Living witha new heart valve

After you recover from heart valve surgery, you should be able to return to your normal activities, but you may need to make a few lifestyle modifications

Managing medication

Depending on the type of heart valve you have, you may need to take a blood-thinning medication for the rest of your life and have regular blood tests to monitor its level in your blood. If you’re taking a blood-thinner, you’re at increased risk of bruising or bleeding from simple knocks and falls, so be careful when doing vigorous activities. You may need to avoid contact sports. 

Heart-healthy eating

To protect your heart from future problems, it helps to adopt a heart-healthy diet. This includes eating plenty of fruit and vegetables, choosing lean cuts of meat, selecting chicken and fish instead of red meats, and avoiding saturated fats.

Having dental or surgical procedures

When you have dental or surgical procedures in future, including tooth cleaning, fillings or extractions, you’ll need to take antibiotics to avoid the risk of an infection called endocarditis around your heart valve. Explain to your dentist or surgeon that you’ve had a heart valve replaced and they’ll know to give you an antibiotic prescription to take before the procedure.

Heart health app

The Heart Foundation has produced an app called My Heart, My Life to help you manage your heart health.


Information is provided by HCF in good faith for the convenience of members. It is not an endorsement or recommendation of any form of treatment nor is it a substitute for medical advice, and you should rely on the advice of your treating doctors in relation to all matters concerning your health. Every effort has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information, however HCF takes no responsibility for any injury, loss, damage or other consequences of the use of this information.