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Repair or Replace the Heart Valve
Repair or Replace the Heart Valve Photo
When is heart valve surgery required?
Heart valve surgery is required when an individual experiences heart valve stenosis or regurgitation and the associated symptoms cannot be reasonably managed with medication.
What are the risks of heart valve surgery?
As with any surgical procedure, patients undergoing heart valve surgery are at risk of infection, reaction to anesthesia or excessive bleeding. Other risks specific to heart valve surgery may include abnormal heart rhythms, valve leakage, blood clots, stroke, heart failure and death. Surgeons will review a patient’s specific risk for death.
How long are recovery times?
Recovery time depends largely upon the condition and strength of the patient. Typically, patients remain hospitalized between 4 and 5days following surgery. Once discharged, patients should expect it to take several weeks to ease back into their regular daily activities.
Will I be able to return to my normal activities after surgery?
Following valve surgery, patients typically return to normal, or better than normal, activity levels.
What causes valvular heart disease?
There are several reasons that one or more of your heart valves may not work properly. The ultimate effect of a diseased heart valve is that it interrupts normal blood flow through the heart. Causes may include the following:
– an infection of the valve tissue.
– a specific type of infection more prevalent in developing countries where the valve tissue becomes inflamed and/or fused together.
– over time, calcium in your body can build up on the tissue of your valves making it difficult for them to move properly.
– a condition you are born with such as having only two leaflets on the aortic valve rather than three.
– also known as coronary artery disease, in which the heart’s own blood vessels become clogged and can no longer deliver the proper amount of blood.
– a progressive process that represents slow degeneration from mitral valve prolapse (improper leaflet movement). Over time, the attachments of the valve thin out or rupture and the leaflets become floppy and redundant.