Background. Infective endocarditis (IE) remains associated with high in-hospital and long-term mortality. The outcome of patients with IE who are operated on has never been put into perspective by comparing it to the age-matched and gender-matched general population. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the long-term mortality of patients with IE who undergo operation in relation to the age-matched and gender-matched general population. Methods. A retrospective observational cohort study of 138 patients with IE who underwent consecutive operations (1998-2007) was conducted. Cumulative survival was analyzed using the Kaplan-Meier method. Comparison of patient survival with the general population was done using the Dutch population life table. The standardized mortality ratio was used to assess the degree of late deaths. Results. The observed in-hospital mortality risk was 10.9%. The observed long-term survival was 85% (95% confidence interval, 78% to 90%), 74% (95% confidence interval, 65% to 79%), 71% (95% confidence interval, 62% to 78%) after 1, 5, and 10 years, respectively. Age-matched and gender-matched survival in the general population was 99%, 93%, and 80% after a follow-up period of 1, 5, and 10 years, respectively. The standardized mortality ratio was 0.99 (95% confidence interval, 0.67 to 1.31). Conclusions. Although mortality of IE patients who have undergone operation remains considerable during the immediate postoperative period, the mortality of hospital survivors is, with increasing follow-up time, comparable with the general population.