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Swelling of the feet, ankles, or abdomen
Rapid weight gain due to fluid retention
Risks associated with heart valve replacement
No surgery is without its risks, including heart valve replacement. These risks can include, but are not limited to:
Bleeding during or after the surgery
Blood clots that can cause heart attack, stroke, or lung problems
Infection at the incision site
Abnormal heart rhythms
What to expect after the procedure
You can expect to remain closely monitored for several days, including time spent in the intensive care unit. Your doctor will keep you connected to monitors that constantly monitor your heart, blood pressure, breathing rate and oxygen level.
It is important that during this time that you cough and take deep breaths. While this may not feel very comfortable because you are sore from the surgery, it is extremely important so mucus doesn't lodge in your lungs and cause pneumonia. And of course, you will be offered pain medication to help keep you comfortable.
Do not expect to come out and eat a four-course meal. You will start with a liquid diet and advance to more solid foods as you can tolerate them. Gradually, as you recover, you will be moved to a room and encouraged to get out of bed and walk the floor.
When it is time to go home, your doctor will give you specific advice regarding activity, medications and wound care. You probably will not be able to drive for a period of time. Follow your doctor's advice and return for all follow-up visits.
The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for medical advice. All medical information presented should be discussed with your healthcare professional. Remember, the failure to seek timely medical advice can have serious ramifications. We urge you to discuss any current health related problems you are experiencing with a healthcare professional immediately.