Maintaining a Heart Healthy, Low-Salt Diet
Too much salt in your diet can cause fluid to build up, forcing your heart to work harder. Following a low-salt diet will help your heart work more efficiently and place less stress on your heart valve. It may even keep you out of the hospital.
The following tips can help you lower your salt intake and keep your diet heart healthy:
Read food labels:
- Choose any food in which the sodium (salt) content is 8 per cent or less per serving.
Reduce salt in cooking and avoid adding salt at the table:
- Replace salt with fresh or dried herbs, lemon juice, flavoured vinegars and unsalted spices (try Mrs. Dash® or McCormick’s® salt-free spice blends)
- Rinse canned vegetables before using them in cooking
Prepare meals using fresh ingredients:
- Use fresh or frozen foods whenever possible
- Aim for a variety of foods from each food group every day
- Use canola or olive oils instead of hydrogenated or trans fats
- Get plenty of fibre, with whole grains and unsalted nuts and seeds
For more information about how to manage salt and fluid, see the Heart Failure Guide.
Preventing Other Infections
Your skin is a barrier against infection. Protect your skin by avoiding any new body piercing or tattooing. Pay careful attention to any breaks or cuts in your skin.
Contact your doctor immediately if you develop:
- A fever
- An abscess or boil
- A cut that has become swollen or tender or drains pus
- Any other suspected infections, including urinary tract infections
Notify your doctor if you experience increased shortness of breath or swelling of your ankles or feet.
You will be given an appointment to see either your cardiologist or your cardiac surgeon about one month after your MitraClip procedure. You will have another echocardiogram on the day of this appointment.
We will arrange another echocardiogram at six months and one year post-procedure. You may be seen in clinic at this time as well. Every yearly anniversary of your procedure date, we will conduct follow-up evaluations of your MitraClip device with further echocardiogram screenings. These will be done at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute.
Keep Your Health Care Team Informed
Inform any health care professional involved in your care that you have had a MitraClip implanted (transcatheter mitral valve repair). This includes your family doctor, any other doctors that you see, your pharmacist, your physiotherapist, your home nurse or anyone else who helps you stay healthy.
If you have any questions, please feel free to call:
MitraClip Clinical Nursing Coordinator
If you need help outside of normal business hours, call:
Phone: 613-696-7000, press 0 and ask to speak with the Nurse Coordinator.