CardioSpecialists Group, Ltd.
About Valve Replacement Surgery

What Is Valve Replacement Surgery ?

Sometimes valve repair procedures do not correct problems with the heart valve. When this happens, replacement of the valve is required. You might have a mechanical or a biological valve put in place of your faulty one. The valves most commonly replaced are the mitral valves between the artia and ventricles and the aortic valve, which leads to the aorta from the left ventricle.

How Is the Procedure Performed?

In order to replace one of your heart valves, the surgeon will need to open your chest and stop your heart. So that your body can continue to get blood during the surgery, you will be connected to an artificial heart-lung machine which will act in place of the heart to pump the blood. A clamp will shut off the aorta, the main blood vessel leading away from the heart, and you will be given a drug to stop your heart from beating. This will allow the surgeon to open your heart and replace the faulty valve.

When the surgeon exposes the valve to be replaced, he will remove it so that the new one can be put into place. The new mechanical or biological valve is attached to the heart with stitches. Your heart will be closed, the clamp pulled off of your aorta, and your heart allowed to restart. You will be weaned off of the heart-lung machine slowly. The surgeon will close your chest, and you will be sent to recovery. After several days in the hospital, you will be allowed to go home.

What Are the Risks?

Valve replacement surgery, like mitral valve repair puts you at an increased risk for infections throughout the rest of your life. Any time you undergo other medical or dental procedures, you will need to let the doctor know about your replacement heart valve. If you had a mechanical valve, you will be required to take medications for the rest of your life. These medicines will prevent blood clots from forming around your new heart valve. If you have any more questions about your valve replacement surgery, you should discuss them with your doctor.

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