Topic: Life After Surgery

Depending on the type of surgery and your health status before the surgery, complete recovery can take a few weeks to several months. Many patients report feeling like “they are back to normal” after surgery, and go on to life full and active lives.

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    • Arnald D. Gabriel's story
      World War II veteran Col. Arnald D. Gabriel, 91, had somewhere very important to be on December 7, 2016. A combat machine gunner with the United States Army’s famed 29th Infantry Division and Conductor Emeritus of the U.S. Air Force Band Symphony Orchestra, Col. Gabriel was due in Hawaii to conduct three separate musical events for the 75th anniversary ceremony commemorating the attack on Pearl Harbor. Col. Gabriel’s military career spanned 36 years, including his part in the D-Day invasion on Omaha Beach and Commander/Conductor of the Air Force Orchestra. He is known worldwide for his innovative musical leadership and genius. A…
    • National Heart Valve Disease Awareness Day Celebrated at Inova Heart and Vascular Center
      On February 22, the National Heart Valve Disease Awareness Day campaign celebrated a flagship event hosted by Inova Heart and Vascular Institute. The event brought together patients, loved ones, medical professionals, government leaders and patient advocacy representatives to celebrate heart valve disease awareness. The gathering highlighted the outstanding work of the Inova Heart and Vascular team as well as the patient’s who received innovative repair and replacement procedures as well as the importance of Valve Disease Day. Inova Heart and Vascular Institute’s state-of-the-art flagship location on Inova Fairfax Medical Campus is one of the most complete, technologically-advanced medical and research centers…
    • Mended Hearts' GotoGuide for Valve Disease
      Mended Hearts has created a helpful resource for patients and caregivers called the GoToGuide for Valve Disease. The guide provides a thorough understanding of valve disease including: An overview of the disease Signs, symptoms, and detection Treatment options, guidelines, and what to expect The FDA approval for expanded use of TAVR procedures Suggested lifestyle changes A list of external tools and resources The printer-friendly version of the guide is available here.
    • Heart Valve Voice Shares Patient Experiences After Surgery
      Heart Valve Voice has created a Patient Updates page dedicated to sharing the inspiring stories of heart valve disease patients and life after their surgeries. Each featured story shares exciting milestones, whether it be traveling to a different country or helping a loved one move into a new home.
    • University of North Carolina Heart Valve Clinic TAVR Videos
      Watch the videos below to learn more about UNC’s TAVR procedures: NC Health Care Physicians talk about TAVR, a new treatment for aortic valve disease Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) at UNC Heart & Vascular: All at One Location Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) Team Approach at UNC Health Care UNC’s 100th TAVR Patient Story  
    • Learn More About Heart Valve Surgery Options
      Learn more about the variety of options for heart valve repair and replacement. Medtronic provides a thorough explanation of surgical procedures, the benefits and risks, as well as a Q & A section that covers all of your concerns.
    • Edwards Lifesciences Hosts "Patient Day 2017"
      Recently, Edwards Lifesciences, a primary heart valve manufacturer, invited more than 60 patients and their caregivers in the heart valve community to Irvine, California, to celebrate Patient Day 2017. This event allowed patients and caregivers across the nation to share their stories with each other and prompt positive action within the heart valve disease community. Watch the Patient Day 2017 recap video, provided by, to see the exciting events the day entailed!  
    • Personal Stories from American Heart Association's Heart Valve Ambassadors
      Learn more about the stories of American Heart Association’s group of heart valve disease ambassadors including, seven heart valve disease survivors and one caregiver who represent the wide variety of people who are affected by heart valve disease. Read about each ambassador’s unique story here.
    • Busiest doctors get the best patient outcomes with heart valve surgery
      A new study conducted by researchers at Mount Sinai Health System in New York City found that patients who have heart valve surgery get better results and are more likely to survive if their surgeon does the operation frequently. Learn more about this study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology here.
    • Patient experiences with mechanical heart valve replacements
      Four St. Jude Medical patients share their unique experiences with mechanical heart valve replacement.
    • Jamie Rogers's story: “Just be aware that you’ll go through ups and downs, but it will get better. It’s going to be ok.“
      Growing up, Jamie Rogers played just about every sport there was to play, with no awareness of anything wrong with his heart. Four years ago, the 39 year-old Columbia native decided to start running to lose weight and get back in shape. Around the same time, after being a pastor in South Carolina for 13 years, Jamie and his wife felt that God was leading them beyond their home turf, and they moved to Long Island, New York to help lead a church in the town of Farmingdale. One beautiful late August morning, Jamie decided to take advantage of the great…
    • Elaine and Blake Webster's story
      Heart valve surgery is not a journey that a patient takes alone. It requires a strategic team of doctors and dedicated caregivers to help the patient feel most comfortable and supported while overcoming new and unique challenges. Elaine Webster has personally grown to be the ideal caregiver, friend, patient advocate, nurse, and confidant throughout her husband, Blake’s journey through his first major arrhythmia, to mitral-valve surgery, and finally onto recovery. Through her first-hand experience as a caregiver for sixteen years, Elaine has provided valuable insight and advice in her book, Heartfelt. Learn more and access Elaine’s book, Heartfelt here.    
    • Dennis and Ann Dobkowski's story: “People often have symptoms like I had and think it is connected to ‘old age.’  But they can be the warning signs for heart valve disease“
      Dennis Dobkowski’s heart valve problem didn’t seem so bad at first. It had actually begun with the detection of a heart murmur during a routine doctor’s visit 15 years ago. At the time it wasn’t life-threatening, but rather just something to keep track of. But in one brief doctor’s visit in 2014, everything changed for the then 67-year-old from Southern California. “I started feeling totally exhausted all of the time and couldn’t focus on work. When I went in for a checkup, my doctor told me I had a leaking heart valve,” recalls Dennis. He and his wife, Ann, a registered nurse,…
    • Mechanical Heart Valve Replacement
      St. Jude Medical patient, Dawn, shares her experience with mechanical heart valve replacement.
    • Surgeon Q&A: What is the Latest Research on Less Invasive Aortic Valve Surgery?
      Interview with Dr. Allan Stewart on  less invasive aortic valve surgery techniques.
    • How Can I Recover From Heart Surgery?
      This fact sheet highlights what to expect immediately after heart surgery, during your hospital stay, and when you are discharged home.