Severe valve damage means the valve must be replaced.
Two kinds of valves can be used for replacement:
- Mechanical valves are usually made from materials such as plastic, carbon, or metal. Mechanical valves are strong, and they last a long time. Because blood tends to stick to mechanical valves and create blood clots, patients with these valves will need to take blood-thinning medicines (called anticoagulants) for the rest of their lives.
- Biological valves are made from animal tissue (xenograft) or taken from the human tissue of a donated heart (allograft or homograft). Sometimes, a patient’s own tissue can be used for valve replacement (autograft). Patients with biological valves usually do not need to take blood-thinning medicines. These valves are not as strong as mechanical valves, though, and they may need to be replaced every 10 years or so.
You and your doctor will decide which type of valve is best for you. ?
If your heart valve becomes damaged or diseased, you may have the following symptoms:
- Chest pain
- Breathing difficulties
- Edema (swelling) of the feet, ankles, or abdomen (belly)
- Rapid weight gain due to fluid retention
There may be other reasons for your healthcare provider to recommend heart valve replacement surgery.
When aortic stenosis is very severe and causing multiple symptoms, the medications are no more effective and the best option in this situation is aortic valve replacement surgery(AVR). With AVR the problem (symptoms) can be resolved/corrected effectively and this can improve the patient's physical condition.
A defective valve has only two leaflets, so it's called a bicuspid valve. A recent study found that aortic valve replacement surgery has around 94% five-year survival rate.
Heart valve replacement is generally safe. However, as with any surgery or procedure, complications can occur. Possible risks associated with treatment include:
- Bleeding during or after treatment
- Blood clots that can cause heart attack, stroke, or lung problems (pulmonary embolism)
- Infection at the surgical site
- Infection in the new valve (endocarditis)
- Breathing problems
- Arrhythmias (abnormal heart rhythms)
- The repaired or replaced valve doesn't work correctly
- Bad reaction to anaesthetics
Yes, Severe Aortic Stenosis is Life Threatening and requires immediate Treatment. Patients may live with aortic stenosis for many years during a latent, asymptomatic period, even before symptoms of the disease develop and present. However, after patients begin experiencing symptoms, it is urgent they receive treatment.
An aortic valve replacement is a major operation and occasionally the complications can be fatal. However, this risk is far lower than the risk associated with leaving severe aortic disease untreated. Overall, the risk of dying as a result of the procedure is estimated to be <5>
The Indian Cardiac Surgeons are not only well competent to heart valve replacement surgery but also experts in the other latest cardiac surgical procedures and treatments. CABG, angioplasty, angiography, heart transplantation, treadmill exercise testing, Holster monitoring, nuclear studies (MUGA and thallium scanning), echocardiography, cardiac catheterizations, arterial switch operations, Fontan and Fontan type procedures, robotic cardiac surgery, transmyocardial laser revascularization are some of the procedures that the Indian cardiologists are skilled in.
Generally, the aortic valve replacement surgery takes anywhere from 2 to 4 hours.
Once the surgeon has finished the replacement, the heart is then started again, and you are disconnected from the heart-lung machine.
You can expect to stay in the hospital for 7-8days, including at least 1 to 3 days in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). Recovery after valve surgery may take a long time; depending on how healthy you were before the operation and how fast your body recovers.
The normal recovery time after a heart valve surgery is usually six to eight weeks, and it takes up to six months to feel the full benefits of the surgery.
The cost of aortic valve replacement surgery varies from 5000 to 7000$ USD. It depends on the duration of your hospital stay and the type of facility that you approach for the procedure.
The patient of heart valve repair or replacement surgery (open heart surgery) can usually fly after 4-6 weeks (longer if they have had pulmonary complications).
Call your local hospital/doctor right away if you have any of these:
- Fever of 100.4°F (38°C) or higher, or chills (these may be a sign of infection)
- Redness, swelling, bleeding, or drainage from the incision site or any of the catheter sites
- Increase in pain around the incision site
- Trouble breathing
- Increased swelling in the legs or abdomen
- Easy bruising
- Persistent nausea or vomiting
- Rapid or irregular pulse
- Weakness in the arms and legs