Aortic Valve Replacement is a surgery carried out to treat a severe medical ailment, Aortic stenosis, which is a condition that is a result of the aortic valve of the heart getting narrowed over time. This valve, under normal conditions, is responsible for allowing blood flow to be pumped from the main chamber of your heart to the rest of the body organs. However, when this valve's opening is considerably narrowed, the pressure on the heart muscle increases. This in turn, likely leads to numerous symptoms of chest discomfort, shortness of breath, leg swelling, fatigue, lightheadedness, syncope (passing out spells), and even sudden death. Surgical Aortic Valve Replacement is also carried out to treat Aortic regurgitation, a medical ailment in which the aortic valve does not close entirely causing the blood to leak back into the heart. However, Aortic regurgitation is not as severe as Aortic stenosis.
The ineffective functioning of the aortic valve is known as aortic valve disease. One or more of the following may be to blame:
Blood flow is restricted due to aortic valve stenosis, which occurs when the valve's leaflets become rigid, fused, thickened, and inflexible. Calcium deposits on the aortic valve leaflets contribute to the progression of aortic valve stenosis by further restricting leaflet movement. Both bicuspid and tricuspid aortic valves are susceptible to stenosis.
The leaky aortic valve, also known as valvular insufficiency, incompetence, or simply regurgitation: Incomplete closure of the valve leaflets is a common problem. When the heart relaxes after contracting, the blood discharged into the heart creates a regurgitation process. Flaccid leaflets, aberrant congenitally malformed valves, endocarditis, the difficulty of the leaflets to seal securely owing to holes in the leaflets, dilatation of the aorta, and rheumatic valve disease may all induce regurgitation.
It's possible that the aortic valve has to be changed for one of these two reasons:
If treatment is not sought, the symptoms may get more severe over time and, in extreme situations, may result in life-threatening conditions, such as heart failure. Because no medications can address abnormalities with the aortic valve, valve replacement surgery is the only option if you are at risk of significant consequences but are otherwise healthy enough to undergo the procedure.
In adults, there are main conditions that drive the body towards Aortic Stenosis
Aortic valve stenosis can range on the scale from mild to severe. Aortic valve stenosis signs and symptoms generally manifest as a result of severe narrowing down of the valve. More often, these symptoms are recorded as a result of strenuous physical activity.
The valve that the surgeon uses during the Aortic Valve Replacement Surgery is mainly of two types i.e. Mechanical and Biological.
Mechanical valves are made of artificial elements like Titanium, Teflon, Carbon. They last a long time and don't wear off in the body after replacing the original aortic valve. However, after the implantation of Mechanical valves in the body, your doctor may advise you to take blood-thinning medication for the rest of your life.
Biological valves, as the name suggests are made of composite or bio-prosthetic materials, often extracted from animal tissue of a cow or a pig. These valves, however, have a lifetime of 15-20 years, which means you may be required to get a second valve replacement done later. These valves may not require you to consume blood-thinning medicines. Biological valves are more commonly used in aortic valve replacement operations than mechanical valves.
Before your heart valve replacement surgery, a strong dosage of anaesthesia is administered to you in order to put you into a deep sleep till the time the surgery is performed. As soon as you are induced sleep, the surgeon makes a wide cut around the breastbone area to get access to your heart where the aortic valve replacement will take place. In order to perform the surgery, the surgeon needs to a motionless and bloodless field. In order to keep the body functioning even when the heart is stopped, a device known as a heart-lung bypass machine is hinged to the body which is which will pump the blood in your body just like the original heart does. This device will function till the time the aortic valve replacement surgery is complete. The diseased aortic valve is removed and replaced with a mechanical or bioprosthetic valve. The surgeon ensures that all new connections to the valves are made fine before the heart is restarted. The incision is then closed with stitches.
Valvular heart disease, commonly known as heart valve disease, is the leading cause of valve replacement and other surgical operations involving the heart. Surgery on a heart valve requires cutting through the breastbone and opening the chest. Recovery time is often several weeks, and the procedure might take two or more hours. Although certain forms of valvular heart disease may benefit from newer, less invasive treatments, they are only performed at a few specialized medical facilities.
After surgery on a aortic valve, it is essential to take preventative measures to lower the likelihood that you may have future heart complications or need other cardiac procedures. Following surgical repair of a valve, there is a significantly increased possibility that the valve may get infected. To reduce the likelihood of contracting an infection, you must take preventative measures, such as practicing proper oral hygiene. After you have had heart surgery, it is essential to take care of your breastbone so that it can mend adequately. The following is a look at when it is safe to resume several activities that are typically done:
Surgical Aortic Valve Replacement is a very delicate surgery which may carry some risks. However, if you get the Surgical Aortic Valve Replacement done from well-renowned hospitals in India, therefore, Surgical Aortic Valve Replacement in India is a very good option. Here are the few risks of heart valve replacement:
Aortic Valve Replacement Recovery takes about 3-4 months whereas a patient, you have to keep away from activities that cause any exertion. Most people return to their homes after spending 4-7 days in the hospital post surgery while 15-20% may need to spend a while at the rehabilitation centre for complete recovery.
The Success rate of heart valve replacement is around 91%, while the replacement of the aortic valve has a success rate of approximately 94%. These rates are determined by the patient's age and general state of health.