How safe is aortic valve replacement (AVR) surgery?

Fewer people undergoing aortic valve replacement (AVR) are being rehospitalized in the year following surgery, indicating the surgery is safer and the recovery has become easier.

Aortic valve disease is common among older people and frequently requires valve replacement. Previous research has shown that one-year survival after open AVR surgery is high, with nine in 10 people surviving.

A study focusing on the experience of these survivors in terms of the need for hospitalization during the year following surgery found that among the 293,853 people in the study group, three in five were free from hospitalization during the year following surgery, and one-year hospitalization rates declined from 44.2% in 1999 to 40.9% in 2010. Roughly half of all hospitalizations occurred during the first 30 days after surgery, which indicates the need to monitor people closely during this period of heightened risk. Average cumulative length of stay also decreased, from 4.8 days to 4.0 days.

Based on their findings, the researchers concluded that both the rates of hospitalization and the average total number of days spent in the hospital in the year following surgery have decreased; however, certain subgroups (older people, females, black people, and those undergoing combined AVR and coronary artery bypass grafting surgery) had higher rates of hospitalization, which the researchers noted warrants increased attention.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.