The heart is the core of the human system and helps pump blood across the body. It has four pumping chambers – two upper chambers called atria, and two lower chambers called ventricles. These chambers utilize valves to ensure that the blood always flows in the forward direction. These are – tricuspid valve, pulmonary valve, mitral valve, and aortic valve.
The Need For Curing Leaky Heart Valve
The need for replacement surgery or repairing leaky heart valve arises when an individual is suffering from damaged valves. Damage to the valves makes it difficult for the heart to pump the needed blood to the entire body. The conditions responsible for the development of the situation include valve regurgitation and valve stenosis.
What is the Procedure to Cure a Leaky Heart Valve?
If one or more of the four valves become leaky, the individual suffers from blood leakages due to improper closure of the valve. Due to this, the heart pumps less blood in the forward direction. According to the symptoms experienced by the patient, the specialist will decide whether it is possible to repair the damaged valve or replace it entirely using a surgery.
The traditional way to cure a leaky heart valve is by choosing open heart surgery. The surgery requires – making a substantial cut in the chest and use the heart-lung machine for a specific period until the surgeon repairs or replaces the damaged valve/valves. In recent periods, there has been advancement in the medical field that is offering less invasive techniques in replacing damaged valves. Minimally invasive surgery requires a small incision, less pain, reduce a loss of blood, and shorter stay in the hospital post-operation.
The newer techniques are helpful in removing the damaged valve or replacing it with an artificial valve with ease. Artificial valves are available made of plastics and tissue. Both of them possess similar advantages and disadvantages. Therefore, the surgeon will talk about using a specific valve with the patient based on the condition, age, gender, overall health, and any undergoing treatment.
Although many patients do not notice any signs, a few will suffer from the following when the situation turns severe:
- Chest pain
- Increased palpitations
- Difficulty in breathing
- Swelling of the legs, ankles, and feet
- An increase in weight due to fluid retention
- Loss of consciousness.
Risks Involved In The Procedure Of Curing Leaky Heart Valve
Possible risks include:
- Abnormal heart rhythm
- Formation of blood clots that poses a threat to lungs and leads to heart attack
- Bleeding during the surgery.
A patient can experience additional risks depending on the medical condition. It is necessary to discuss in detail about the same with the concerned surgeon before undergoing the operation.
Getting Ready For The Procedure
The surgeon will provide detailed instructions for getting prepared for the method to cure a leaky heart valve. The guidelines change from one patient to another based on the medical condition, age, underlying health problems, current treatments, and gender. It is also crucial for patients to discuss allergies along with the symptoms they are facing. Detailed discussions will provide the opportunity for the surgeon to choose the appropriate method and for the right instructions that help in preparing the patient to undergo the cure.
Recovery after the surgery requires the patient to stay in the hospital for four or six weeks. In case of minimally invasive surgery, the stay is much shorter. Following the instructions during this period is critical for speedy recovery and maintaining good health. This helps the individual to lead a healthy life.
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