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Life Expectancy After Aortic Valve Replacement

  • What to expect after surgery?

The heart would beat as per normal after the aortic replacement surgery and all the incisions would be closed down or sewn. The first 48 hours are spent in the ICU and the rest of hospital stay is spent in the cardiac care unit.

  • Recovery in the hospital post surgery

Signs of drowsiness would be experienced by the patient and the person may spend in the ICU few hours. In order to ensure that there are no further complications the individual would be monitored here. After the surgery, before being taken to ICU you may be taken to recovery room. Alternatively from the operating room you may be directly taken to the ICU. An in-hospital stay is needed of several days or more. The patient is connected to monitors and constantly the ECG,blood pressure oxygen levels and breathing rate is displayed.

  • Moving the patient to the ward

Once it has been confirmed the patient would be moved to the surgical ward. During initial 48 hours of the day the individual would be monitored and would be attached to several tubes.

  • Going home

Post one week of the operation,the individual would be discharged based on how the body is recovering. Generally within 5-10 days after the surgery the patient is able to return home. Some can return home sooner if they had minimal incision valve surgery.

  • Daily living

Post the surgery the individual would feel better and until the final recovery takes place the individual will show signs of improvement. The surgical area should be kept dry and clean. At home you are encouraged and expected to walk frequently. Keep in mind your activity restrictions and be as much as active as possible.  Each day your will feel better and gradually your condition will improve. However to get most out of the surgery you may have to makesome lifestyle adjustments, in order to ensure that the heart valve disease does not come gain you may need to take certain precautions.

  • Routine follow up

One should carry out routine follow up to the doctor in order to ensure that the disease does not come back. For one or two follow up appointments the person may come to the cardiac surgeon.  After the surgery mostly within 4-6 weeks the patient is checked. After that to get a regular check up from heart specialist would be critical. For additional check up you can talk to your heart doctor.

  • When to take medical help?

If some symptoms such as sudden rise in body temperature, breathlessness, severe pain, oozing blood or increased tenderness then right away contact the doctor. Also report if there is redness or increased warmth around the incision, if there is an increased in the opening of line of incision, high fever, increases tiredness, abdominalpain.

  • Need of medications post surgery

Post discharge it is important to visit the cardiologist since they could change the medications. To reduce the risk of blood clots or stroke after surgery some may be given blood thinning medications.  Probably several medications may be prescribed by the doctor.  The doctor will tell you which medication is to be taken till recovery time and which needs to be taken throughout life.

  • Resume work

Resuming work is a personal choice but many factors should be kept in mind. This includes, sleep patterns being interrupted, stress associated with the surgery and medications taken and the time taken to resolve. Resuming work depends on the severity of your disease, your activity tolerance and the nature of employment. Your progress is better evaluated by your physician and can decide the best date for you to return back to work. Generally after surgery for 4-8 weeks it is necessary to be out of work. Move at your own pace and gradually increase your working hours. 

  • Potential side effects

A mild form of side effects can be experienced by the individual. Based on the recovery process these side effects can be improved. They include constipation, loss of appetiteand lack of sleep.