An overview of heart valve replacement surgery

by Irshad KK Digital Marketing

Heart valve replacement surgery is a major surgery that can last more than two hours and can take several weeks to recover.

One will have a valve replacement surgery only in cases where the valves are beyond repair. In such cases, the only option left is to replace the valves using artificial valves. There are two types of valves.


Mechanical valves: These are from materials like carbon, metals, etc. They are strong and durable. There is a tendency for blood to clot around these valves. So, the recipient needs to take anticoagulants regularly to prevent the occurrence. They will need to take these for the rest of their life.


Biological valves: These are from live tissues sourced from an animal heart (xenograft), from a donated human graft (homograft), or rarely from the patient's own heart (autograft). Though not as strong and durable as prosthetic metal valves, the body accepts these biological valves more easily. The main benefit is that the patient need not be on anticoagulants.


Heart valve replacement surgical procedure:


The person will be under general anesthesia. The doctor will use a heart-lung machine as a substitute for the heart to maintain circulation and respiration during the surgery. In open surgery, the surgeon will make a long incision in the sternal region. They will then cut the ribs to expose to the heart. The surgeon then removes the diseased valves and inserts the new valve in its place. After suturing the valve in its place, the surgeon checks for its elasticity and function. 


Once the valve starts to work, the surgeon gradually shifts the circulation from the heart-lung machine to the patient's heart. The surgical team will record the vital signs. If all are fine, they will move the patient from the operating room to an intensive cardiac care unit. 

There, the patient will be under proper medication to prevent the rejection of the heart valves is administered along with other medications.

After a couple of days, the patient can move from the intensive care unit to the room. The person will need to be in the room for another 7-10 days for stabilization.


The severity of the symptoms usually decreases soon after the surgery, but the period may vary from patient to patient. A typical

recovery phase is in the range of 8-12 weeks. The surgeon may advise a cardiac rehabilitation program to regain the energy levels and achieve

overall good health. 

The recovery depends on the type of surgery, the general health, presence of other systemic diseases, etc. The approach is the same in the case of both mitral valve replacement surgery and aortic valve replacement surgery.


Minimally Invasive Valve Replacement Surgery

In this method, there is no need to cut open the chest for the surgery. The most modern approach is the robotic heart surgery. In this, a robotic arm guides the tools through the small incisions made on the chest to conduct the surgery. The surgeon guides the tools by watching a video monitor. 

The chances of complications and risks are lesser in this case.

The doctor will decide on the right option for the heart valve replacement surgery as per the condition and overall health of the patient. 

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About Irshad KK Freshman   Digital Marketing

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Joined APSense since, May 18th, 2018, From Bangalore, India.

Created on Jul 17th 2020 01:13. Viewed 231 times.


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