Life after heart valve replacement

Once you have an artificial valve, your heart function and your life should improve. You should feel better than before you had the surgery if your condition was symptomatic; you should no longer experience shortness of breath and fatigue, for example. However, it is important to keep in mind that an artificial valve will not work as well as an undamaged natural valve, so that even though your heart function is improved it may not recover to completely normal levels. If your heart was already severely affected before your surgery, you may continue to experience complications of heart disease.

You should be able to resume most of your normal activities, although you will have to continue to monitor your condition. You need to watch out for blood clots and infections.

Artificial valves may need to be replaced after a period of time, so it is important that you see your doctor regularly.

Last Updated: February 10, 2010

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