Top of the page
Heart defect repair is surgery to fix a heart problem that prevents blood from flowing normally through the heart.
You can expect the cut (incision) in your child's chest to be sore for a few weeks. The doctor will take the stitches out of the incision about 1 to 3 weeks after surgery.
Your child will probably feel more tired than usual for several weeks after surgery. Your child may be able to do many of his or her usual activities after 6 weeks. But your child may need 2 to 3 months longer to fully recover.
Some children find that they feel sad or more emotional while they are recovering after this surgery. This may last for up to 6 weeks after surgery. Talk with your doctor if this sadness continues or you have concerns about how your child is feeling. Treatment and other support can help your child feel better.
This care sheet gives you a general idea about how long it will take for your child to recover. But each child recovers at a different pace. Follow the steps below to help your child get better as quickly as possible.
Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.
Call 911 anytime you think your child may need emergency care. For example, call if:
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your child's health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if your child has any problems.
Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd
Enter T605 in the search box to learn more about "Heart Defect Repair in Children: What to Expect at Home".
Adaptation Date: 3/22/2021
Adapted By: Alberta Health Services
Adaptation Reviewed By: Alberta Health Services
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 2006-2021 Healthwise, Incorporated. All rights reserved. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.