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Heart Valve Replacement is a procedure undertaken to treat heart diseases. It is done to replace one of the four valves. This includes a mitral, tricuspid, pulmonary, and aortic valves. The valves become leaky or open in a wrong direction which results in dysfunctioning. This causes disruption of blood flow through your heart and also affects its functioning. The damaged valves are replaced with mechanical, animal or human tissue by surgery. Depending on the symptoms and the type of valves to be replaced, the procedure is either processed by open-heart surgery, minimally invasive heart surgery or through catheter replacement of the valves. It purely depends on the condition of the patient that what method should be processed for treatment.
Read About Surgery Effects on the body.

Survival Rate

The survival rate after the surgery is higher than other heart surgeries. Relative survival rates are 84 % after aortic,68.5% after mitral and 80.9 after both the valve replacements.

Aortic Valve is the most replaced valve.

The aortic valve is the most common valve to be replaced through a surgical procedure for stenosis or narrowing of the aortic valve. It is followed by a mitral valve which is replaced for mitral stenosis. Pulmonary and tricuspid valves are uncommon in most adults.

How long does the treatment effect last?

Mechanical valves in some patients last for as long as 25 years without reoperation. However, animal and human valve have shorter lifecycles and last for a maximum 15 years without problems.

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Heart Valve Replacement Approaches

Diagnosis process involves the evaluation of signs and symptoms with conduction of a physical examination. In it, the doctor checks the body using a stethoscope and likely listens for a heart murmur, as it is a sigh of the diseased heart valve. The replacement procedure of heart valve has two approaches– Surgical and Non-surgical.

  • Surgical approach: In this procedure, your doctor removes the damaged valve and replaces it with a mechanical or biological valve. This surgery is performed through traditional open-heart surgery or minimally invasive methods, which involve smaller incisions than that of open-heart surgery. The surgical treatment can be used to replace any of the four valves in the heart.
  • Non-surgical approach: TAVR is another type of minimally invasive aortic valve replacement that has a non-surgical approach. It is also known as Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation (TAVI).In it, Doctor makes an incision and inserts a catheter through the access point and guides it using imaging techniques inside your heart. Once positioned, a balloon is expanded to press the replacement valve into place in the native aortic valve.

This approach is used when the surgical approach imposes a threat on the patient and can be carried out to replace the aortic valve only. While considering this treatment, one should always seek a second opinion and take into consideration the risk factors involved. The patient should provide appropriate information about his medical history. Although the damaged valve is not visible, one should immediately do the required tests if the symptoms persist. After the replacement surgery, adequate care and timely medication should be taken by the patient to avoid further complication.

Tips for a Healthy Heart

To avoid coronary artery diseases, Following a healthy routine is the best way. By healthy routine we mean, adding nutritious diet in your meals, exercising regularly, avoiding saturated fat and high cholesterol food. These tips are worth if followed properly.

Valve Replacement Symptoms

Since the surgery is undertaken for treating a heart valve disease, which is not a visible problem, many times its symptoms may go unnoticed or be confused with other heart diseases like a blocked artery or heart attack. It is extremely important to visit your doctor when you feel either of these symptoms and get related lab and imaging tests done to identify the root cause and the valve affected. Common symptoms of heart valve disease are listed below, Have a look.

  • Abnormal sound (heart murmur).

  • Chest Pain

  • Fainting

  • Dizziness

  • Shortness of breath

  • Irregular heartbeat Palpitations

  • Swelling of ankles or feet

  • Rapid weight gain.

Types of Heart Valves

Our heart is one of the most important organs of the body. It converts the deoxygenated blood into the oxygenated blood and pumps it throughout the body. To separate the deoxygenated blood from the oxygenated one there are four valves present known as an Aortic, pulmonary, mitral, and tricuspid valve. Each one has flaps called leaflets, for the mitral and tricuspid valves, and cusps for aortic and pulmonary valves. These flaps open and close at each heartbeat. When either of these valves is severely damaged or doesn’t function properly, immediate surgery is needed. Some patients may even need more than one valve repaired or replaced.

The two types that can be used for replacement are:

  • Mechanical valves: These valves are usually made out of strong material like plastic, metals, carbon, etc. and they tend to last for a long time (approximately 25 years) without any problems. However, the blood tends to stick and create blood clots near mechanical valves and hence patients will be advised to take anticoagulants for thinning the blood for the rest of their lives.
  • Biological valves: These are usually made from animal tissue (xenograft) or taken from human tissue (homograft) of a donated heart. Sometimes, a patient’s own tissue is also used to replace the damaged ones (autograft). These valves are relatively weaker than the mechanical valves and have a shorter life-cycle (approximately 15 years) but the patients don’t need to take anticoagulants for thinning the blood. These are usually used in elderly patients as its breakdown is faster in young adults and children.

Heart Valve Replacement Risks

There are various risk associated with heart valve replacement process. Some of them may even have serious implications after the surgery. The risk factors to look out while getting your heart valve replaced are listed below, Have a look.

  • Bleeding before or after the surgery
  • Blood clots Infection
  • Pneumonia
  • Breathing problems
  • In worst cases, heart attack

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Disclaimer

The information provided on this webpage contains general information about medical conditions, causes, symptoms & treatments. The information is compiled from open sources that were available to us and is solely for the purpose of general reading & not a result of thorough research or tests conducted in laboratories. Therefore, the contents of this article are neither medical advice nor intended to replace consultation with a medical practitioner, and should not be treated as an alternative to medical diagnosis or treatment from your doctor, or any other healthcare professional.
External links to information and other websites provided here are purely for information purposes and Credihealth does not warrant or guarantee the accuracy, genuineness, reliability of such links/websites. Moreover, the information provided hereunder is not intended to be a substitute for getting in touch with emergency healthcare.

About

Heart Valve Replacement is a procedure to replace a damaged heart valve with another mechanical, animal or human valves to facilitate proper blood flow in the correct direction through the heart. It can be done through open-heart surgery, minimally invasive heart surgery or through catheter replacement of the valve.

  • Treatable by medical professional

  • Requires lab tests or imaging

  • Frequency - About 1,06,000 surgeries per year.

  • Requires general anesthesia

Treatment of Heart valve replacement

Heart Valve Replacement is diagnosed by two methods, Surgical and Non-Surgical. The motive is to facilitate proper blood flow in the correct direction through the heart.

 

Symptoms of Heart valve replacement

There are quite a few symptoms which signal coronary artery disease, ultimately requiring a replacement. Coronary artery diseases are caused due to the excess fat deposition in the arteries, blocking the blood flow. The symptoms may vary depending on the type of valve and severity of the disease.

  • Chest Pain

  • Abnormal sound (heart murmur) while listening using a stethoscope

  • Fainting

  • Dizziness

  • Shortness of breath

  • Irregular heartbeat

  • Palpitations

  • Swelling of ankles or feet

  • Rapid weight gain

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