Valve replacement surgery is a procedure where the surgeon replaces a malfunctioning heart valve. In many of the situations, it is the aortic valve that receives the maximum damage when compared to the other valve’s. The replacement consists of using a mechanical valve or a biological valve.
What Is The Cost Of Valve Replacement Surgery?
The cost of replacing the damaged heart valve depends on the severity involved in the surgery. In addition to it, it also depends whether the doctor is using a biological valve or the mechanical valve. The surgery can cost from 90,000 to 200,000 US Dollars.
The heart consists of four valves namely the aortic valve, pulmonary valve, tricuspid valve, and mitral valve. Even a healthy individual suffers from small leakage from any of the four valves. However, one does not experience symptoms until the leakage progresses over the period and turns from mild to severe.
A defect in the functionality of the valve enables the blood pumped by the heart to flow back into the chamber that it left. The flow of blood in the backward direction can result in a variety of health issues apart from leading to heart failure.
Selecting Between Mechanical And Biological Valve
A biological valve derived from a pig or a cow has a lifespan of 15 years. It can vary between 8 and 15 years depending on the lifestyle of the patient. An advantage of using the biological valve is that the recipient does not develop blood clots. Therefore, the patient does not require anticoagulant medication. Considering the lifespan of the valve, surgeons opt for the biological valve for elderly patients.
A mechanical valve made out of pure carbon or other highly finished plastic material offers durability when compared with a biological valve. However, the doctor recommends the use of anticoagulant medication, such as warfarin for the rest of the life to stop the development of blood clots. The formation of the blood clots is due to the presence of the device’s material. The dosage level of the anticoagulant medication varies from one individual to another. Additionally, it can increase or decrease depending on the progress, which the doctor monitors from time to time.
Why Opt For Valve Replacement Surgery?
Valve replacement surgery is necessary in case of aortic stenosis, aortic regurgitation, mitral valve stenosis, mitral valve prolapse, and mitral valve regurgitation. Replacement is necessary in order to prevent failure of the heart from excessive bleeding. Therefore, attending to the situation immediately is necessary.
To opt for valve replacement surgery, the specialist will consider the symptoms experienced by the patient along with the results obtained from MRI scan, x-ray, CT scan, and echocardiography. The results will provide the progression details along with the location of the leakage. Depending on this, the doctor will place the patient under observation or head directly for the surgery to replace the damaged heart valve.
After completion of the valve replacement surgery, the patient remains in the hospital for about 10 days. During the stay, the doctor monitors the patient for post-operation leakage and other symptoms. In some cases, it is possible for the patient to remain in the hospital for a few months. The recovery period depends on the complex nature of the valve replacement surgery and the post-operation symptoms experienced by the individual.
The doctor even refers to rehabilitation to allow the patient to return to healthy living. One can expect lifestyle changes and follow a diet as prescribed to prevent the development of infections.
Potential Risk Factors
The following are the potential risk factors associated with the valve replacement surgery:
- Heart attack
- Valve failure
- Kidney failure