Going Home

Managing at Home

You and your family must start planning for your return home before your admission to the hospital. Most people who have this procedure say it takes them one to three months to recover.

What to Watch For

Examine your insertion site every day. It is normal for it to be slightly red and tender, a bit lumpy or bumpy, slightly swollen, and, occasionally, to have some clear drainage.

Call your doctor or the nursing coordinator immediately if you notice:

  • A lump that is getting bigger
  • Any area of redness or warmth
  • Any kind of yellow or pink drainage

Pain/Discomfort: Expect the discomfort in your groin to gradually decrease as you continue to heal. If you begin to have more pain or any chest pain or breathlessness, contact your doctor or the nursing coordinator.

Other Symptoms: Call your doctor or the nursing coordinator if you develop a fever or flu-like symptoms, such as feeling unusually tired.


We do not recommend long distance traveling for the first month after the procedure. Do not drive for four weeks after the implant.

Call 911 or go to the nearest Emergency Department if you experience:

  • Unrelieved shortness of breath
  • Shortness of breath at rest
  • Wheezing or chest tightness at rest
  • Needing to sit in a chair to sleep
  • Weight gain of more than 2 pounds in one day or 5 pounds in one week
  • Feeling confused or disorientated

Physical Activity

Do not lift, push or pull anything that weighs more than 10 pounds for the first five days after you go home.

Carry on with the physical activity plan that you started in the hospital.

Why Your Physical Activity Plan Is So Important

After your TAVI procedure, you will start a physical activity program which is designed to help you recover and get your energy back.

Exercise helps you to:

  • Feel less tired
  • Feel less short of breath
  • Sleep better
  • Gain more energy to do what you love
  • Improve your mood
  • Have less difficulty with daily activities
  • Feel more confident and in control

Learn to Balance Your Activity with Rest

Give yourself time to get back to normal. Most of our patients tell us it takes about a month to feel fully recovered.

Use the tips below to save your energy and help your recovery.

Prioritize: Decide what tasks you really need to do yourself and what tasks you can ask someone else to do.

Plan: Do the things that use up your energy when you are feeling your best. Make sure you build in rest or relaxation periods during the day.

Pace: Break down hard jobs into smaller tasks and take regular breaks before you become tired.

Position: If you sit to perform a task, you will use 25% less energy than standing. Avoid unnecessary bending or overhead reaching.

Practical Tips

  • Organize your time so that you take fewer trips up and down your stairs.
  • Double the recipe when you cook and freeze some for another day.
  • Use lightweight pots and pans for cooking.
  • Consider equipment such as a shower chair, reacher and long handled shoe horn.
  • Get extra rest the day before a celebration.
  • Get extra rest during times of emotional stress or illness.
  • Use a weekly schedule.

Your Walking Program

Walking is one of the best exercises for improving your health after a TAVI procedure. Plan to walk every day. Have someone walk with you for the first couple of weeks.

Begin with short periods at a slow pace. Gradually increase the length of time before increasing the intensity.

If you can’t walk five minutes without stopping, try interval training:

  • Walk for two to five minutes and then rest for two to five minutes
  • Repeat as many times as you are able
  • Gradually decrease the resting time between intervals

Your goal is to work up to 20 to 30 minutes of walking every day.


While you are exercising:

  • You should be able to carry on light conversation.
  • Start with a warm-up and end with a cooldown (e.g., slower walking, seated or standing exercises).
  • Walk on flat ground.
  • Wait at least one hour after a meal before exercising.
  • Exercise at a time of day when you feel rested, usually the morning rather than afternoon.
  • Avoid extreme heat or cold. You might consider walking indoors in a mall, using a treadmill (no incline) or a stationary bicycle (little or no tension).
  • Avoid heavy lifting or pushing.
  • Avoid activities that involve using your arms above your head.
  • Avoid exercises that make you strain, grunt or hold your breath.
  • You should be back to your resting state within 10 minutes of completing your exercise. If not, reduce the time or intensity of exercise next time.

