Risks of heart valve surgery include blood clots, bleeding during or after the procedure, pneumonia, infection, and breathing problems, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine. A patient might also suffer from abnormal heart rhythms after undergoing surgery. Pregnant women and those who are sensitive to medication are also at risk.
Once the heart valve surgery is complete, there are other risks and symptoms a patient is subject to if the valve becomes diseased or damaged, says Johns Hopkins Medicine. Post-surgery risks and symptoms include rapid weight gain, dizziness, chest pain, difficulty breathing, palpitations, and swelling in the abdomen, ankles and feet.
To mitigate risks, a patient should inform his surgeon or doctor of all medications and herbal supplements he is taking and if he has had a bleeding disorder in the past, notes Johns Hopkins Medicine. A doctor may give the patient a physical and examine his medical history before the surgery to ensure the patient is in good health. Additional diagnostic tests and blood tests may also be done before the surgery.
Once a patient is released home after the procedure, he should keep the surgical area dry and clean, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine. The patient should also get in touch with his doctor if he experiences chills, fever, or increased pain or inflammation at the incision site.