Life After Heart Valve Surgery

You don't recover from heart surgery overnight, but you may be amazed by how quickly you feel better, return home, and start pursuing favourite activities. Checkups and monitoring will be part of your recovery. And you may also decide to make other lifestyle changes to improve your overall health.

Daily Living – Heart Valve Repair

Having a heart valve repaired may cause you to think that you need to greatly change your lifestyle. Instead, you will probably feel much better physically with continued improvement several weeks or months after your surgery. As you feel better, you may want to discuss some of this information further with your doctor.


You and your doctor will determine which activities are safe for you and which foods and habits to avoid. Tell your doctor if you're experiencing pain or other symptoms.


After you've recovered, you should be able to enjoy travelling to many of the places you did before your surgery. Remember, however, that certain destinations may harbour bacteria and other microbes that could be dangerous for your heart. Talk with your doctor if you're planning a trip to an exotic or tropical destination.

If you've received an annuloplasty device, it's a good idea to register it. Only mechanical heart valves require registration, but Medtronic offers registration service to all heart valve device patients. After you register, you'll get a free identification card that can tell other people you are someone with an implanted device. This can be important information for medical personnel in case of an emergency.

Dental and Medical Procedures

Tell your dentist or other doctors that care for you about your heart valve surgery. You may have to take antibiotics before getting dental work or even routine cleanings. This is because bacteria can be dislodged from your teeth and travel to your heart valve, causing an infection.

Electromagnetic Compatibility

Your heart valve repair products are completely safe with cell phones, electric toothbrushes, and magnets. None of these items will cause problems with your heart valve repair product.

All heart valve repair products are completely safe with x-ray and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) examinations.

It's also safe to go through airport security after your heart valve repair. Airport security systems have no effects on our heart valve repair products. They generally do not activate airport security alarms, depending on the sensitivity of the security system settings.


Information on this site should not be used as a substitute for talking with your doctor. Always talk with your doctor about diagnosis and treatment information.

Last updated: 22 Sep 2010

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