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Valve replacement is a surgical procedure that involves removing a diseased or damaged heart valve and replacing it with an artificial valve or a biological valve from a donor. This procedure is performed to correct heart valve conditions that impede normal blood flow, such as valve stenosis (narrowing) or regurgitation (leakage), and to restore proper heart function.

Key Aspects of Valve Replacement:

  1. Indications: Valve replacement is indicated when heart valve disease becomes severe and significantly impairs heart function. Common valve conditions requiring replacement include aortic stenosis, mitral regurgitation, and infective endocarditis.
  2. Surgical Approaches: Valve replacement can be done through traditional open-heart surgery or minimally invasive techniques, depending on the patient's condition and the surgeon's preference. Minimally invasive approaches often involve smaller incisions, resulting in shorter hospital stays and faster recovery.
  3. Types of Valves:
    • Mechanical Valves: Mechanical valves are made from durable materials like metal and require lifelong blood-thinning medication (anticoagulation) to prevent blood clots from forming on the valve. They have a long lifespan and are less prone to wear and tear.
    • Biological Valves: Biological valves, also known as tissue valves, are usually made from animal tissue (e.g., porcine or bovine) or human tissue from donors. These valves do not require long-term anticoagulation but have a limited lifespan and may need replacement after a certain number of years.
    • Transcatheter Valves: In some cases, transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) or transcatheter mitral valve replacement (TMVR) procedures may be suitable for patients who are not candidates for traditional surgery. These procedures involve the insertion of a collapsible valve through a catheter, typically via a blood vessel in the groin.
  4. Valve Selection: The choice of valve type is a collaborative decision between the patient and the cardiac surgeon. Factors such as the patient's age, lifestyle, and overall health, as well as the type of valve disease, influence the selection.
  5. Surgical Procedure: During valve replacement surgery, the chest is opened (in open-heart surgery) or small incisions are made (in minimally invasive surgery). The damaged valve is removed, and the new valve is securely positioned. The surgical team ensures the proper functioning of the new valve before closing the incision.
  6. Recovery: Recovery after valve replacement varies depending on the surgical approach and the patient's overall health. In open-heart surgery, patients typically spend several days in the hospital, followed by a period of rehabilitation and close follow-up with the healthcare team. With minimally invasive procedures, hospital stays and recovery times are often shorter.
  7. Long-Term Care: After valve replacement, individuals may need to take medications, such as anticoagulants or medications to manage blood pressure, to maintain heart health. Regular follow-up appointments with a cardiologist are essential to monitor the functioning of the artificial valve and overall heart health.

Valve replacement is an effective treatment for heart valve disease, and it can significantly improve a patient's quality of life by restoring normal blood flow and heart function. The choice of valve type and surgical approach is individualized to meet the specific needs and preferences of each patient.

Frequently Asked Questions

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Metro Hospital and Heart Institute, Faridabad Metro Hospital and Heart Institute, Faridabad

Metro Hospital and Heart Institute, Faridabad

  • Preventive Cardiology, Interventional Cardiology, Electrophysiology, Cardiothoracic, and Vascular Surgery
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