Advertisement

What's the recovery like after aortic valve surgery?

Recovery after aortic valve surgery may require several days in the hospital. Immediately after aortic valve surgery, people likely will have a tube in their throat so breathing can be assisted by a ventilator.

The tube will be removed once people are able to breathe completely on their own. This usually happens within a few hours, but the cardiothoracic surgeon will determine when it is safe to do so. People should anticipate spending several days, but likely not more than a week, recovering in the hospital, although the total length of time depends on overall health, as well as the specific procedure.

Once people are home, it may be several more weeks until they are able to go back to work, depending on their job. Everyday activities such as driving and lifting heavy objects may be restricted for a period of time.

Blood thinning medication may be prescribed for six weeks to three months after surgery, but the need for this medication will be determined by the doctor.

After the wounds have healed, people should be able to get back to normal activities. People who have aortic valve surgery should always tell a doctor about the valve surgery before any medical procedure. In particular, they may require preventative antibiotics when having dental work.

This content originally appeared online in "The Patient Guide to Heart, Lung, and Esophageal Surgery" from the Society of Thoracic Surgery.

Continue Learning about Heart Surgeries

What can I eat after my heart surgery?
Penn MedicinePenn Medicine
For some time, you may not have much of an appetite and may be encouraged to eat small meals with ...
More Answers
What is an arterial switch operation?
Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children at P/SLRocky Mountain Hospital for Children at P/SL
When the aorta and pulmonary artery are transposed, an aterial switch is required. During the operat...
More Answers
Dr. Craig Smith - What Is a Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD)?
Dr. Craig Smith - What Is a Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD)?
How Is Aortic Dissection Treated?
How Is Aortic Dissection Treated?

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.