The success rate of heart valve surgery usually depends on various factors like the patient’s overall health, age and so on. Damage in the heart valve is primarily a serious condition and should be treated without much delay. Replacement surgery of the heart valve definitely increases the life expectancy of the patient, improving quality of life. Due to the advances in the medical field and use of latest technologies and heart care facilities, doctors have reported a success rate of around 94 to 97 percent of such a surgery. The mortality rate due to the heart valve replacement surgery has also decreased over the years of advancement.
How is the Heart Valve Replacement Surgery Done?
Heart valve replacement surgery is done by a team of skilled surgeons. The basic procedure of the surgery would involve:
Heart Valve Replacement Surgery: In the first place, heart valve replacement surgery is done in cases when the valve cannot be repaired. The main mechanism is to remove the damaged heart valve from the patient’s body and replace the same with a mechanical valve. In some cases other forms of biological tissue valve may be used.
Less Invasive Surgery: At times, a less invasive method may be used in contrast to the open heart surgery. In such procedure, a catheter may be used in order to insert the replaced valve.
Mechanical Valve: As mentioned earlier, the replaced valve may be a mechanical valve or a biological one. In case of using a biological valve, special care has to be taken because they have to be replaced later because they tend to degenerate gradually.
Blood Thinners: In case a mechanical valve is used, the patient will have to take blood thinners for the rest of the life. This is done to prevent blood clotting.
Discuss: No matter which valve is used, it is important to discuss the risks and advantages of the valve to be used before undergoing the operation.
What Does The Post-Operative Care Of The Heart Valve Replacement Surgery Include?
- The patient usually has to stay in the ICU for a day or two after the surgery for observation and to avoid any complications post heart valve replacement surgery.
- The patient is given all forms of nutrients and medications through the channel of intravenous lines. If need be, the heart valve replacement surgery patient may be given oxygen.
- Once the doctor feels that the patient is out of danger, the patient may be moved to the regular ward for a few more days.
- Here the further observation of the heart valve replacement surgery patient’s blood pressure, heart rate and breathing may be monitored. It is important to check the surgical site properly in order to avoid infections on the site.
- Painkillers may be given to the patient in order to get some relief from the pain which is normal to experience after the surgery.
- Gradually the doctor may instruct the patient to increase activity required for the recovery process.
- Few breathing exercises have to be done by the heart valve replacement surgery patient for recovery as shown by the doctor.
- It is important to talk to the doctor about the signs and symptoms of infection, so that the heart valve replacement surgery patient can report in case the signs show up after discharge from the hospital.
- It might take some amount of time to completely get back to normal life after the heart valve replacement surgery. It is important to work according to the instructions of the doctor during the recovery time and have proper medication for speedy recovery.