Our heart has four valves, namely pulmonary, mitral, tricuspid and aortic. All four are responsible for the way the blood flows through our heart in one single direction.
When it comes to the United States, cardiac surgeons operate on more than 1,00,000 people for heart valve replacement. Most of these valve replacements occur for either the aortic or mitral valves which work harder than than the other valves. They make sure that the blood saturated with oxygen flows from the lungs to the rest of the body.
Is surgery required?
The heart valve surgery is similar to every other disease when it comes to it being operated. If the damage to the valve is serious then a surgery to replace or repair will be required. However, in a lot of cases doctors treat mild valve damages with the help of medicine. The
heart valve replacement surgery cost in india is significantly lower than other parts of the world so it’s not a very expensive affair.
The two kinds of valves can be used for replacement:
Mechanical valves: These valves are made from plastic, metal or carbon and are very sturdy which makes them last a very long time. However the only problem despite their durability is that blood clotting will be very common because blood will stick to the mechanical valve. Medicines have to be taken by these patients for the rest of their lives to help in blood thinning to prevent the clotting from taking place.
Biological valves- Biological valves on the other hand are made out of animal tissue or with the help of a human heart. The tissue from the heart from another person is used in the process, known as homograft or allograft (a tissue graft from the donor of the same species- example: human’s graft for another human). Sometimes when a patient’s own biological tissue is used from another part, it is known as autograft. This valve may need replacement every now and then (Usually after 10 years) hence it is usually used in elderly patients and not children and young adults.
What separates valve repair from valve replacement:
When it comes to valve repair it is usually done on the valve defects that a person is born with, also known as congenital valve defect.
Different procedures are used to repair a valve:
- A procedure known as Commissurotomy is used to separate narrowed valves where the flaps of the valves become thick because of the size and stick together completely. The job of the surgeon is to separate one leaflet from the other.
- Another procedure known as valvuloplasty makes the flaps strong to make the valve shut tightly with the help of a ring that is attached to the outside of the opening.
- When the valve cannot close properly, a part of the leaflet is cut out and then it’s stitched back on so that the valve can shut properly.
Consult your doctor now to receive the best advice on valve replacement or surgery.