Heart Valve Replacement is a surgical procedure to replace damaged heart valves with artifical valve.
There are 4 valves in the heart - Aortic, Mitral, Pulmonary and Tricuspid, that ensures that blood is flowing in the current direction in the body. In most cases, Aortic valve is replaced because it cannot be repaired.
When the patient is experiencing major heart symptoms, such as -
Shortness of breath,
Shest pain (angina),
Temporary loss of consciousness (syncope) or
When infection called
has damaged the heart valves.
All these symptoms indicate that valve is not opening properly and hence obstructing flow of blood or the valve is not closing properly and hence causing leakage.
If the patient has already undergone valve repair surgery in the past and the valves are still not functioning properly, then valve replacement surgery is recommended.
Complete medical history of the patient along with the necessary diagnostic and blood tests is submitted to the doctor.
If the patient is pregnant, then the doctor should be immediately informed.
In case the patient is allergic to any medicine, anesthetic agents (general and local), etc. the doctor should be notified.
If the patient is put on any medication that may affect blood clotting, then the doctor may ask him alter medication.
If the patient is a smoker, then he should immediately quit smoking prior the surgery.
Heart Valve Replacement is performed by an experienced cardiac surgeon. The patient is given general anesthesia.
An intravenous (IV) line is inserted in the patient’s arm along with additional catheters in the wrist and neck to assess the blood pressure and heart condition
An incision is made and breastbone (sternum) is divided into two halves to expose the heart.
The tubes are inserted into the patient’s heart so that the blood can be circulated in the body by a machine called Cardiopulmonary Bypass.
After diverting blood into the machine, the heart will be injected with a cold solution and valve is replaced.
There are 2 types of artificial valves - Mechanical valves made from carbon, plastics, ceramics and metal. And, Biological valve made from human or animal tissue.
After the surgery, the heart will be made to restart with the help of electrical shock paddles.
The patient will be required to stay in the hospital for 5-7 days. Recovery may take a few weeks or longer depending upon the patient’s health.
Risk and Complications
Success rate of this surgery is relatively high. However, risks include
Risk of infection,
Excessive bleeding and
Blood clot around the valves may rarely occur
Fever and chest pain
If you have any additional questions, talk to our in-house doctors. Call 1800-1022-733 (toll free).
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