Heart valves are essential components of the cardiovascular system. Found within the heart chambers, they regulate blood flow by opening and closing synchronously. Comprising leaf-like flaps, these valves ensure unidirectional blood movement, maintaining circulation efficiency. Dysfunction can lead to cardiovascular conditions, highlighting their crucial role in overall heart health.
Heart valves allow proper flow of blood through the heart. A heart consists of a mitral valve, tricuspid, pulmonary, and aortic valve. These valves ensure adequate blood flow to keep the heart’s smooth functioning. A blockage or obstruction in these valves ceases blood flow, leading to improper heart functioning. Under such situations, heart valve repair or replacement surgeries help to avoid the damages caused by restricted blood flow. The valves can be blocked due to different health issues.
Causes of Heart Valve Repair or Replacement Surgeries
Mentioned below are some of the reasons that let a doctor replace the heart valve or repair it for smoother blood flow:
- Damaging Health Conditions
Signs and Symptoms of a Heart Valve Repair or Replacement
Mentioned below are some of the signs and symptoms that let a doctor repair or replace a heart valve:
- Chest Pain
Benefits of Heart Valve Repair or Replacement
Mentioned below are some of the benefits of a heart repair or replacement surgery:
- Improved Life Expectancy
- Lower use of Medications
- Resuming Routine Activities
General Procedure of a Heart Valve Repair Surgery
Mentioned below are the steps performed to repair or replace a diseased heart valve:
- The patient is given anaesthesia to avoid pain and for a peaceful surgical procedure.
- The next step involves making a small incision to access the heart properly.
- The patient is connected to a heart-lung machine to replace the functioning of the heart.
- The old diseased valve is removed and replaced with a new one.
- After replacing the old valve, the new valve resumes working like the old one.
- After the new valve starts working correctly, the patient is disconnected from the heart-lung machine.
- The doctor performs a test to ensure the proper working of the new valve.
- The incisions are closed after the surgery is completed.
Types of Heart Valve Repair or Replacement Surgeries
Repairing or replacing a heart valve has different methods. Choosing the correct way depends on the type of the disorder. Mentioned below are a few strategies that can help to make a damaged valve healthy and allow the affected patient to resume routine activities with ease:
- Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement– It is a minimally invasive procedure ideal for people who cannot have open surgery or have a risk in it. The system helps to open the thickened aortic valve that cannot spread quickly on its own. The procedure involves replacing the damaged valve with a valve made from pig or cow heart tissue. A small incision is made to insert a catheter into a blood vessel through the chest or groin region. The replacement valve is then placed in the required area. The balloon on the catheter tip inflates and helps the new valve stay in place. The catheter is removed after the new valve is adjusted into position. The patient is kept under observation after the surgery to keep track of the patient’s vital signs.
- Transcatheter Mitral Valve Replacement– It is a minimally invasive heart valve replacement surgery. The surgery helps replace the damaged mitral valve with a healthy one to allow a proper flow of blood through the heart chambers. The patient is given anaesthesia for the 2 to 3-hour-long surgical procedure. The patient is connected to an electrocardiogram machine to keep track of the patient’s heart activity. A small incision is made in the groin area to insert the catheter into a blood vessel for the surgical procedure. Then, the catheter is threaded with the mitral valve with the help of imaging guidance. A compressed mitral valve is inserted through the catheter. Then, the new valve is positioned accordingly in the damaged one. It is then expanded for proper adjustment. The surgery is a tremendous and effective replacement for an open heart surgery.
- Balloon Valvuloplasty– It is a recommended procedure for those who cannot be operated on with the help of open heart surgery or any other form of surgery. It is not a recommended form of surgery for adults. A catheter with a balloon at the tip is then inserted inside. An incision is made near the patient’s groin area to insert the catheter. The catheter is then guided carefully into the blocked valve. The balloon is inflated slowly to allow blood to pass through the valve seamlessly.
- As the blood flow resumes, the balloon is deflated, and the doctor removes the catheter carefully. After the procedure, Regular imaging tests help to check the patient’s vital stats after the surgery. An overnight stay in the hospital after the surgery helps keep an eye on the patient’s vital stats. The procedure is a temporary solution and may require surgery later for a permanent solution.
When to Consult a Doctor
You can also get in touch with the expert cardiac surgeons at Narayana Healthcare based in your city to get immediate attention and medical support during injuries, health disorders or any other health concern.
Heart Valve Repair or Replacement Surgery is performed when the heart valve is blocked and cannot supply blood to the heart. The surgery allows proper blood flow and ensures the patient performs routine functions efficiently.
Q. What is Heart Valve Repair Surgery?
A. It is a surgical procedure to replace the damaged valve with a new one to maintain the functioning of a heart valve.
Q. What are the reasons for heart valve replacement surgery?
A. The surgery is performed to allow smoother blood flow in the valves and eliminate health issues such as chest pain, dizziness, breathlessness, fatigue, and other similar problems.
Q. What signs indicate the need for heart valve repair or replacement surgery?
A. Signs indicating the need for heart valve surgery include shortness of breath, fatigue, chest pain or discomfort, irregular heartbeat, dizziness or fainting, and swelling of ankles, feet, or abdomen. These symptoms may indicate valve stenosis (narrowing) or regurgitation (leakage), causing decreased blood flow and affecting overall heart function. Diagnostic tests such as echocardiograms help determine if surgery is necessary to restore proper circulation and prevent further complications.
Q. What are the types of heart valve replacement surgeries?
A. Some of the types of heart valve surgeries are Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement, Transcatheter Mitral Valve Replacement, and Balloon Valvuloplasty.