Aortic Valve Replacement Surgery
Valve replacement surgery has a high rate of success and a low risk of causing other problems if you are otherwise healthy. Although most people have successful outcomes, there is a risk of death and serious problems during surgery. Valve replacement surgery is high-risk for people who have a failing left ventricle and who have had a heart attack. About 5 or less out of 100 people who have valve surgery die.Reference 2
If you have an aortic valve regurgitation or stenosis and have symptoms, the risks of not replacing the valve are greater than the risks of surgery unless you have other health problems that make surgery too dangerous.
Even if valve replacement surgery is a success, you may have problems after surgery, such as:
- An increased risk of blood clots. These can break off and cause a Reference stroke Opens New Window or Reference heart attack Opens New Window. You will need to take blood-thinning medicines (Reference anticoagulants Opens New Window) right after surgery to help prevent blood clots. If you get a mechanical valve instead of a tissue valve, you will need to take blood-thinners for as long as you have that valve.
- A need for another replacement valve. This will depend on the type of valve you get and how long you live after you have the surgery.
- Incomplete relief from symptoms. Some types of valves do not have openings as wide as a normal valve for a person your size. This can limit how well the valve works to relieve your symptoms.
- A valve that fails. There is a small chance that the valve will not work. Your doctor will need to check from time to time to make sure that your valve is working.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: February 14, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference Rakesh K. Pai, MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology
Reference John A. McPherson, MD, FACC, FSCAI - Cardiology