After Mitral Valve Repair, Ashish Gets Past Constipation To Feel “Endless Love”

By Adam Pick on March 20, 2010

It feels great to wake up, turn on the computer, click my inbox and open a patient success story.

That said, this is the story of Ashish (Ash) from Indiana. Ash just had robotic mitral valve repair a few days ago. Here are the details:


Ashish – Mitral Valve Repair Patient


Hi Adam,

I had a successful robotic assisted mitral valve repair performed at the Cleveland Clinic by Dr. Tomislav Mihaljevic on Wednesday, March 10, 2009. I was in the intensive care unit for less than twenty-four hours. Then, I was in a step-down room for two days. In total, I was in the hospital for four days.

Interestingly, Dr. Mihaljevic had anticipated that there was a congenital cleft on my anterior leaflet. However, after “getting inside” he found it to be a long-healed endocarditis infection on the posterior leaflet. I have been told that the repair could last me a life-time. I plan on eating heart-healthy foods to avoid future infection.


Dr. Tomislav Mihaljevic – Staff Surgeon, Cleveland Clinic


My surgery was about four hours long and I regained consciousness in a couple of hours. The ventilator was not as difficult to deal with as I had imagined. Like many patients, I was really worried about pumphead syndrome. So, as soon as regained consciousness, I started testing my memory. Thus far, I am glad to tell you that I remember everything.

As for post-op issues, I did have some nausea and there is some pain in my right shoulder blade. On the pain scale, I have yet to rate it greater than a six. Unlike other patients, I did not experience the pain that others told me to expect specific to the chest tube. Considering the robotic procedure, Dr. Mihaljevic only used one chest tube at the incision site. It was taken out less than 18 hours after surgery.


Pain Scale – 0 (no pain) to 10 (worst pain)


Not to be too graphic, but I did experience some constipation after the surgery for the first two days. I think I could hear the bowels moving but without any results. Finally, Saturday morning the river broke the bounds and it was great relief. 🙂

At this time, I am resting and being taken care of by my wife, mom, sister, brother in-law, nieces and nephew. Before surgery, I did not know that people loved me so much. Friends and other relatives have showered their love and care endlessly. Everyone is so eager to do anything to make me comfortable.

I felt compelled to write you this detailed message because I received such great information from you. I knew what to expect which made this experience much more comfortable. Also, I can’t appreciate the Cleveland Clinic and Dr. Mihaljevic enough. Coming to the Cleveland Clinic from Indiana was a great decision and I am happy that I made that choice.

Thanks and take care!

Written by Adam Pick
- Patient & Website Founder

Adam Pick, Heart Valve Patient Advocate

Adam Pick is a heart valve patient and author of The Patient's Guide To Heart Valve Surgery. In 2006, Adam founded to educate and empower patients. This award-winning website has helped over 10 million people fight heart valve disease. Adam has been featured by the American Heart Association and Medical News Today.

Adam Pick is a heart valve patient and author of The Patient's Guide To Heart Valve Surgery. In 2006, Adam founded to educate and empower patients. This award-winning website has helped over 10 million people fight heart valve disease. Adam has been featured by the American Heart Association and Medical News Today.

Dale P. says on March 20th, 2010 at 12:11 pm

Ash, I could relate to many of your experiences and comments. I, too, was amazed at how many people loved me. Even some of my colleagues told me that they loved me. It was amazing, and one part of this multi-faceted experience that is open heart surgery that I will never forget. And yes, I remember the constipation. Not fun. I am so glad you are doing well, and that you seem to progressing so quickly.

Richard Canaan says on March 20th, 2010 at 5:12 pm

My surgery was right at 6 months ago at USC with Dr. Starnes leading the team of 12. Every body was great. (Sherry, Carmen, Trina, Robert, Rosemary and Debbie in the front office). I had Aorta valve replacement with major Aorta repair. Initial surgery was on Sept 30 but required a second surgery to correct leakage of blood into the heart cavity. I do not remember any of this. I do remember a problem when the heart beat went into A-Fib which was no fun. I was in USC medical center for 15 days, but glad to be there instead of having problems at home.

I have had NO PAIN at all from surgery. There is a very slight pain (1 on scale to 1 – 20) where the chest bone is still healing. I was back to work on light duty starting 2 weeks after returning home.

During the hospital stay and coming home, I had Son, Daughter, Brother, Sister-in-law, son-in-law, sister and another brother, along with my wife of course all taking outstanding care of me. Without these family members and caring of friends and co-workers from coast to coast, I was kept out of trouble..

Adam, I did have you 2009 book and it proved to be of excellent help. I read all the blogs you recieve and send, ant it is apparent that no two people are the same.

Andrew Wrigley says on March 21st, 2010 at 7:21 am

Really interested to hear that you had a ‘healed endocarditis’ lesion. I wasn’t aware that people can recover from endocarditis infections without a major course of antibiotics (about 60 litres over twelve weeks in my case).

However, I understand that most cases of endocarditis get a foothold where there is a pre existing problem with the valve. So in a circular sort of way, you may have ended up having surgery anyway.

Constipation? Yeah, I had that. 4 days worth. On day two they started giving me laxatives, so the result on day 4 was, well… Never mind, a quick thinking nurse saved the day.

Lucky you with the repair. The attempted repair with me didn’t pass the saline solution test, so plan b was a mechanical valve. Never looked back and am playing tennis again.


Philip Reso says on March 22nd, 2010 at 9:47 am


Glad you are feeling better. I am coming up on one year, April 29, since my aortic valve replacement, performed by Dr. Gene Parrino at Ochsner in New Orleans. Dr. Parrino and his staff were great, and I agree that Adam’s book was great preparation. I prefer to forget about the 5 days of constipation. 🙂


Leave a Reply

Newest Community Post

Rich says, "Day 5, finally got my shower ! Now I'm"
Read more

Jay says, "One year into my new aortic valve and"
Read more

Richard says, "Guilty as charged. Eating his new"
Read more

Find Heart Valve Surgeons

Search 1,500 patient-recommended surgeons