Heart Valve Replacement Recovery

Heart valve replacement recovery

Heart Valve Replacement Recovery

Life After Valve Replacement

What is the average hospital stay for a heart valve replacement?

Exercise after heart valve replacement surgery

Diet after heart valve replacement

Do you feel better after heart valve replacement؟

Recovery Time

The normal recovery time after a heart valve surgery is usually four to eight weeks, and may be shorter after minimally invasive surgeries.

You can expect to stay in the hospital for about a week, including at least 1 to 3 days in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).

Recovery after valve surgery may take a long time, depending on how healthy you were before the operation. You will have to rest and limit your activities. Your doctor may want you to begin an exercise program or to join a cardiac rehabilitation program.

If you have an office job, you can usually go back to work in 4 to 6 weeks. Those who have more physically demanding jobs may need to wait longer.

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Life After Valve Replacement

Most valve repair and replacement operations are successful. In some rare cases, a valve repair may fail and another operation may be needed.

Patients with a biological valve may need to have the valve replaced in 10 to 15 years. Mechanical valves may also fail, so patients should alert their doctor if they are having any symptoms of valve failure.

Patients with a mechanical valve will need to take a blood-thinning medicine for the rest of their lives. Because these medicines increase the risk of bleeding within the body, you should always wear a medical alert bracelet and tell your doctor or dentist that you are taking a blood-thinning medicine.

Even if you are not taking a blood-thinning medicine, you must always tell your doctor and dentist that you have had valve surgery. If you are having a surgical or dental procedure, you should take an antibiotic before the procedure. Bacteria can enter the bloodstream during these procedures. If bacteria get into a repaired or artificial valve, it can lead to a serious condition called bacterial endocarditis. Antibiotics can prevent bacterial endocarditis.

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What is the average hospital stay for a heart valve replacement?

You can expect to stay in the hospital for about a week, including at least 1 to 3 days in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). Recovery after valve surgery may take a long time, depending on how healthy you were before the operation.

Exercise after heart valve replacement surgery

Exercising will help to speed up your recovery, and it's a key component of a healthy lifestyle. Exercise increases your fitness levels, helps control blood pressure, weight and cholesterol, and keep you relaxed.

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Diet after heart valve replacement

To keep blood vessels clear after bypass surgery, avoid foods high in fat and cholesterol, such as whole milk, cheese, cream, ice cream, butter, high-fat meats, egg yolks, baked desserts, and any foods that are fried.

Many studies have shown that a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, wholegrains, nuts and seeds can reduce your risk of heart disease. A healthy diet provides your body with plenty of heart-protective nutrients - like vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and dietary fibre.
Ideally, your diet should include:

  • Meat- and/or meat alternatives such as eggs, tofu, legumes and nuts 
  • Fish- 2 serves of oily fish per week such as salmon, mackerel or sardines will help you get plenty of heart healthy omega-3 fats
  • Wholegrains- good wholegrain choices include whole meal or wholegrain bread or crackers, brown rice, whole meal pasta, quinoa, barley, rye, rolled oats, polenta and couscous
  • Dairy- preferably low fat 
  • Healthy fats- a small amount of healthy fats and oils from nuts, seeds, avocado and oily fish
  • Water - avoid sugary soft drinks and drink alcohol only in moderation 

Aim to consume 2 serves of fruit, 5 serves of vegetables and 4 or more serves of wholegrains - depending on your energy needs. Some other tips to help you eat well include:

  • Reduce your salt intake- use as little salt as possible when cooking as this will help to lower your blood pressure and help prevent fluid retention.
  • Avoid sugary foods- these are often eaten in place of healthy foods and can contribute to weight gain.

Do you feel better after heart valve replacement

The life expectancy after valve replacement varies with age, but life-table analyses of large datasets suggest the average life-expectancy of a 60 year old after aortic valve replacement is about 12 years. Your breastbone will usually heal in about 6 to 8 weeks, but it may be 2 to 3 months before you feel your normal self again.

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10 common questions about Heart valve replacement recovery

1What is the success rate of heart valve replacement surgery?
In the current era, surgical aortic valve replacement provides complete symptomatic relief with survival nearly similar to matched normal population with an overall operative mortality of 2% and stroke of 3% or less. Patients generally stay in hospital for one week and take 2-3 months for complete rehabilitation
2Is a heart valve replacement major surgery?
Not all valves can be repaired, however, and heart valve repair surgery is often harder to do than valve replacement. ... Minimally invasive heart surgery may involve a shorter hospital stay, quicker recovery and less pain than traditional open-heart surgery.
3How long does a heart valve replacement last?
Although recent reports from the Cleveland Clinic (whose surgeons have a great deal of experience replacing heart valves) suggest that the newer biological valves often last 17 years or longer, they frequently must be replaced after 15 years.
4Do you feel better after heart valve replacement?
You will feel tired and sore for the first few weeks after surgery. You may have some brief, sharp pains on either side of your chest. ... The incision in your chest may be sore or swollen. These symptoms usually get better after 4 to 6 weeks
5Does your personality change after open heart surgery?
Although this condition, often referred to as “pumphead,” is usually short-lived, one study of bypass patients has suggested that the associated cognitive changes might worsen over time. Related research, however, indicates it is unlikely that cardiac surgery significantly alters how the brain works.
6What is the most common complication after open heart surgery?
Risks for open-heart surgery include: chest wound infection (more common in patients with obesity or diabetes, or those who've had a CABG before) heart attack or stroke. irregular heartbeat
7What happens if aortic valve is not replaced?
Aortic Valve Problems Or, it could be from wear and tear over the years, or because of another health condition, like a heart infection. Those problems can cause shortness of breath, chest pain, dizziness, fainting, and other symptoms. If you don't get the valve replaced, it can be life-threatening.
8Can you die from a bicuspid aortic valve?
This can lead to life-threatening problems. The most common congenital heart condition, bicuspid aortic valve disease affects about 1 to 2 percent of the population, says Bo Yang, M.D., an assistant professor of cardiac surgery at the University of Michigan Frankel Cardiovascular Center.
9What is the best heart valve replacement?
Aortic valve repair has excellent long-term results in appropriate patients with leaking valves. There are two main types of heart replacement valves to choose from — mechanical and biological. Which one will work best for you? It depends on your situation, Dr. Svensson says.
10Can a heart valve be replaced without open heart surgery?
Replacing an aortic valve without open-heart surgery. ... Until recently, open-heart surgery was the only option for replacing the valve. But a treatment called transcatheter aortic valve replacement, or TAVR (see illustration), offers a less invasive alternative with an easier, shorter recovery

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