Recovery

If you have minimally invasive or robotic surgery, you will probably be able to go home 2 to 5 days after surgery. Your healthcare team will follow you closely while you are in the hospital and help you recover as quickly as possible. When you are ready to leave the hospital, you will get instructions on your recovery and return to work, including guidelines for activity, driving, incision care and diet.

In general, it takes about 1 to 4 weeks before you will feel well enough to return to work (if your job doesn’t involve physical activity), resume driving and take part in most nonstrenuous activities, so long as you have stopped taking pain medications. You can usually get entirely back to your normal routine in 5 to 8 weeks after surgery. It is important to know that everyone has a different recovery and your healthcare team will give you guidelines based on how well you are doing.

Healthy Living

To keep your heart healthy after surgery, it is important to make lifestyle changes and take your medications as prescribed. Heart-healthy lifestyle changes that are important to your recovery include:

  • Quitting smoking
  • Controlling high cholesterol
  • Managing high blood pressure and diabetes
  • Exercising regularly
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Eating a heart-healthy diet
  • Taking part in a cardiac rehabilitation program, as recommended
  • Following up with your doctor for regular visits

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 07/22/2019.

References

  • Gillinov M, Mihaljevic T. The Future of Mitral Valve Surgery. Tex Heart Inst J. 2012; 39(6):840–841. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3528247/
  • Iribarne A, Easterwood R, Chan EYH, Yang J, Soni L, Russo MJ, Smith CR, Argenziano M. The golden age of minimally invasive cardiothoracic surgery: current and future perspectives. Future Cardiol. 2011 May; 7(3):333–346.
  • Johnston DR, Roselli EE. Minimally invasive aortic valve surgery: Cleveland Clinic experience. Ann Cardiothorac Surg 2015;4(2):140-147 :
  • Malaisrie SC, Barnhart GR, Farivar RS, Mehall J, Hummel B, Rodriguez E, Anderson M, Lewis C, Hargrove C, Ailawadi G, Goldman S, Khan J, Moront M, Grossi E, Roselli EE, Agnihotri A, Mack MJ, Smith JM, Thourani VH, Duhay FG, Kocis MT, Ryan WH. Current era minimally invasive aortic valve replacement: techniques and practice. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2014 Jan;147(1):6-14. Epub 2013 Nov 1.
  • Mihaljevic T, Koprivanac M, Kelava M, Avi Goodman A, Jarrett C, Williams SJ, Gillinov AM, Bajwa G, Bonatti J, Blackstone EH. Value of robotically assisted surgery for mitral valve disease. JAMA Surg. 2014 July; 149(7): 679-686.
  • Secchin Canale L, Mihaljevic T, Nair R, Bonatti J. Robotically assisted totally endoscopic coronary artery bypass surgery. J Thorac Dis. 2013 November; 5(Suppl 6): S641–S649.
  • Society of Thoracic Surgeons

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