A Guide for Patients Having Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation

Activity guidelines after surgery

Lifting and straining

For 4 weeks, do not lift items greater than 2.3 kilograms (5 pounds) per arm, or 4.6 kg (10 lbs) total, for example: laundry baskets, groceries, telephone books, luggage, pets, children or infants. Do not push or pull heavy objects such as doors, furniture or appliances, or try to open stuck windows or jar lids.


The Ontario Ministry of Transportation does not allow a person to drive after a heart attack or heart procedure for a minimum of 4 weeks. Fitness to drive depends on many factors, such as the amount of heart damage, whether or not you have had treatment, and other conditions. Your cardiologist or nurse practitioner will determine when you can drive safely again.

Your insurance may change as a result of your heart surgery. Contact your insurance provider to be sure you are covered.

Housework or yardwork

Do not do strenuous house or yard work such as sweeping, mopping, or scrubbing for the first 6 weeks. Avoid snow shoveling and consider investing in a snow blower or snow removal service.

Bathing or showering

Avoid extreme temperatures in the bath or shower. Lukewarm water is best and use mild unscented soap. Avoid baths until your incision is healed. Check with your cardiologist before using a hot tub or sauna.

Climbing stairs

Stairs are safe to use, but not as exercise. Limit stair use to once or twice a day for the first 1 to 2 weeks. Take one step at a time, pausing every 3 to 4 steps to take deep breaths. Hold onto the handrail.


Check with your TAVI team and travel insurance provider when considering travel plans. If travelling in a car for longer durations, take rests each hour and get out of the car to do a short walk.

Sexual activity

It is safe to return to sexual activity when you are able to climb two flights of stairs continuously without becoming short of breath. Upon returning to sexual activity, listen to your body, take your time, and stop and rest if you feel pain or pressure in your chest.

Returning to work

Returning to work depends on the demands of your job and on your recovery. Discuss your return to work with your cardiologist.

Quick reference guide to common activities

Some common activities you may wish to do after your TAVI and the time periods you must wait before doing them are listed below. These recommended waiting periods are minimum guidelines only. You may wish to wait longer. Only begin an activity when you feel strong enough.

We encourage you to write down the activities that are important to you and ask your cardiologist or nurse practitioner for advice of when you can start them again.

View our quick reference guide »

Household activities Recreational activities
As soon as you feel able
  • Light housekeeping
  • Preparing simple meals
  • Setting or clearing the table
  • Sexual activity
  • Climbing stairs
  • Golfing (putting only)
  • Handicrafts
  • Playing cards
  • Riding in the car as a passenger
  • Stationary bike (no resistance) 
  • Visiting friends or having visitors
  • Walking
Wait at least six weeks and check with your cardiologist
  • Cleaning windows
  • Light gardening
  • Mopping, polishing or scrubbing
  • Mowing lawn (riding mowers only)
  • Vacuuming
  • Dancing
  • Golfing with power cart (9 holes)
  • Horseback riding (at a walk)
  • Jogging
  • Light carpentry
  • Painting
  • Racquet sports
  • Skating
  • Swimming (after incisions are healed)
  • Volleyball
Wait at least three months and check with your cardiologist or surgeon
  • Chopping wood
  • Heavy gardening
  • Heavy housework
  • Pushing lawn mower or snow blower
  • Tractor riding
  • Bowling
  • Curling
  • Golfing (18 holes)
  • Horseback riding (at a trot)
  • Hunting
  • Mountain climbing
  • Riding a skidoo or motorcycle
  • Rowing
  • Skiing
  • Scuba diving