Recovery from a TAVI

TAVI for aortic stenosis

You recover in hospital for 1 to 2 days after the TAVI procedure. During this time, your heart team monitors you. Some people need to stay in hospital for longer.

After you leave hospital, you need a family member, friend or carer to stay with you for 2 days. They can help you with everyday activities while you rest and recover. 

It can take up to 2 to 3 months to recover fully from the TAVI procedure. Try to be patient and take care of yourself.

If you do not have family or friends to help you, please speak to your heart team.

Your medicines

You might have some discomfort where we put in the catheter. This should improve within 1 to 2 weeks. Your heart team can give you pain medicine to take home with you, if you need it.

We give you a 'discharge letter' before you leave hospital and send a copy to your GP. This letter explains what happened to you in hospital and which medicines you now take.

You might need to take more than 1 type of blood-thinning medicine to stop blood clots forming on your new heart valve. We explain how to take these medicines and how long for before you leave the hospital.

We might give you leaflets or cards explaining how to take some medicines. We also tell you about any other changes to your existing medicine. 

Please ask your heart team any questions about your medicines before you leave hospital. If you have concerns when you are at home, you can contact your GP or our pharmacy medicines helpline.

Caring for your wound

You will have a wound on your groin, where we made a small cut to put in the catheter. Your heart team gives you information about caring for your wound before you leave the hospital. 

It is common for both groins to be tender and bruised for a few days after the procedure.

Your nurse checks the wound before you leave hospital. You do not usually need a dressing by the time that you go home. However, your nurse gives you spare dressings if you need them. There is no need to cover the wound, unless we tell you to do this. 

Any stitches in the groin might dissolve on their own over the next few weeks. Otherwise, we ask you to visit your GP practice nurse to have the stitches removed.

  • Do not use very hot water on the wound for 2 weeks after your TAVI procedure.
  • It is better to shower rather than have a bath during this time.
  • Do not use soap or shower gel on the wound until it has properly healed and avoid using talc powder.

Bleeding from your wound

If your groin starts to bleed, lie down flat and put pressure on the area. Keep your leg as straight as possible and keep your head down.

If the bleeding stops within 10 minutes, keep your leg as still as possible for the next hour.

Contact 999 or ask someone to take you to A&E if:

  • the bleeding does not stop after 10 minutes
  • the bleeding stops but then starts again

You can visit your nearest emergency department (A&E), but do not drive yourself there.

Physical activity after a TAVI

Avoid any activity that might put a strain on your groin for 2 to 3 weeks after the procedure.

For the first 2 weeks after your surgery, it's best to exercise little and often. You can start by walking around the house and taking short walks outside. When you feel comfortable walking on flat ground, try walking up hills slowly. You can rest when you need to.

Try to do two 15 minute walks each day (1 in the morning and 1 in the afternoon).

Everyone has a slightly different recovery speed. When you can walk around comfortably, you can do light housework. Examples are washing up, dusting, laundry or small amounts of ironing (while sitting down).

At week 3 or 4 after the procedure, try to increase how much activity you do gradually. You might find this difficult if you have movement (mobility) problems. Only do what you can manage.

None of these activities should make you feel very short of breath (breathless). If they do, you are working too hard and need to slow down.

Always wait at least 1 hour after eating before you exercise. It is also best to plan exercise into your daily routine. This avoids you doing too much and getting very tired. For a few weeks, it is common to feel tired easily.

It is important to keep active. However, you need to avoid heavy activity or lifting for 6 weeks after the procedure.

Everyone is different and you need to exercise at a level that feels right for you.


    You can have sex when you feel ready. This is usually within 4 to 6 weeks after the TAVI procedure.

    Talk to your partner about when you both feel happy and comfortable. It's common to feel anxious when you first think about sex after surgery and you might have some questions.

    • Avoid positions that put pressure or strain on your wound.
    • You might become tired quicker, so take your time.

    Some of your medicines might affect sex. It can feel awkward or uncomfortable to talk about this issue, but your GP and heart team are there to support you. Please ask them any questions that you have.


    The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) does not allow you to drive for 4 weeks after your TAVI. You do not need to tell the DVLA about your TAVI, unless you have a Group 2 licence for heavy goods or public service.

    You should tell your insurance company about your procedure. This avoids problems with any claims that you might make in the future.

    The British Heart Foundation (BHF) has more information on driving with a heart condition.


    You might be able to fly 2 to 4 weeks after the procedure. However, this is not possible for everyone.

    If you are planning a holiday, it might be better to wait at least 6 weeks before travelling. This is because you are unlikely to get the best out of your break before then.

    • If you want to fly within 3 months of your procedure, check with your doctor and the airline. Each airline has its own procedure to make sure that you are fit to fly.
    • Make sure that you have valid travel insurance.


    Having a TAVI procedure can affect your emotions, as well as your body.

    Your moods and feelings might easily change from one extreme to another. People who have surgery often say that they find themselves being irritable and short-tempered with those around them.

    You might feel depressed (low in mood), tearful or irritable one minute and happy the next. This is part of the process of recovering from surgery. These feelings usually pass soon and there is lots of support available.

    It is a good idea to talk to your family, friends and GP about how you feel. If you have a partner, they might also feel anxious and depressed. It's important that they ask for support too.

    The British Heart Foundation has information about emotional support and wellbeing.

    Cardiac (heart) rehabilitation

    Your heart team might arrange for you to go to cardiac rehabilitation. This takes place at your local hospital. It involves exercise and discussions about general health.

    The rehabilitation starts about 6 weeks after your TAVI procedure. Make sure that you go to any other follow-up appointments.

    Resource number: 5108/VER1
    Last review date: November 2020
    Next review date: November 2023

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    Contact us

    If you have any questions or concerns about your TAVI procedure, please contact your heart team.

    Phone: 020 7188 1093

    Do you have any comments or concerns about your care?

    Contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS)

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