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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    What are the open heart surgery risks?

    Hi there. What are the risks involved with valve replacement (severe aortic stenosis) for a patient who has type 2 diabetes, smokes and takes blood pressure lowering meds and cholesterol lowering meds (has done for many years)? Thanks.
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    Dr George Touma

    Cardiologist (Heart Specialist)

    Dr George Touma is an Australian trained Cardiologist with dual training in medicine and pharmacy. He has undergone sub-specialised training in interventional cardiology, with a … View Profile


    The risks of a major complication in a patient with the above risk factors would be 1 to 5 %. This is a rough estimate as "frailty" is an important additional risk factor. This assumes there were no coronary blockages that would need to be bypassed at the same time as aortic valve replacement. 

    These include 

    1. Stroke 

    2. Kidney failure 

    3. Lung infection 

    If the patient stopped smoking 6 weeks prior to surgery, this would dramatically reduce risk. 

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