When to Stop an Activity

Always listen to your body. Stop the activity if you:

  • Cannot carry on a conversation without being short of breath
  • Feel weak or dizzy
  • Feel sick to your stomach (nauseated)
  • Feel your heart is pounding or racing 
  • Have any discomfort

Stop and rest. Sit in a comfortable chair.

If these symptoms persist, call 9-1-1.


Sitting Exercises

Deep breathing exercise

Deep Breathing
Place hands on stomach and take a deep breath. Feel hands move out. Exhale fully and feel hands move in. Repeat as prescribed.

trunk rotations exercise

Trunk Rotations
With feet flat, turn upper body as far as possible toward one side. Hold for 3 seconds. Return to starting position. Repeat as prescribed.

shoulder flexion

Shoulder Flexion
Lift one arm straight up and over your head as far as possible while you inhale. Return arm to your side as you exhale. Repeat as prescribed.

shoulder exercise

Shoulder Exercise
Bring both shoulders up as high as you can, and then let them relax down. Keep your chin tucked in. Repeat as prescribed.

ankle pumps

Ankle Pumps
Push down on your toes as you lift your heels off the floor as far as you can. Then return your feet to starting position and lift your toes off the floor. Repeat as prescribed.

knee raise

Knee Raise
Raise knee up towards your chest and then lower it to the starting position. Repeat with other knee. Keep alternating right and left. Repeat as prescribed.


knee extension


Knee Extension
Sit with your back straight and hands in your lap or at your sides. Slowly straighten one knee. Hold for 3 seconds and then lower it to the starting position. Repeat as prescribed.



Standing Exercises

toe raises

Toe Raises
Gently rise up on toes, then roll back on heels. Repeat as prescribed.

mini squat

Mini Squat
Holding a chair for balance, slowly bend knees. Keep both feet on the floor. Repeat as prescribed.

hip abduction

Hip Abduction
Holding stable surface, move one leg straight out to your side. Return to starting position. Keep back straight and avoid leaning over when bringing your leg out. Repeat as prescribed.

hip/knee flexion

Hip/Knee Flexion
Holding stable surface, raise knee to hip level, and then lower knee. Repeat as prescribed.


Tips to Stay Active

  • Include a variety of activities that you enjoy.
  • Any amount of activity is better than none at all.
  • Stick with it until it becomes a habit.
  • Wear comfortable clothing and shoes.
  • Invite a friend to join you for a walk.
  • Schedule exercise into your day.
  • Set reasonable goals for yourself.
  • Keep an exercise journal to track your progress.

Cardiac Rehabilitation

These programs provide more specific exercise and lifestyle guidelines. There is no cost for participation and options include on-site or home-based programs. See the program page for more information. To get started, call 613-696-7070.

Daily Weight Checks

While you are recovering in the hospital, your weight will be checked daily. A sudden weight gain might be an early sign you are retaining extra fluid. When you go home, you will need to continue to weigh yourself every day for the first month to make sure you are not building up extra fluid.

Before you are discharged, you will be given a daily weight tracker form. There are spaces on this form for you to write down your weight every day. The nurse will review with you how to weigh yourself daily and when you need to call us.

Home Monitoring

If you need close follow-up after discharge, you may be referred to the Telehome Monitoring Program. If you are referred, the nurse from Telehome Monitoring will meet with you and show you how to use the special equipment before you go home.


When you are discharged from the Heart Institute, expect to have a new prescription written for all of your medications. Some of the medications will be the same as what you were taking before and some will be different.

Before you go home, it is important that you and your family understand your prescription and how to take each medication. If you have any questions, make sure you ask. You may have to take an anti-platelet medication. These medications make your blood less sticky and will help to prevent clots forming on your new valve.

Name of Anti-platelet Medication How Medication Works Potential Side Effects
ASA (Aspirin®, ECASA)
Clopidogrel (Plavix®)
Prasugrel (Effient®)
Ticagrelor (Brilinta®)
  • Helps prevent blood clots on transcatheter valves (clopidogrel, prasugrel)
  • Decreases the risk of future heart attacks
  • Increased risk of bleeding and bruising
  • Stomach upset (nausea, diarrhea, heartburn)



We do not recommend long distance traveling for the first month after the procedure. Do not drive for four weeks after the implant.