What are the risks of having heart valve surgery?


Quick Answer

After heart mitral valve surgery, some of the possible risks include blood clots, post-operative risks and infection around the valve, according to WebMD. Risks associated with aortic valve surgery are that the valve may fail or that the symptoms may persist even after the surgery.

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What are the risks of having heart valve surgery?
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Full Answer

Some risks of heart valve surgery are inherent to the surgery itself, such as sudden bleeding, an adverse reaction to the anesthesia and infections, according to WebMD. These risks are common to almost all major surgeries and are preventable to a very high degree. A risk that is unique to valve surgery is the danger of blood clots, which can cause a stroke or heart attack. Patients are required to take anticoagulant medication that thins the blood for the rest of their lives to prevent this.

Another risk of heart valve surgery is that the new valve may fail or may only work for a certain period of time, notes WebMD. This necessitates another valve replacement surgery. The need for a second surgery depends on the type of valve used for the first surgery and the number of years that the patient lives after the first surgery.

If the valve does not open as wide as required for the patient's height and weight, there is a risk that the symptoms may persist even after surgery, according to WebMD. This is another factor that may lead to a second heart valve surgery.

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