Aortic Valve Replacement: Procedure, Risks, and Outlook

Aortic valve replacement (AVR) is the surgery performed if you have problems with your heart’s aortic valve. The aortic valve separates the heart and the aorta. When this valve opens, blood flows from the heart to the rest of the body. The aortic valve keeps itself closed to keep blood from returning to the heart.

Problems with the aortic valve can either cause the blood to flow backward into the heart (aortic regurgitation) or may lead to a situation where the valve opening gets so narrow that not enough blood is flowing out (aortic stenosis). These situations can cause shortness of breath, chest pain, dizziness, and other symptoms. If the valve is not replaced, it can continue to cause undesirable symptoms and can even be life-threatening.

Types of AVR Procedures

There are two types of aortic valve replacement surgery, one is the traditional type, open heart surgery, and the other type is minimally invasive surgery.

Open heart surgery: This surgery is done by making a large cut in your chest (invasive procedure) to replace the poorly working aortic valve with an artificial valve. This procedure may be required if your aortic valve is not functioning properly, as in aortic valve stenosis or aortic valve regurgitation. This surgery may be recommended even if your symptoms are not too significant because surgery is effective when the symptoms are very advanced.

Minimally invasive procedures: A minimally invasive aortic valve replacement is a surgery to replace the poorly working aortic valve with an artificial valve without a need for open heart surgery. The surgery is referred to as minimally invasive because it involves a smaller incision (cut) than traditional open surgery. This could make recovery from surgery easier and faster.

Examples of minimally invasive procedures include:

  • Minimally invasive valvuloplasty
  • Minimally invasive annuloplasty
  • Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR)

Risks associated with AVR

Potential risks associated with aortic valve replacement may include the following:

  • Bleeding
  • Blood clots
  • Irregular heartbeat (arrhythmias)
  • Infection of the incision or heart valve
  • Stroke
  • Problem or failure of a replacement valve

The risk of death from an aortic valve replacement is about 2%, which is much lower than the risk of leaving severe aortic valve problems untreated. Most people who survive surgery have a normal life expectancy.

Recovery and Outlook of AVR

You may be required to stay in the hospital for two to five days overall. After 4 to 6 weeks, you should be able to resume most of your usual activities. However, you will be unable to lift heavy objects or perform activities that strain your chest or upper arm muscles for at least 6 weeks. You may notice that you tire easily and need to rest frequently at first. Experiencing body aches and soreness or swelling around the incision area in your chest is also common. This is a natural response of the body during the recovery stages, and there is no need to worry. Patients can live a full and healthy life after heart valve replacement surgery. The majority of patients report feeling better and stronger every day.

About Dr. K.G. Deshpande Memorial Centre

This heart center is situated in Nagpur, Maharashtra, and has a dedicated team of highly qualified doctors who work tirelessly day and night for the betterment of patients. The center boasts of having a state-of-the-art proprietary open-heart surgery center. The skilled cardiologists of Dr. K. G. Deshpande Memorial Center performed aortic valve replacement surgery (INSPIRIS valve) for the first time in Vidarbha, Maharashtra. Great care is taken to keep the center clean and hygienic. Visit this center today to get an effective solution to all your heart ailments!


  1. Aortic Valve Replacement: Open. Johns Hopkins Medicine.
  2. Aortic Valve Replacement: Minimally Invasive. University of Rochester Medical Center.
  3. Aortic valve surgery – minimally invasive. MedlinePlus.
  4. Aortic Valve Replacement (AVR). Stanford Medicine. Health Care.
  5. Aortic valve replacement. NHS Services.
  6. Aortic valve repair and aortic valve replacement. Mayo Clinic.
  7. What to expect after heart valve surgery. The University of Tennessee Medical Center.
Aortic Valve Replacement: Procedure, Risks, and Outlook

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