Valve Replacement Surgery

Valve Replacement Surgery is done to repair or replace the valves when they are damaged or diseased and do not work the way they should they may need to.

October 12, 2022

Valve Replacement Surgery is done to repair or replace the valves when they are damaged or diseased and do not work the way they should they may need to. 

Some facts about Valve Replacement Surgery:

  • Valve stenosis (stiffness) and valve regurgitation (leaky valve) are the conditions that may cause heart valve dysfunction and need Valve Replacement Surgery.
  • Valvular heart disease is a form of heart disease that occurs when one or more of the four valves of heart don't function properly.
  • Valve replacement surgery can be done if the valves of your heart are too fragile, scarred, or otherwise damaged to repair.
  • Total replacement of the affected valve is the only option when the damage is too far advanced.
  • Nutrient-rich blood are allowed to flow through the chambers of your heart by the valves of the heart and each valve is supposed to close completely after ushering in blood flow.
  • This job can not be performed well by diseased heart valves . 
  • A less-than-normal amount of blood flows to the heart because of narrowing of the blood vessels or Stenosis which causes the muscle to work harder.
  • A valve may remain slightly open instead of closing tightly, letting blood flow backwards which is called regurgitation and cause by leaky valves.
  • Fatigue, dizziness, lightheadedness, shortness of breath, cyanosis, chest pain and fluid retention, especially in the lower limbs are the signs of valvular heart disease.

Preparation for Valve Replacement Surgery:

  • A complete physical exam will be done along with a complete review of your medical history, to make sure that you are in good health before surgery. 
  • Blood tests or other diagnostic tests may also be required.
  • You are recommended not eat or drink for 8 hours before the procedure, generally after midnight.
  • Inform your healthcare provider if you are sensitive to or are allergic to any medicines, latex, tape, iodine, or anesthetic agents (local and general).
  • You should also inform your healthcare provider about all medicines (prescription and over-the-counter), vitamins, herbs, and supplements that you are taking.
  • Inform your healthcare provider if you have a history of bleeding disorders or if you are taking any anticoagulant (blood-thinning) medicine, aspirin, or other medicines that affect blood clotting as you may need to stop some of these medicines before surgery.
  • A blood test will be done before surgery to see how long it takes your blood to clot.
  • Inform your healthcare provider if you have a pacemaker or any other implanted cardiac devices.

Procedure for Valve Replacement Surgery:

  • Heart valve replacement surgery is performed under general anesthesia with either conventional or minimally invasive type.
  • A large incision from your neck to your navel is required in conventional surgery.
  • The length of your incision can be shorter and your risk of infection also reduced in less invasive surgery.
  • Your heart must be still for successful removal of the diseased valve and replaced with a new one. 
  • You will be placed on a bypass machine to keep blood circulating through your body and your lungs functioning during surgery
  • Incisions will be made into your aorta, through which the valves will be removed and replaced.
  • The diseased valve may be either repaired using a ring to support the damaged valve, or the entire valve may be removed and replaced by an artificial valve.
  • Artificial valves may be made of carbon coated plastic or tissue that made from animal valves or human valves taken from donors.