Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, MD, FFARCSI

An aortic homograft is a procedure where a patient suffering the failure of aortic homograft itself receives an aortic valve intact from the human donor. Due to its complex nature of the operation, surgeons opt for aortic homograft in seldom situations.

What is a Valve Replacement?

The aortic valve replacement procedure is an operation that consists of replacing the natural aortic valve of the patient with that of a mechanical valve or a tissue valve. Replacing the native valve with an artificial valve is the only solution to the damaged aortic valve or diseases that cause dysfunction of the aortic valve.

Dysfunction of an aortic valve is due to aortic insufficiency, a condition where the valve has a crack and causes leakage, and aortic stenosis, a state where there is a partial blockage. In either of the cases, there is a low flow of blood into the aorta, making it difficult for the human system to function to the maximum potential.

Replacement Approaches

The current replacement procedure includes open-heart surgery using minimally invasive cardiac surgery, sternotomy, and transcatheter aortic valve replacement.

Risk of Operation

The risks associated with the operation procedure reduced over a period due to the availability of the data and changes in medical technologies. The development of evidence-based guidelines is helping the surgeons to improve the quality of life of the patient after the valve replacement surgery. The accepted guidelines include that of the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology.

Lowering the Incompetency

The surgical procedure requires the surgeon to suture the aortic homograft received from the human donor with that of the patient. Introduction of the technique in the early 60’s has helped in reducing the incompetency. With no dead space between the donor valve and the basement, there is a great reduction in post-operation risks such as leakage or separation of the graft with the host within a short period.

The Need For Valve Replacement

As stated above, when patients suffer from aortic diseases or develop aortic stenosis and aortic insufficiency, they require valve replacement. Replacing it at the right time is essential to prevent death due to heart stroke or excessive bleeding.

Types of Valves

Although aortic homograft requires a human donor, other possibilities include the use of mechanical and tissue valves. Mechanical valves are durable and available in different materials. However, they are prone to cause blood clots over a period for which the patient requires consumption of blood-thinning medicine, warfarin, in the required doses for the rest of the life. For tissue valve replacement, one does not need the use of the anticoagulation medicine. However, the lifespan of the valve ranges between 8 and 15 years.

Symptoms Faced Due To Damaged Aortic Valve

It is tedious to detect the presence of damaged aortic valve when in an initial stage. It is because there are no signs. An individual will feel the following symptoms when there is a rupture, or the condition reaches severity:

Diagnosis

With the help of x-ray, echocardiogram, MRI scan, and CT scan, doctors diagnose the presence of the condition. If there a presence of aortic valve disease, the doctor will consider the symptoms experienced by the individual and monitor the progress of the state. If the signs become severe as time passes, recommends for replacement of the valve.

Although the physician calls for the replacement of the valve, considers other factors such as the age of the patient, gender, race, health conditions, and any undergoing treatment along with allergies. These help in deciding to operate or find an alternative solution.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: February 22, 2018

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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