelines, and the ideal timeline to resume normal activity routine.
But most importantly, the surgeon and the cardiac rehabilitation expert tells the patient to maintain a healthy diet after the mitral valve surgery. A healthy diet plays a crucial role in the recovery of the patient following a heart surgery. It not only helps them recover well but also reduces the risk of post-surgery complications and makes the body heal faster.
Consumption of a diet rich in nuts, fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and seeds has long been linked to a reduced risk of heart diseases. A healthy diet contains a lot of antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins that are essential for the overall protection of your heart.
The following are the Top 10 dietary guidelines that every patient must follow after undergoing mitral valve replacement surgery:
1) Ideal portion breakdown: The ideal daily diet should include 4 servings of whole grains, 5 servings of vegetables, and 2 servings of fruits. However, this may vary depending on the actual energy requirements of the patient.
2) Sugary foods: Try to avoid sugary foods completely. These may make you gain weight.
3) Salty foods: Limit your intake of salty foods. Prepare meals with minimal salt as it will help prevent water retention and keep blood pressure normal.
4) Water consumption: Increase your intake of water as it helps maintain proper fluid balance in the body.
5) Controlled fat consumption: Limit your consumption of processed fats. Instead, switch to healthy fats derived from nuts, avocados, seeds, and fish.
6) Fish consumption: Different variety of fish such as salmon, sardines, and mackerel are a rich source of omega-3 fats. These fats help protect the heart and will allow your body heal faster than usual.
7) Dairy: Switch to low-fat dairy and include it in your everyday diet.
8) Protein-rich foods: Include meat or its protein-rich alternatives such as eggs, nuts, tofu, and legumes and in your diet.
9) Whole grain benefits: Whole grain food items such as whole grain bread, brown rice, oats, quinoa, couscous, barley, and rice help improve your energy levels and are considered good for your heart. Make sure to include a couple of servings of whole grain in your daily diet.
10) Vitamin K-rich foods: It is important to consume vitamin-K rich foods. But these should be consumed in limit after mitral valve replacement surgery to prevent the formation of blood clots in the heart. Consult your doctor about vitamin K-rich food items that you should completely avoid after the surgery.