When one or more valves are not working appropriately it is called as ‘Valvular Heart Disease’ or ‘Disease of the Heart Valves’. Valve replacement surgery provides a solution to the patients who has valves that are brittle, disfigured or in a position to repair.
Why replacement is needed?
The main aim of the valves is to overtake the nutrient enhanced blood to pass into the chambers of the heart. Once the blood reaches there, the valves closes like a ‘door’ so that nutrients do not leak over.
The valves are seen at each of the heart’s chamber, they are
- Tricuspid Valve: sited among the right atrium and the right ventricle.
- Pulmonary Valve: Sited among the right ventricle and the pulmonary artery.
- Mitral Valve: Sited among the left atrium and the left ventricle.
- Aortic Valve: Sited among the left ventricle and aorta.
If any of the mentioned valves are unhealthy or injured the patients will experience the following signs,
- Pain in the chest area
- Difficulty while breathing
- Increased heart rate
- Inflammation of feet, ankles or abdomen
- Abrupt gaining of weight due to water retention
How replacement of Valve is done?
In traditional way, open heart surgery is used were the ribs are cut and opened in the operating room and the heart is made still for some time and the surgeon either repair or replace the valve. By using the heart – lung machine the blood is pumped and circulated.
In latest addition, minimally invasive technique is adopted to restore or revamp the valves of the heart. A tiny incision is made so the patient has less pain and short hospital stay. The classic example of this method is Balloon Valvoplasty. Few cases of Valve Stenosis are cured by this method and it is done as a section of catheterization procedure relatively than the part of the open heart surgery.
Trans Catheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) is one of the latest substitutes to cure some cases of Aortic Valve Stenosis. It is done by both the surgeon and the interventional cardiologist. The sick valve is repaired by keeping a disc inside the patient to support their body valve or is removed fully and revamped with synthetic valve. These valves are made of metal or plastic or from the tissues of the animal valves or cadaver valves. The outcome of the procedure is excellent and is deemed as the life-saving and life-lengthening procedure.