Heart Valve Surgery

Heart Valve Surgery may be performed to improve the patient’s condition to prolong his life and prevent complications.


The heart of a human is consists of four chambers, it has two on the left and two on the right and these four chambers are identified as ventricles and atria. The right portion of the human heart is comprised of the right ventricle and right atrium and the left portion is composed of left ventricle and left atrium. Atria are the unloading chambers as they accept blood from the organs to the heart whereas the ventricles are the pumping chambers that projects blood to other systems of the body for the heart.

The heart valves are seen beneath the heart chambers and its purpose is to provide a one way flow of blood inside the heart. The stream of blood in the heart is controlled by the closing and opening of the valves and this mechanism is also guarded by the pressure contained in the heart and some of its muscles. There are identified four heart valves that are termed according to its location and its structure. They are enumerated as the mitral valve, pulmonary valve, tricuspid valve and aortic valve.

What are the Kinds of Heart Valve Surgery?

There are two kinds of Heart Valve Surgery; the execution of each kind depends on the degree of damage the heart valve has. The Heart Valve Repair Surgery is commonly utilized for mitral valves disorders which has leaks but doesn’t have detrimental damages. Heart Valve Replacement Surgery is performed when the dysfunctional valve is extracted and replaced by means of installing a new valve. The most typical types of valve replacements are animal (tissue) and manufactured (mechanical) valves.

The kind of procedure that a patient undergoes depend on various factors such as the type of valve affected; the origin of thee problem; the damage on the valve; the number of valves involved; the patient’s symptoms and the patient’s health in general.

The goal of these procedures is to replace or repair the dysfunctional heart valves. It aims to achieve the following agendas such as blood that streams between the various chambers should flow properly through the heart valve; blood that streams out from the heart to large arteries should flow passing through a valve of the heart. These heart valves unfastens so that blood will be able to flow through and closes to keep the one way flow of blood in the heart.

What happens during the Heart Valve Surgery?

The surgery entails a patient to receive a general anaesthesia before carrying it out. It will keep the patient asleep and blocks the ability of the patient to fell pain during the procedure.

In an open heart surgery, the surgeon creates a huge surgical cut in the breastbone portion to get in touch with the heart and the aorta. Majority of people are attached to a bypass pump or a heart/lung bypass machine. The heart is ceased to pump while attached to the machine. The bypass pump performs the job of the heart while it ceases to function.

Least invasive valve surgeries are performed using smaller cuts unlike open surgery. A number of various techniques are utilized such as endoscopy or laparoscopy, percutaneous procedures (involving the skin) and robot assisted surgery.

In repairing the heart valves, the patient may undergo different procedures like the ring annulosplasty where the surgeon refurbishes the ring like structure surrounding the valve by stitching a ring off cloth, tissue or metal around the heart valve. Valve repair includes the shaping, trimming and rebuilding a single or more leaflets of the valve. These leaflets are the structure that enables the valve to open and close.

If the damage in the valve is too vast, the valve needs to be replaced. The procedure is termed as Heart Valve Replacement Surgery. The surgeon will extract the valve and attach a new one. The major types of valves that are used in this procedure are the mechanical and biological valves.

Mechanical valves are composed of manmade materials such as ceramic, steel and titanium. This type of heart valves last longer but the administration of anticoagulants will be necessary. Biological valves comprise of animal or human tissues that can last for only 12-15 yrs. In some instances, the surgeon utilizes the patient’s own pulmonic valve to replace the injured aortic valve. The pulmonic valve will also be replaced by an artificial valve. This method is called the Ross Procedure.

What are the Risks involved in this Procedure?

Heart Valve Surgery has its own risks associated to the procedure and the drugs that should be administered during the surgery. The use of a general anaesthesia makes the patient at risk of problems in breathing since its effect is to depress the patient’s nervous system which includes respiratory depression as well. The patient may also have allergic reactions to the drug. The major risks during the surgery is excessive bleeding; formation of blood clots within the legs that may be transported to other parts of the body; and infection concerning the kidneys, chest, bladder and lungs.

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