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Hey everyone,

how long after bav replacement until you’re back to “normal”? What are the first few weeks like? How long were you away from work?

A *LOT* depends on your age and state of health. But
  • first few weeks are rough, but as the other option is death its something which in 6 months you'll probably not even remember
  • big issues with return to work are the 8 weeks you'll need before you can drive (which may be an issue that can be solved)
I was riding my motorbike to classes at Uni about 4 months after second op (and I was 28)

you'll need help at home for stuff too, cos you will not be able to lift stuff for a few weeks
It's a new normal you'll have to define for yourself. I was 42 at my surgery, and a CDL driver. I was driving my car at 5 weeks, and back in the big driver seat at 12 weeks per DOT regulations. I probably could have driven the bus at 9 or 10 weeks, but I was still taking naps. I new I had to be out for 12 weeks, so I kinda milked it.

The first week home was consumed with napping, eating, showering, and walking a little bit further each day. I suppose I could have managed on my own, but my sister was here.

The second week home was a little less napping and a lot more walking. I could have managed on my own, but my mom was her. She took me out each day - to the mall for walking, to visit an old family friend, to get my nails done, etc. It was borderline exhausting, but better than sitting home.

The third week home was a lot less napping. My brother was here, and we just hung out a lot. He drove me around for one of my part time jobs - I had to sit in the back seat, it was funny.

My fourth week home I was finally left alone by myself in the house while my husband was at work - it was delightful! It was the first time I had been alone in 4 weeks! I unloaded the dishwasher one piece at a time. I did my laundry, using tongs to get the wet clothes out of the washer.

Fifth week I began driving and started cardiac rehab. I took myself on a few local field trips to attractions I wouldn't usually go to, just for something to do.

I mean, with a little planning ahead, there wont be too many inconveniences. Cups with lids & straws, nothing too high up or too low down on a shelf. Quarts of milk instead of gallons. Pre-made and frozen meals - in serving sizes.

Honestly, my biggest issue being home was getting in and out of bed. I was terrified I would hurt myself, so I moved like an unoiled rusty tin man. I stills struggle 5 years later with rolling over in bed. But when I consider the alternative,....

Oh yeah, I was back to riding roller coasters and thrill rides at about 11 weeks. TOTALLY worth the wait! :) Every day it got a little easier - I could breathe deeper, walk farther, stay awake longer. It won't be as awful as you imagine. I thought I would be laid up for months. (I wasn't) My siblings thought they would have to help me in the bathroom (they didn't - !)

Holiday FL
Hey everyone,

how long after bav replacement until you’re back to “normal”? What are the first few weeks like? How long were you away from work?
Howdy welcome to this fantastic forum :)

I was under the knife in Portland Oregon on 9/23/08 a day that will live in infamy for the rest of my life :) It seems like I have a bit different experence with the recovery. It was a long road over a few years that lead to it. Back in 1969 I was blessed with a 102 draft number so I ended up at Ft Bragg in June 1970. The Dr. there told me I had heart murmur but nothing to worry about. Over the years between then and 2008 I was told the same thing about 4 or 5 times :( Then in 2008 with a new GP he had a totally different opinion. After a bit of talk I was scheduled for the operation 4 days later. After the operation I was told the valve was only opening the size of the head of a pin.

My recovery was long and VERY VERY painfull. I spend my nights on the couch crying, something I had not done sense childhood. Think of the old saying hope for best but prepare for worst.

Something that you MUST do, is have them check for the aortic aneurism that some time's comes the BAV. I was told that at the time of my operation the relationship was not understood :( So while my chest was OPEN they did not check for the aneurism :( So by the time they found it I was to FREAKING OLD to have it fixed, they dont want to crack your chest at 70+ :( Then a few years later at the yearly check up I was told I had to 2-5 years because of an aortic aneurism . So what it comes down to is I can drop dead any time. Something I and my family have to live with.

So dont let them give you BS answers and get other opinions. GOOD LUCK and stay the course :)

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I was in the hospital two weeks following my surgery in 1967. Four weeks after discharge from the hospital I started a brand new job with a Fortune 50 employer, passed their pre-employment physical, and began the normal schedule of 8 hours/day as an accountant. Hated the job and transferred to marketing within the year.......much to the dismay of the corporate doctor who said "he would not have approved me for anything other than a desk job". FWIW, I never had a "desk job" after my surgery (other than my short stint as an accountant).
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Ya know what they say "HOPE FOR THE BEST BUT PLAN FOR THE WORST", its ONLY your life.

Best of luck to you