Recovery from Valve Replacement Surgery

recovery valve replacement surgery

What is Valve Replacement Surgery?
Valve Replacement Surgery is done when one of the valves in the heart does not function properly and when the valve shows failure in closing and opening. It can be due to many reasons like congenital abnormalities or stenosis which

refers to hardening of arteries. This surgery involves replacement or repair of the valves which cause damage. The chest is made open during the surgical procedure in order to make the heart and lung available to the surgeon.

Then heart is stopped and the blood of patient is made to circulate through a heart lung machine until the surgical procedure is done with the valve. After that the heart is made to work again normally.

Recovery from Valve Replacement Surgery

After the surgery, the hospital nurse in ICU (Intensive Care Unit) will continuously check patient’s temperature, heartbeat, blood pressure etc. The monitoring equipments attached to the patient will lead to an uncomfortable feeling but the nurses will help the patient to stay comfortable as far as possible. Family and friends are mostly allowed to visit the patient. After 1 to 3 days, the patient will be shifted from ICU to regular room. The patient has to stay in the hospital for at least 3 to 7 days. After getting discharged, the patient should take rest at home for at least 4 to 6 weeks.

Activities during Recovery from Valve Replacement Surgery

After the surgery the following activities have to be done by the patient for about six to eight weeks:

• The patient is permitted to do slight house hold works but the patient should not continuously stand in one place for more than 15 minutes.

• Patient should not lift objects weighing more than 20 pounds. Even pushing and pulling of heavy materials are harmful to the patient.

• If the Doctor permits, the patient can climb the stairs. If the patient is tired then he must take rest in between.

• Daily walking and good sleep is essential for the patient.

• Regular checkup has to be done with the doctor.

• The patient has to do Exercises and Cardiac Rehabilitation Program recommended by Doctor.

Life after Recovery from Valve Replacement Surgery

In most of the cases, the operation is successful but in some cases another surgery is needed. In the case of biological valve, it should be replaced in 12 to 15 years. There are also chances for a mechanical valve to fail. If there are any symptoms of valve failure, an urgent check up is needed.

A blood thinning medicine is needed for the patients with mechanical valve for their rest of the life and the patient should also have a medical alert bracelet. If the patient is undergoing any other dental or surgical procedure, an antibiotic should be taken before procedure since bacteria can be entered easily into the blood stream while performing these procedures.

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