Heart Valve Repair or Replacement Surgery Hospitals in India

Overview

Heart valve surgery is a procedure to treat heart valve disease. In heart valve disease, at least one of the four heart valves that keep blood flowing in the correct direction through your heart doesn’t function properly.heart_valve_replacement03

These valves include the mitral valve, tricuspid valve, pulmonary valve and aortic valve. Each valve has flaps called leaflets, for the mitral and tricuspid valves, and cusps, for the aortic and pulmonary valves. These flaps open and close once during each heartbeat. Sometimes the valves don’t open or close properly, disrupting the blood flow through your heart to your body.

In heart valve surgery, your surgeon repairs or replaces the affected heart valves. Many surgical procedures may be used to repair or replace heart valves, including open-heart surgery or minimally invasive heart surgery.

Your treatment depends on several factors, including your age, health, the condition of the heart valve that is affected and the severity of your condition.

Your treatment depends on several factors, including your age, health, the condition of the heart valve that is affected and the severity of your condition.

Signs and Symptoms of Heart Failure

In the early stages, Heart Failure may not have any symptoms. In the later stages, the patient may have severe symptoms because the weakened heart is unable to pump enough oxygen-rich blood with each contraction to satisfy the body.

The most common symptoms are

  1. Difficulty in Breathing – Fluid back up into and around the lungs can cause shortness of breath with exercise or difficulty in breathing at rest. Some people with Heart Failure must prop themselves up with extra pillows to breathe more easily.
  2. Chronic Cough – The build-up of fluid in the lungs causes the lungs to work harder. Patients may have a persistent cough or wheezing (a whistling sound in the lungs, or labored breathing).
  3. Edema – Less blood to the kidneys causes fluid and water retention, resulting in swollen ankles, legs and abdomen and weight gain. Symptoms may cause an increased need to urinate during the night.
  4. Loss of Appetite – Bloating in the abdomen may result in loss of appetite or nausea. Patients have the feeling of being “full,” even when they have not eaten for a long time. Their abdomen may become swollen or distended.
  5. Fatigue – Less blood to major organs and muscles makes one feel tired and weak.     Patients find even walking difficult.

Heart valve surgery risks may include:

  • Bleeding
  • Heart attack
  • Infection
  • Valve dysfunction in replacement valve
  • Irregular heart rhythm (arrhythmia)
  • Stroke
  • Death

Diagnosis for Heart Failure

There is no single test that can diagnose Heart Failure. The patient may have to go some of the following tests –

  1. EKG (Electrocardiogram) – This test is used to measure the heart’s electrical activity. It may show if the patient has had a heart attack or if there is thickening of the walls in the heart’s pumping chambers (ventricles) or if the heart rhythms are abnormal.
  2. Chest X-ray – A chest X-ray shows if the heart is enlarged or if there is fluid in the lungs, or any lung disease.
  3. BNP Blood Test – This test checks the level of a hormone called BNP (B-type natriuretic peptide) that rises in Heart Failure.
  4. Thyroid Function Tests – These tests reveal whether an overactive or an under-active thyroid is responsible for Heart Failure.
  5. Echocardiogram – Echocardiogram enables the doctor to evaluate the size, thickness and pumping action of the heart, as well as evaluate how well the heart valves are functioning. A stress echocardiogram may also be useful in assessing how well the heart is functioning at rest and during exercise.
  6. Coronary Angiography – This test, usually performed along with cardiac catheterization, helps the doctor see the flow of blood to the heart muscle.
  7. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) – MRI shows detailed images of the structures and beating of the heart, enabling the doctor to assess if parts of the heart are weak or damaged.

BEFORE THE PROCEDURE

How long the operation takes depends on how much heart disease is present. Your surgeon will discuss this with you before the operation.

To help you learn about the procedure, your doctor may suggest a number of actions, including:

  • Talking with different members of the surgical team, such as the anesthesiologist, surgeon, cardiologist, respiratory therapist, and nurses
  • Discussing with family members the details of the operation
  • Visiting the intensive care unit (ICU) where you may be sent for postoperative recovery

DURING THE PROCEDURE

During the operation, the surgeon opens your chest to get to your heart and the problem valve. You will be asleep during the operation and will feel no pain.

During the majority of procedures, your heart will be temporarily stopped, and you’ll be put on a heart/lung machine that takes over your breathing and blood circulation. Alternatively, there are procedures that may be performed on a beating heart. Your surgeon will decide which type of procedure is best for your particular needs.

Procedures that let the surgeon get to the damaged valve through a small incision in the “breastbone” (sternum) or under the right pectoral muscle in your chest are called minimally invasive procedures.mitral_valve_repair123

With recent advances in technologies and procedural techniques, more cardiac surgeons are using minimally invasive procedures to repair heart valves. These procedures may potentially reduce pain, scarring, and your recovery time. You and your doctor will decide if this is a practical procedure for your condition.

Heart valve repair is performed with one of the three types of incisions shown in this illustration. Minimally invasive surgery uses a “mini” incision in the sternum or under the pectoral muscle in your chest to access the heart valve.

Your surgeon may perform one or several of these procedures as he or she repairs your heart valve:

  • Resize the valve by removing extra tissue
  • Remove calcium deposits that may have built up around the valve leaflets
  • Repair the cords that control the movement of the valve leaflets
  • Reattach the valve to its cords
  • Add support to the base of the valve (annulus) by adding tissue or by sewing an annulus band or ring around the outside of the valve

AFTER THE PROCEDURE

When the heart valve has been repaired and the surgery is completed, your heart will be beating and all incisions will be closed.

Following the surgery, you’ll spend some time in the intensive care unit (ICU) where you will be closely monitored to make sure there are no complications. After that, you’ll be moved to another room where your family and friends will be able to visit you.

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Heart Valve Repair or Replacement Surgery Hospitals in India