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The recovery process after transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) varies, says J. Lancelot Lester, MD, of JFK Medical Center. In this video, he explains how the health of the patient before surgery can affect recovery time and monitoring.
The patient that has bad symptoms due to the valve problems should expect to feel an almost immediate relief from symptoms after a transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR). And, if all goes well, your lifespan increases after TAVR. We know that if you have a bad valve, especially if you're having symptoms, your lifespan is reduced. If you get a new valve, you'll live longer. That is very clear.
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After a groin procedure, you may have some bruising and pain at the groin entry site. Your heart rhythm will have to be monitored closely because there is about a 5% chance of developing significant slowing of the heart beat which could necessitate a permanent pacemaker. You should be able to walk the next day after the procedure. You will need to take blood thinners to prevent stroke after the procedure. The average hospital stay after a groin procedure is about 3 days. Most importantly, symptoms associated with aortic stenosis (shortness of breath, chest pain, lightheadedness) should improve almost immediately after TAVR.
You will remain in ICU or post-operative recovery unit until your doctor feels you can be transferred to a regular hospital room, where you will continue to be monitored. A physical therapist will evaluate you and help you start moving as soon as possible. The average ICU time is 1 day, and the average entire hospital stay for the procedure is 4 to 7 days.
Regular follow-up checkups by your doctor are very important and will be arranged prior to discharge.
After transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), you can expect to lay flat for the first six to eight hours, but then you will be free to walk around, eat and drink. The following day is more walking, eating, and checking lab values. Discharge is usually on the second day if everything has gone well. There are no major restrictions -- walking is encouraged the first week, and then full exercise is allowed the second week onwards. Driving and flying are usually allowed by two to three weeks post-procedure.
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