Promoting a Healthy Recovery

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It is important to understand how the body heals after having open heart surgery for a heart valve repair or replacement. You can speed up your recovery by making healthy lifestyle choices, managing your medications and watching for signs of complications.

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Learn About Anticoagulants (Blood Thinners)

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Anticoagulants (Blood Thinners)


Post-surgical Care

Following your surgery, you will typically spend two days in the intensive care unit (ICU) before being moved to a cardiac medical-surgical floor. Your health care team will monitor your progress and give you instructions to follow in the hospital and at home to help accelerate recovery.

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Anticoagulation Medication

You should understand how to manage your anticoagulation medication to prevent blood clots from forming on your new heart valve.

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Recovery Guidelines 

To promote a healthy recovery, follow your doctor’s advice and be aware of the activities you should and should not do.

Review Our Recovery Guidelines 

Managing Other Medications

You will need to take all of your medications as prescribed and understand what each one does. Consult your doctor before taking any over-the-counter medications or herbal supplements.

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Understanding and Preventing Complications

After your procedure, you will need to understand how to prevent or recognize signs of complications. This will include caring for your incision, preventing fluid retention and infection and understanding possible side effects of anticoagulation medication.

Understand and Prevent Complications 

Last Reviewed: January 19, 2010 2506