Heart Valve Surgery Complications

By Adam Pick - Patient, Author & HeartValveSurgery.com Founder

Following heart valve surgery, patients may experience a very unique set of feelings. I personally remember many different feelings following my aortic and pulmonary valve replacement operation.

On one hand, the patient can feel relieved and incredibly happy. Considering the trauma of the event, it feels remarkable to simply "wake up". On the other hand, the patient may also feel confused and frustrated. I say this because our recent study suggested that 41% of heart valve surgery patients report that recovering from cardiac surgery is "more difficult than expected".

 

 

As my research for this website unfolded, I learned that many patients unknowingly embark on a mismanaged road to recovery following surgery. Personally, I experienced several issues following my surgery including cardiac depression.

That said, patients can experience heightened sensations that "Something Is Wrong!" following heart surgery. Whether it is heart palpitations, pain, chest-clicking, patients are often confronted by real, or even imagined, heart valve surgery complications.

As a result, questions arise in the patient's mind like:

  • "What are the common heart valve surgery complications?"
  • "Am I experiencing a complication that is not normal?"
  • "Should I be worried?"
  • "Should I go to the doctor for this complicaton?"

To better understand patient complications after heart valve surgery, I conducted an extensive survey of several hundred former heart valve surgery patients. 

 

Patient-Perceived Complications After Heart Valve Surgery

One of the questions posed during this unique survey was, "Did you experience any form of heart valve surgery complications following your heart valve repair or heart valve replacement?"

 

Heart Valve Surgery Complications Perceived By Patients

 

As you can see on the chart below, 66% of patients responded that they encountered some form of "perceived" heart valve surgery complication following surgery. The most common forms of perceived complications include:

As I always suggest to patients, it is better to be safe-than-sorry.  If you are experiencing any symptoms that are causing you physical or mental concern, please contact your medical team. 

 

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To help you learn more about the recovery from heart surgery, here are educational resources you may like: 

 

Page last updated: January 15, 2019

Written by Adam Pick
- Patient & Website Founder

Adam Pick is a heart valve patient and author of The Patient's Guide To Heart Valve Surgery. In 2006, Adam founded HeartValveSurgery.com to educate and empower patients. This award-winning website has helped over 10 million people fight heart valve disease. Adam has been featured by the American Heart Association and Medical News Today.

Adam Pick is a heart valve patient and author of The Patient's Guide To Heart Valve Surgery. In 2006, Adam founded HeartValveSurgery.com to educate and empower patients. This award-winning website has helped over 10 million people fight heart valve disease. Adam has been featured by the American Heart Association and Medical News Today.