The aortic valve replacement requires an open heart surgery that helps in treating problems related to the heart’s aortic valve. The aortic valve is responsible for the flow of blood pumped by the heart to different parts of the body.
Replacement of an aortic valve involves removing the damaged or faulty valve and replacing it with a valve manufactured from animal tissue or synthetic materials. The operation is dangerous and is not proper for every individual. It also requires a longer period of recovery.
What Causes The Need For An Aortic Valve Replacement?
The following are the essential causes behind the replacement of the aortic valve:
Senile Aortic Calcification – it is a condition where excessive calcium deposits are present in the body. The accumulation is due to the aging factor and makes it difficult for it to operate appropriately and leads to the need for aortic valve replacement.
Bicuspid Aortic Valve – it is a problem present in the individual from birth. A standard aortic valve consists of three flaps. However, a person suffering from bicuspid aortic valve has two flaps. It acts as a threat with the rise in the age of the patient.
Any Underlying Conditions – Underlying conditions such as Marfan syndrome, rheumatic fever, endocarditis, giant cell arteritis, and Ehlers-Danlos syndrome can lead to the need for aortic valve replacement.
Why is Replacement Done?
The above causes are responsible for the replacement of an aortic valve. Apart from it, replacement is also necessary to treat conditions that affect the functionality of the aortic valve. Called as aortic valve diseases, the two essential conditions are:
Aortic Stenosis – A state where there is a restriction of blood flow due to narrowness in the valve.
Aortic Regurgitation – It is a situation where the aortic valve pumps back the blood into the heart.
The aforementioned aortic valve diseases can be present right from both or develop later in the life and may lead to aortic valve replacement.
Problems Caused By Malfunctioning Of Aortic Valve
Any individual suffering from aortic valve diseases will not suffer any pain or display signs that tell about the dysfunction of the aortic valve. However, as the condition grows over a period, it will cause:
- Chest pain due to physical activity.
- Shortness of breath during exercise.
- Lightheadedness or dizziness.
- Losing consciousness.
If an individual is suffering from an aortic valve disease, the doctor will perform several tests to analyze the situation along with the symptoms. If the symptoms are mild, the doctor will place the patient under observation.
If the symptoms are growing over a period, the doctor will recommend surgery for replacing the aortic valve. Without the treatment, the aortic valve disease develops into a life-threatening situation.
After the successful aortic valve replacement operation, the patient will remain in the hospital for a week. The recovery is dependent on the age of the patient and the overall health. In many situations, the recovery of the breast bone is between 6 and 8 weeks. However, given several factors such as the age, gender, race, and overall health, the recovery can extend up to 3 months or more.
A caretaker from the cardiac rehabilitation team will provide advice in getting back to the healthy life. They also provide information about other centers offering recovery programs that are within the vicinity of the residence. Such programs are helpful in preventing the development of further heart ailments.
Returning to Normal Activities
The aortic valve replacement surgeon or the doctor will give specific advice about returning to the regular activities. The recovery period and other health factors are useful for the surgeon to offer pieces of advice to the patient of aortic valve replacement.
- How Long Can You Live With Severe Aortic Valve Stenosis?
- How Do You Prevent Aortic Valve Stenosis?
- How Long Does It Take To Replace An Aortic Valve?
- What are the Complications of Aortic Valve Replacement Surgery?
- How Long Do Artificial Valves Last?