CardioSpecialists Group, Ltd.
About Port Access Valve Replacement Surgery

What Is Port Access Valve Replacement Surgery?

The purpose of the valves in the heart is to control the flow of blood from one of the chambers into another or into a blood vessel. If a valve does not close completely or is narrowed, it can put strain on the heart by making each contraction of the heart less efficient. There are several treatments to attempt to repair faulty heart valves, but if those are not successful in remedying the problem, valve replacement surgery is needed. With port access, small cuts are made instead of opening the chest. You will have smaller scars, less pain, and a shorter recovery time with port access surgery.

How Is the Procedure Performed?

You will have your blood flow diverted from its path through the heart to an artificial heart-lung machine which will continue to provide your body with the oxygenated blood it needs. To connect your self to the machine, a small cut will be made in your thigh through which the tube will be fed which will put you on the heart-lung machine. Another incision will be made in your neck. This is where the surgeon will put a tube into your blood vessel and follow it to the heart. Through this tube, drugs to stop your heart will be given. To allow the doctor to see and to operate, the surgical tools and camera are fed through a cut under your armpit.

The surgeon cuts out the malfunctioning valve. Most often it is the mitral valve or the aortic valve. He will then insert and attach either a mechanical or a biological valve replacement. If you are given a mechanical valve, you will need to take medications for the rest of your life to prevent blood clots around the new valve.

After the Procedure

When the surgeon is finished, your heart will be restarted, and you will be slowly taken off of the heart-lung machine. With valve replacement surgery, you will be at an increased risk for getting an infection. You need to tell all of your doctors or dentists about this so that they can take care to prevent you from getting an infection.

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