Getting In-And-Out Of Bed… Some Ouch!

I just received an interesting question from Elias. It reads, “Dear Adam – I am scheduled for aortic valve surgery (via the Ross Procedure) May 12, in New York City. My wife wants to know if I will be able to get in-and-out of the bed by myself when I get home. My surgeon claims this should not be a problem. I am 60 years old and in good health. Please reply. Thank you, Elias”

Elias raises a great question. Why? Well, let me be the first to tell you that getting in-and-out of bed following heart valve surgery can be a bit painful. I’ve written about this in my book and in prior blogs. That said, here was my direct response to Elias (sent earlier today).

Hi Elias,

Nice to meet you.

Every patient case is different. But, given what you have told me, it sounds like you will be able to get in-and-out of bed by yourself when you return home from the hospital.

In fact, you will probably be encouraged to get in-and-out of bed by yourself while in the hospital. So you know, I got out of bed myself on the second day in the hospital.

One other thought for you to consider… Some patients use recliners after heart surgery to minimize the pain.

Let me know if you have any other questions!

Keep on tickin!

Adam Pick
Written by Adam Pick

Adam Pick is a patient, author of The Patient's Guide To Heart Valve Surgery and the founder of

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  • Doug Atkins

    I’m actually more intrigued by the fact that, at 60 years old, Elias is getting the Ross. Hmmm. I did sleep in my recliner for the first week…and it helped.

  • Victoria Marino

    Well, I had my aortic valve replacement (bicuspid congenital defect with severe stenosis and ascending aortic aneurysm) and necessary aortic grafting (with bovine tissue) on Thursday April 24, 2008 at St. Francis Hospital in Roslyn (Long Island) New York. My surgeon, Dr. Roberto Colangelo, left me with NO STERNOTOMY PAIN, no small accomplishment since I have suffered with severe rheumatoid arthritis since 1997; and deeply appreciate ANY lessening of the chronic, considerable pain I experience 24 hours a day! I attribute my post-surgical comfort to his amazing skill and technique. I did work hard while hospitalized; and was discharged ahead of schedule on Wednesday April 30, 2008. I receive home care from a wonderful RN; and have already followed up with my new cardiologist, Dr. Jay Dubowsky. From all sources I am told my recovery is ahead of schedule! I’ll keep you posted. Victoria

  • Maribel

    Elias: I wish you all the luck for tomorrow, you’re going to be just fine. My husband Sergio had his mitral valve replaced almost 3 months ago, he is 54 and let me tell you that I was, as a wife and caregiver, also worried of the home recovery but Sergio was amazing, he NEVER NEVER needed my help on getting out of the bed, not even in the hospital, doctors were surprised because he got out of his bed alone since the very first day he did it, it was amazing so you can imagine that the problem here at home was not helping but stopping him from doing!!! so don’t be afraid about recovery, it always depends on the pain threshold of each person but you will be able to get in and out of your bed by yourself before you get home. I wish you all the luck for tomorrow and let us know how it went. Be prepared for boring days, always do something, make every day different, don’t sleep to much in the day and think always on something that you must do after your recovery so you have a motivation to get in your life again. Bill (here on Adam’s BLog) is also having surgery tomorrow and gave him this advice also: be careful with the visits after surgery (in the hospital and in home) people sometimes don’t know they are catching a cold and for you coughing and sneezing can be very painfull, have mouth covers always near you and make people wear them when they are close, don’t welcome sick people. Send you my best thoughts and be strong!!

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