Depending on your individual situation, a major complication may lead to a blood transfusion, longer hospital stay, temporary or permanent placement of a pacemaker, dialysis or a repeat surgery. In some cases, an immediate life-saving surgery may be necessary. Other major complications, in infrequent cases, can lead to permanent disability or loss of life. Loss of life associated with this procedure, however, occurs in approximately 4 out of 100 procedures that are elective, or planned. During emergency surgery, loss of life can be much higher, occurring in 10 - 20 out of 100 procedures.
It may be that in your doctor's practice, few of these complications have happened. However, it is important for you to know and understand the potential complications, so that you are fully informed before your procedure.
It is also important for you to understand that there can be longer term complications associated with having a valve replacement. Because of your new valve, you will be at a higher risk of having infections, valve failure, or stroke and bleeding.