Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, MD, FFARCSI

Heart valve surgery refers to a surgical procedure used primarily for the treatment of heart valve disease. In most of the heart valve problems, at least one among the four different heart valves that maintain the blood flow in the appropriate direction from the heart fail to perform functions in a right way. These are mitral valve, pulmonary valve, tricuspid valve and aortic valve.

Each valve comes with leaflets or flaps for tricuspid or mitral valves and cusps for pulmonary and aortic valves. These valves initially open and then close once during every heartbeat of humans. However, in some cases, valves fail to open or close appropriately, leading to the disruption of blood flow from the heart towards the body.
In case of heart valve replacement surgery, surgeons replace or repair the affected heart valve. Most of the surgical procedures are useful in repairing and replacement of heart valves, including minimally invasive heart surgery and open-heart surgery.

Reasons/Situations when Heart Valve Replacement Surgery is Preferable

Heart valve replacement surgery becomes essential when the condition of a patient becomes worse, severe or a patient experiences symptoms related to valve dysfunction. In this case, doctors evaluate your individual condition to determine the appropriate treatment related to your condition. If you do not experience any sign or symptom and you have mild condition, your doctor suggests for monitoring the condition with time. However, you eventually may require repairing or replacement of your heart valve. In some of the cases, doctors recommend you for repairing or replacement of the heart valve even when you do not experience any symptom. If you require heart surgery to deal with other health condition, your doctor may suggest you for conducting heart valve replacement surgery to replace or repair the affected heart valve simultaneously.

Your doctor may discuss with the patient about his/her individual condition before recommending for repair or replacement of the heart valve. Doctors mainly give preference to heart valve repair, as it not only helps in preserving the heart valve, but also preserve your overall cardiac function. In some of the cases, you have to go with the option of heart valve replacement. Along with this, doctors evaluate in case a patient is a candidate for the minimally invasive type of heart surgery. For this, doctors discuss about both risks and benefits associated with the heart valve surgery procedure.

Is Heart Valve Replacement Surgery Safe?

We may judge the safety of heart valve replacement surgical procedure based on both risks and benefits, as mentioned here.

Benefits of Heart Valve Replacement Surgery

Normal Life: One of the prime benefits associated with heart valve replacement is that it allows individuals to involve in their daily normal activities again within least possible span of time.

Recovery: Recovery from the heart valve replacement surgical procedure depends primarily on one’s overall physical strength. Adverse effects of your damaged and old valve on your body will fade gradually, as the new heart valve will start to help you in efficient function of your heart.

Risks Associated With Heart Valve Replacement Surgery

Blood Clot: Similar to the case of any other heart valve replacement surgery, risks related to the formation of blood clot may take place in a few days after the surgery. In case the blood clot dislodge, it travels towards the lungs, where they cause other problems, such as chest pain and breathing shortness and even death of a person. If you observe any such symptom, you should consult with your doctor immediately.

Valve Dysfunction: Your replaced heart valve may fail to function in a proper way, as it should be because of many reasons. Despite this is a rare problem; if it takes place you require further surgery.

Arrhythmias: Arrhythmias or abnormal heartbeat may take place after the heart valve replacement surgical procedure. However, doctors recommend you certain medicines to control this situation and it is a temporary type of problem.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: February 26, 2018

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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