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Return to work after cardiac valvular surgery: Retrospective study of a series of 105 patients


Lunel, C.; Laurent, M.; Corbineau, H. [u. a.]


Société française de cardiologie


Archives des Maladies du Coeur et des Vaisseaux, 2003, Volume 96 (Number 1), Seite 15-22, Paris: Baillière, ISSN: 0003-9683




This was a retrospective study realised by a mailed questionnaire of the medical and socio-professional conditions of return to work in patients with valvular heart disease aged 20 to 59 and operated in the cardiac surgery department of Rennes University Hospital in 1998.

The results concern 105 patients of whom 78 were working before surgery and 27 were unemployed, and 53 were professionally active after surgery. The average age was 48 +/- 9 years and the male/female ratio was 2. 38. After surgery, 78.4% of patients were NYHA Stages I or II, compared with 38.1% before surgery. Three main surgical procedures were carried out, sometimes in association: aortic valve replacement (71.4%), mitral valve replacement (21%) and mitral valvuloplasty (11.4%). Valve replacement was with a mechanical prosthesis in 83% of cases, a bioprothesis in 11% of cases and a homograft in 6% of cases.

Return to work (67.9%) after an average of 5.3 +/- 3.9 months was correlated with the following factors: age: 50 years old patients or more, were less likely to return to work (p < 0.02); postoperative NYHA stage: patients in stages III and IV were less likely to return to work (p < 0.03); the time off work before surgery: the longer the time (threshold > 6 months) the less likely the patients are to return to work (p < 0.03). Return to work was preferred to non-return (p < 0.03).

This study shows the difficulties of professional rehabilitation of patients despite a satisfactory general condition. This is partially explained by the difficult economic context which favorises invalidity but also by the lack of information concerning the role of works doctors in the return to work. The realisation of a liaison file with permission of the person concerned between the general practitioner, the cardiologist and a medico-social security doctor and works doctor should remedy the difficulties in communication and sustain a policy of return to work.

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Informationsstand: 14.04.2004

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