What is the Recovery Time for Heart Valve Replacement Surgery?

Heart valve replacement is a type of open-heart surgery/operation. This implies that surgeons open the heart and chest of patient to remove the damaged valve. Later on, they sew the new prosthetic or artificial valve in its place. In some of the cases, surgeons perform the task of valve replacement without opening the patient’s chest referred mainly as minimally invasive surgery. In this case, the doctors make a small incision to replace the damaged valve nearby the breastbone or beneath the right chest muscle.

What is the Recovery Time for Heart Valve Replacement Surgery?

What is the Recovery Time for Heart Valve Replacement Surgery?

Normally, recovery time associated with the surgery of heart valve replacement requires about four to eight weeks or may be short in case of minimally invasive type of surgical procedures. Expectations and conditions of any patient after the surgery are here-

Immediately After Heart Valve Replacement

After surgery and heart valve replacement procedure immediately, the people often practice basic type of self-care. In addition, the doctors encourage them to get up very soon, take deep breath and resume daily activities which include drinking, eating and walking.

Days and Weeks Following the Heart Surgery

During the phase consists of days and weeks following the heart surgery, people usually expect to regain their energy gradually and return to the regular activity levels. Although, the surgeons and cardiologists recommend the necessary medications and care tips to assure the fastest possible recovery of patients; support from family members and friends act as the prime key to faster recovery in them.

Follow-up Care

In order to assure recovery in relatively less span of time for heart valve replacement, doctors recommend patients to make postoperative visit within about four to six weeks period. After this, it becomes critical to get check-ups on a regular basis from any heart specialist. Hence, you should essentially clarify with the doctor whether your symptoms require additional recheck or not. Whenever you have concerns, questions, experience any unusual symptom or change in the health, you should immediately give call to cardiologist and ask for the necessary recommendations.

Good Diet and Body Weight-Important Parts of One’s Recovery

Regular physical exercise routine and good yet balanced diet form the two important parts associated with the fastest possible recovery from heart valve replacement.

If the doctor recommends following a specific diet, it is very much essential for you to follow it properly. However, if the doctor does not recommend for any special diet, you should definitely go with the heart-healthy and balanced nutrition diet to speed up your healing procedure and reduce your fatigue. Furthermore, you should make sure to have weight control to improve your heart health, as excessive increase in the body weight put loads on the regular function of your heart and reduces its recovery process.


During the recovery process after heart valve replacement and its beyond, you should definitely eat varieties of fruits, whole grains, vegetables, lean meats, breads, along with fish and low-fat type of dairy products, while limit the foods containing high saturated fats, sodium, salt and sugar. In general, you should follow a low-cholesterol, low-fat and high-fiber diet. Other than this, you should strictly avoid the usage of any supplemental calcium without getting approval from your doctor after you undergo with the heart valve replacement.

Physical Activity

During the recovery process after heart valve replacement, you should make sure the right pace for you, as you have to work the way towards any physically active type of lifestyle. You should gradually build your exercise program and the required level of activity under the guidance of your medical practitioner.

Before you should start with any of the strenuous activities, you should make sure that it is okay for your overall health and identify if any guideline you have to follow concerning the exact exertion level or your heart rate. With the aim to bring improvement in your overall cardiovascular health, you should definitely follow a regular physical exercise program that consists of moderate physical activity for about 150 minutes in one week.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:October 20, 2018

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